Recreation


man in a canoe on a lake

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Cannabis Use on National Forest System Lands

While recreational cannabis use may be legal in the State of Minnesota, effective August 1, 2023, the Chippewa and Superior National Forests officials are reminding visitors that it is illegal on National Forest System lands. For more detailed information visit our Alerts and Notices page.

Explore the Superior National Forest

2,000 miles of trails designed for hiking, hunting, riding and more. The Forest offers an expansive variety of ways to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Water Activities

    Man in a canoe

    So many lakes and rivers. So much fun to be had on the water!

  • Wilderness

    
Pow wow Trailhead

    Explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

  • Safety

    Bear canisters

    Plan ahead and Prepare for a safe and fun experience!

Plan Your Trip

Find a mapFind a passFind an officeKnow Before You Go

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Current Recreation Conditions

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Baker Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Birch Lake Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 3, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Open Open Previous Fires
Cadotte Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 3, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Cascade River Rustic Campground None None
Clara Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Crescent Lake Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 12, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Devil Track Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024. First come, first served only.
Divide Lake Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
East Bearskin Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Echo Lake Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 1, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Eighteen Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Fall Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 3, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Fenske Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Flour Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 6, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Fourmile Lk Rustic Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Harriet Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Hogback Lake Rustic Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Iron Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 6, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Kawishiwi Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Kekekabic Trail East None None
Kekekabic Trail West None None
Kimball Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024. First come, first served only.
LaCroix Winter Recreation Trails Open Open See individual trail webpages for links to current conditions.
Lake Jeanette Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 1, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Little Isabella River Campground Open Open Opens May 9, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
McDougal Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 9, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
McDougal Lake Trail Closed Closed Closed for site rehabilitation after the 2021 Greenwood Fire. McDougal Campground will open to the public on May 11, 2023, except for campsites 17 and 19. The hiking trail is still closed.
Ninemile Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 9, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Pfeiffer Lake Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 1, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Poplar River Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Sand Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Sawbill Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 12, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Section 29 Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Silver Island Lk Rustic Campgd & Backcountry Sites Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
South Kawishiwi River Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Sturgeon River Trail None None In June of 2018, a regularly scheduled bridge inspection was conducted on the Sturgeon River Trail bridges, and one was found to be unsafe for continued use and beyond reasonable repair. The Forest Service has officially removed the bridge. As a result, the portion of the Sturgeon River Trail system located between Forest Road 279 and Junction 4 will be closed indefinitely. See a map of the closure.
In the winter, visit www.skinnyski.com for current ski trail conditions. 
Temperance River Campground Open Open Opens May 12, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024. First come, first served only.
Toohey Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Trail's End Campground Open Open Opens May 6, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024.
Two Island Lake Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 21, 2024. First come, first served only.
White Pine Lake Rustic Campground Open Open Opens May 10, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024. First come, first served only.
Whiteface Reservoir Campground Open Open Opens May 3, 2024 and closes October 1, 2024.
Wills Lake Hunter Walking Trails None None Trails are always open. See MN DNR for hunting seasons
Wilson Lake Rustic Campground & Backcountry Sites Open Open Roads and access to outhouses are not plowed in winter.

Spotlights

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

BWCAW

Established in 1964 as Federally Designated Wilderness (pdf), the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is over one million acres of rugged and remote boreal forest in the northern third of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota.

The BWCAW extends nearly 150 miles along the International Boundary, adjacent to Canada’s Quetico and La Verendrye Provincial Parks, is bordered on the west by Voyageurs National Park, and by Grand Portage National Monument to the east. The BWCAW contains over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and 2,000 designated campsites. The BWCAW is composed of lakes, islands, rocky outcrops and forest.

The BWCAW is the only large temperate lake-land wilderness in the National Wilderness Preservation System and is renowned for its water-based recreational opportunities. The sculpting of the landscape by powerful glaciers over an immense period of time has left behind a variety of landforms and rocks as well as thousands of lakes and streams, interspersed with islands. This network of connecting waterbodies provides unique opportunities for long distance travel by watercraft—a rare experience within the continental United States.

Prepare for your Wilderness Trip

Successful trips don't just happen. Plan ahead for the BWCAW! Visitors can find solitude, adventure, risk, and excitement but the trip planning begins months before entering the Wilderness.

The BWCA Wilderness is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the country. High visitation translates to the potential for impacts to natural resources. We need your help treading lightly on the Wilderness; to keep it full of solitude and pristine for future visitors like you.

Prior to reserving your permit, please review the following to ensure a wilderness trip is right for you:

Be aware that wilderness has inherent dangers, and is a primitive setting where you meet nature on its own terms. Trails are not well marked, if they are marked at all. If you are a newcomer to camping, or even an experienced backpacker, but not canoe camper, consider camping outside of the BWCAW on one of the 254 backcountry sites on the Forest, or one of our free rustic campgrounds.  There you can experience many of the same things as you do in the Wilderness, but without the need for permits and with easier access to emergency services.

More About Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness