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After big Vic and the rest of the voyageurs ceased the fur trade in the area now known as voyageurs National Park there was another influx of Europeans to the area, there was a gold rush. Beginning in the 1890s people made their way from Duluth, Ely and eventually made it to the shores of Crane Lake where they would hop aboard a steamer to Kettle Falls and eventually end up in the gold fields on and around dry weed Island and at Rainy Lake City. These miners faced very difficult conditions harsh Winters and eventually the Gold Rush ended because of the low grade ore and a bad gold market. Today you can see and hear about the history of the gold rush and evidence of it in voyageurs National Park on a voyageurs Outfitters boat tour. Check out voyageurs outfitters.com for more information.
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Although logging no longer takes place inside the boundaries of voyageurs National Park pulpwood is still logged in a sustainable manner in northern Minnesota. Long before this though loggers moved tothe area to cut the giant white pine and bring them back to ship builders on the east coast to be used as
ships Masts during the early 1800s. After that the remaining White Pine was cut because of it’s Superior strength and length which made it perfect for construction Lumber. The white pine that was cut between the North Shore of Lake Superior along Rainy river and voyageurs National Park all the way to
Lake of the Woods was used to build the growing cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul Milwaukee and Chicago. Join us on a hiking tour of voyageurs National Park to seeks out some of these native remaining
White Pine that still stand today. Your adventure is out there...
Voyageurs Outfitters announces it's 2020 discount program
In order for us to maintain the natural treasures and wonderful outdoor resources we have there will need to be people that love the outdoors enough to fight for it. We need the up and coming generations to have a love and a passion for conservation that will motivate them to advocate for policy that protects our precious environment. In order to foster that love and passion we at Voyageurs Outfitters do everything we can to get youth out to experience Voyageurs national Park, Rainy Lake, the North Shore, Gull Lake, and all the other special areas that are near and dear to us. We provide youth groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, YMCA groups, nature bound, and many other church and civic groups with the canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets, camping gear, tents, cook stoves and lanterns that they need for that perfect outdoor experience.
Voyageurs Outfitters has always provided a discount for youth based education and outdoor recreation. To ring in the new decade though we are offering our 2020 discount. We will be offering a 20% discount to anyone or any group that is 20 years of age or younger. We encourage everyone to get youth out into the outdoors to recreate and maybe fall in love with the wonders of the outdoors.
Call us anytime to discuss how we can help your group experience Voyageurs National Park. From boat tours to full glamping packages Voyageurs Outfitters has the ability to help you make the most of your time while here in Voyageurs National Park.
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Do you have an interest in exploring Rainy Lake? Voyageur’s National Park, in northern Minnesota, is very unique in that it is comprised mostly of water. While this fact may initially intimidate anyone without a boat, boating skills, and navigational know-how, we at Voyageur’s Outfitters are here to help. As a business, we specialize in making your Rainy Lake getaway as fun and memorable as it can be. We have a variety of canoes, kayaks, paddleboards for rent. Groceries, firewood, coolers, and other camp staples are available for on-site delivery in the park by us. Guided boat tours are another asset to persons of all ages and physical ability who want a richer view of Rainy Lake’s majestic beauty, historical sites, and access to hikes on the park’s best islands.
Come aboard with us, anytime from May through October, for a wide variety of tours. The Yellow Jacket comfortably seats six and offers a more fast-paced adventure for those eager to see many parts of the lake. For those seeking a slower pace, we offer trips by sailboat. Our pontoon boat is also available and great for groups. Because we are passionate about sharing the experience of Rainy Lake and Voyageur’s National Park, we accommodate for persons of all ability with wheelchair-accessible boats. Appointment is necessary, and our website offers a list of available tours.
From the early Native Americans of this area, to the fur-trading French voyageurs of the 17th and 18th centuries, and the hustle of gold-miners at the turn of the 20th century, the Rainy Lake area is steeped in historical interest. Little American Island is a part of local mining lore. The historic Kettle Falls Hotel is a fun destination with a full-service restaurant and bar. Oberholtzer’s Island is another significant sight, not far from the Musket Inn. The park has visitor’s centers on the mainland that offer a wide variety of information useful to newcomers. Registration for campsites, fees, maps, and other information are readily accessible from knowledgeable park rangers and volunteers or at www.recreation.gov.
