Becoming a Boundary Waters Family

Becoming a Boundary Waters Family is a partnership between the Superior National Forest and the outfitters of the Gunflint Trail. Our goal is to take the mystery out of camping and paddling in the BWCAW. The Boundary Waters, as well as other areas of the Superior National Forest, are a great place to spend healthy, quality time with your kids. Leave the distractions behind and enjoy making memories in the woods and on the lakes of northern Minnesota.

Watch this video and visit to find out how you can Become a Boundary Waters Family.

Video transcript:

00:01 Narrator: The farther you get from your daily lives, the closer you get to each other.  Join us in becoming a boundary waters family.  We are the outfitters of the Gunflint Trail, and in partnership with the US Forest Service, we are here to help families get out into the woods.  Check out our book and our website at

00:26 Narrator: Boundary Waters is probably the most peaceful place I have ever been to.  The Forest Service, along with a lot of outfitters up here on the Gunflint Trail, are encouraging families and youth basically to get outside.

00:43 We’re gonna paddle, get to the portage.  The portage is basically a hiking trail between this lake and the next lake.

00:55 It’s important to try and be in the same rhythm with the person in the bow so that there’s not two paddles going at opposite times.

1:09 One group is from Kinship, where a mentor and a mentee come up for those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to get up here.   And the other family won an essay contest.

1:14 I guess I just wrote that it would be a good experience for me, bonding with my mom.

1:21 I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to go up with Joshua and spend some quality time together and it has been an unbelievable experience so far.

1:30 For Joshua at his age and size to be able to carry a canoe on his shoulders like that is impressive, so yeah I am real proud of him.

1:37 It was kind of light but it got heavier because the trip was really long.

1:44 You just did your first portage.

1:46 Yay!

1:47 You know, wilderness can always be a challenge and I think one of the best parts is when somebody can accomplish something that’s new to them out here it makes them want to do it more.

1:56 This goes here and that goes there.

1:59 This is the first time I’ve really done any serious camping.

2:01 And it’s nice and quiet up here.

2:03 The Boundary Waters is one great area that so many kids have never had the experience.  It’s really important for kids to get involved in the outdoors.  It’s really great for their mind, their soul, their physical.

2:14 Sometimes they never have a chance to just be kids. And when they are out here, they get a chance to be kids.

2:23 You know, the outfitters are great for people who have never been up here.

2:26  Just amazing that you can just come up here, and you know they have everything planned for you, they have food packed, they’ve got everything you need to make this a great experience.

2:34 I think from a wilderness standpoint it’s even more important to have future protectors and stewards of wilderness so that we can spread it on to the next generation.

2:43 It’s really beautiful .

2:45 You can see that the northern-most part of Minnesota isn’t a boring place.

2:48: Just being able to make a difference, doing something positive for hopefully the enjoyment that they have had so that they can say, you know I have really enjoyed this place and I want others to have that same enjoyment.