Rich in wildlife, the opportunities for birding are an added perk to outdoor enthusiasts harboring avian interests. The Bald Eagle nestles and thrives in this area, the elusive nest is a rare treat to encounter. Sightings of this sacred hawk are not uncommon and are said to be a sign of good luck. Many varieties of owls, woodpeckers, songbirds, and fowl are part of this rich northern paradise. There is nothing more reassuring of your proximity to nature then the eerie coo of the Common Loon. Aptly knighted as Minnesota’s state bird, our beloved loon is a black and white bird with a keen red eye. Its ghostly night call resonates deep and christens any true north woods vacation.
If you imagine yourself exploring any part of Voyageur’s National Park and Rainy Lake, or the Rainy River, please consider our vast offerings of upcoming 2019 boat tours. Having grown up in this area, we know its layout, history, wildlife, and points of scenic interest. Lake navigation can be intimidating on waters of this size and without a boat; any vacation to Rainy Lake would fall short. Let our experienced Coast Guard Certified captains take you and yours out in comfort for an amazing sightseeing event with custom destinations suited to your desires. Whether you are up for a great island hike with birding opportunities, or are a history buff curious about native peoples, the voyageurs, gold-miners, or loggers, there is a guided boat tour that is sure to pique your interests. Allow Voyageur’s Outfitters the opportunity to shape your upcoming vacation this summer, we would love to take you aboard!
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“It gave me a moment of exquisite satisfaction to find myself moving away from civilization in this rude canvas canoe, a model that has served primitive races since man first went to sea.”
John Hynge Milton
You are in your Suburban driving 70 MPH on a crowded four-lane interstate. The kids are in the back attached to headphones, you are listening to the sad 6 o’clock news; another murder, failing politicians, Dow went down again. Your wife is on her phone talking loudly to her friend about Instagram, when suddenly a maniac cuts two lanes across directly into your line of disaster. You slam the brakes and honk; the car behind you does as well. Your heart beats through the cavity in your chest and you can’t catch your breath as your family all have the same frightened look on their faces. “We all okay?”’ you ask and continue on your way, unsure of the traffic up ahead. Now, picture yourself with the sun on your back and the lake below. The sound of paddle dipping its head in the gentle water is all you can hear as you glide along the rocky shoreline. You take serene deep breaths of the pine-scented air as you say to yourself, “This is me.”
Native Americans utilized the canoe for centuries as means of lake transportation. In northern Minnesota, the French Voyageurs learned the efficiency of canoe travel when they ventured this area in the 17th and 18th centuries, as stewards of the fur trade. The careful turn of every paddle gliding the vessel onward is our modern equivalent of stepping on the gas or turning up the cruise control. In this world that seems to pass us by like telephone poles down a highway, it’s quite a thing to slow down and let eyes take in the grace of our surroundings.
In a state known for its 10,000 lakes, Voyageurs National Park and the waterways it consists of are truly unique and untouched. Glacier rock formations from the Ice Age have carved countless numbers islands and inlets only to be reached by means of water to this day. This is ideal for adventurous explorers, kayak enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to be surrounded by land and water human hand has not yet grasped.
We, at Voyageur’s Outfitters, believe in the ability of this area to cleanse and replenish the soul. Hiking our islands, bird watching, gazing at the humbling stars above us provide prospective. We provide the means for this life-changing getaway with a variety of canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards that people of all ages and backgrounds can learn to enjoy. In addition, we supply a wide variety of services including delivery of groceries, firewood, coolers and additional gear to make your experience as convenient as possible. We get to live here and we want to share our experience with the world. Picture yourself or your family unplugged from the constant static we surround ourselves in out of necessity. The canoe comforts the quiet splash of the paddle progressing you along as you lose yourself to the silence of gliding the glass surface of water.
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‘I did a lot of canoe trips early on, and I would get the feel of the forest and the wilderness, you know, that I always knew was in my soul to begin with.’
The Protection of Voyageurs National Park & History of Earnest Oberholtzer
Voyageurs National Park is full of splendor and serene beauty, and is a unique and treasured place. Without the efforts of Earnest Oberholtzer and the many others who have dedicated their lives to protecting public lands for future generations, our beloved park would not be what it is today. We are fortunate to have men and women like Oberholtzer who, over the years, have dedicated their time and treasure to defending and protecting our public wilderness areas such as Voyageurs National Park.
The history of Earnest Olberholtzer and the protection of Voyageurs National Park are well documented, and you can learn more about these stories and many others at the Rainy Lake, Kabetogama, and Ash River visitors centers, along with the Koochiching County Historical Societies Museum and many other resorts and local outlets. Here at Voyageurs Outfitters, we are happy to share the story of Oberholtzer, and guide you through many aspects of his life, including his historical property on Mallard Island and his generous donation to create Ontario's Sand Point Provincial Park.
Oberholtzer has set an example of what modern conservation should strive to be. The importance of protecting our public lands is more important today than ever. With threats to wild lands coming from various sources, we need to use Oberholtzer’s example of calm but persistent pressure on those threats so that our public lands are protected for future generations to come.
Join us on a historical learning tour of Sand Point Island and the review islands which include Oberholtzer’s very own Mallard Island. Our tour boats are equipped with comfy chairs and complimentary beverages.
Contact us for more information on scheduling a tour to learn more about this spectacular man and the rich history of Voyageurs National Park.
Humanity has pondered the stars and studied the sky since the dawn of civilization. The vast majority of people today only see the night sky through a filter of human needs. Well lit sky scrapers, apartment complexes, homes, the hum and glow of the freeway, street lamps, airplane beacons, all of which human existence depends on, also emit light pollution skewing our view of what’s above us. This list of illumination we send to the night is immeasurable since the invention of the light bulb and our rapid expanse of world population. Here in Voyageurs National Park and the gateway communities we do get to see a glimpse at the heavens unobstructed by human creation. There is virtually no light pollution in and around Voyageurs and in fact we are working with the Dark Skies Association https://www.darksky.org/ to gain our own Dark Skies Designation, a designation that few places on the planet can have.
Awestruck, by definition, means an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or even fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, or extremely powerful. The night skies of Voyageurs provide those experiences and Voyageurs Outfitters can be your vehicle to a truly awe-inspiring night sky experience.
Pictures or videos don't do justice to seeing the Lights for the first time. There are variations of this phenomena caused by Earth’s magnetosphere’s contact with solar wind where a ring of green will appear on a night’s horizon like a soft blanket. This only occurs at the poles of our world, the far north and south where metals form the strongest magnet to attract the sun’s emission of charged particles. There are other times when the ring expands with even more protons and electrons from even a more ever-reaching sun deflect off our atmosphere forming a green sheet that covers the sky with waves from above as if on a clothesline.
I was fourteen the first time I truly was awestruck. On the shoreline of Rainy Lake with friends we all stopped in our tracks of youthful ignorance and beheld the spectacle unfolding in the clear black night. Giant tidal waves of green and yellow crashed into the atmosphere above us. The sky dancing its vibrant jade in front of the infinity beyond. Violent and stunning emerald running ribbons beheld for what it seemed only us. We felt threatened like it was the end of the world yet couldn’t look away. Such a strange feeling being scared and amazed looking at the sky ripple with such color and almost break the shield we didn’t comprehend protecting us. The sun, our very light of life, making a green flashing appearance in the black of night left us mesmerized, trembling under the firmament. That flash of time I can never forget and keeps me humble.
That’s why this latitude, this dark untouched piece of Earth, this pole, pulls me like solar winds to this Northern magnet from the vast populace of urban dwelling. With friends and family appreciative to the pleasures I’ve seen, we stay as long as we can at Voyageurs National Park, the island jewel of Rainy Lake and our true home. Sometimes it’s Kabetogama, or the long fingers of Namakan, but always north. We hike, we canoe and kayak. The golden red sunset over pristine wilderness is overwhelming next to the darkening waters, but the lights of the night and all their potential, always hold me mesmerized at what’s to come.
For more information and where to find the Northern Lights check out our page!
With summer upon us, now is the ideal time to camp out in Voyageurs National Park. Whether you are on the shores of the larger lakes like Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, and Crane Lake or are utilizing the wilderness camping experiences on the Kabetogama peninsula in the interior of the park, you can be assured of an excellent time.
All of the campsites of Voyageurs National Park not only are private and secluded, but also equipped with a fire ring and adjustable cooking grill, picnic tables, raised sand filled tent pads, bear lockers, and bathroom facilities to make sure your time in Voyageurs National Park is as comfortable as possible.
We've compiled the following list of the best reasons to camp out under the stars and northern lights:
1. Camping is a great way to reconnect with the natural environment. During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we lose touch with our natural connection to the planet as a whole. The only way to get this connection back is by spending time in nature. It is so important to a healthy life to slow down and contemplate who we are and what we can be.
2. Camping is a great way to reconnect with family and friends. All too often we take for granted those whom are closest to us. By getting out to your campsite and disconnecting with the daily grind of everyday life you can concentrate on regaining the connection between yourself and the ones you love. Maybe it is the act of setting up the tent, cooking over an open fire together, fishing for walleye, bass, lake trout, northern, crappie, or Muskie, sitting around the fire at night telling stories, playing games, or just enjoying the quiet solitude that voyageurs national park offers that can help to regain the connections stripped away by our modern existence.
3. Your chance of seeing and encountering wildlife is greatly increased while camping. Some examples of this are: The early morning slap of the tail of a beaver to wake you up, the mournful cry of the loon at dusk, a female whitetail deer and its fawn coming to the water’s edge for a mid-day sip of the pristine water, an eagle bringing food back to its nest, or a playful otter with its pups. From the birds in the air to the furry of wildlife deep in the trees, Voyageurs comes alive during your time camping.
4. The night skies of Voyageurs are some of the best opportunities to view the stars, planets, and milky way. With virtually no light pollution the milky way jumps out at you as you gaze towards the heavens. The northern lights are not an uncommon occurrence, and viewing them in the northern skies is a spectacular and awe inspiring phenomenon.
5. S’mores….do we need to say anymore? Come for the scenery and stay for the S’mores.
Voyageurs Outfitters can help you get out there to experience your ideal camping excursion. We offer services that range from:
Don't miss out on Voyageurs Outfitters camping experience. Contact us to discuss how we can help you get out into Voyageurs National Park for your personalized camping encounter.
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Spring is a wonderful time of year in Voyageurs National Park. The arrival of Spring brings longer days and more direct sunshine. The energy of the sun brings a flurry of new activity to the border lakes region, northwest Ontario, sunset country, and the northern boreal forest and lakes. This fresh spring activity can be categorized into human activities and the activities of the flora and fauna of Voyageurs, the Northern forests and the waters of Crane Lake, Sand
Point, Namakan, Kabetogama, Rainy Lake, Rainy River, and Lake of the Woods. This leads to melting lakes, migrating birds, mating grouse, and the promise of another summer. Although subtler than us noisy humans, the awaking of nature after the long winters slumber can be quite riotous.
The awakening after the long winter is an amazing thing to witness. Here are five of our most phenomenal Springtime occurrences:
2. The Return of Migratory Birds
The return of the seagulls and other migratory birds marks a Springtime milestone. After the noisy return of our feathered friends, the gulls, Springtime is officially upon us. Other typically hard to spot migratory birds use Voyageurs National Park as a starting point on their way destinations farther north, sometimes traveling as far as the Arctic Circle.
3. Ruffed Grouse
The slow thump and increasingly rapid drumming of the ruffed grouse is a sound unique to springtime in northern Minnesota's boreal forests. The male grouse use an elaborate dance and drumming to attract a mate. Sometimes this phenomenon can be so loud that it distracts your thoughts and allows your mind to escape far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
4. Birth of Fawns
Spring is when mother deer, after surviving the cold winters, give birth to their fawns. Even though these fawns are extremely well camouflaged, it is not uncommon to see them testing out their new legs while on one of Voyageurs Outfitters wildlife boat tours. The circle of life is all around us in Voyageurs.
5. Preparation for Summer in the Park
As nature awakens, humans do as well. Although some may disagree, we are an integral part of our ecosystems and spaceship Earth. At Voyageurs Outfitters, we are busy getting power boats, sailboats, pontoon boats, Tour boats, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards ready for the upcoming busy summer season. We go through all of our camping and boating gear to make sure it is safe and at the high standards that our customers demand. Captains go through safety and interpretive training programs so that our clients have the most enjoyable and safe experience in Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs National Park staff are busy getting their boats ready and opening the visitor’s centers and campsites. Resorts are busy as well getting ready tor the bustling tourist season.
Springtime, with all of its new sounds, sights, smells, and activity is truly an incredible time in Voyageurs National Park. Call us to book your spring glamping trip, boat tour, ice harvest excursion, or hiking adventure. We are here to guide you though all aspects of planning your trip. From initial thoughts of trip planning to getting out to your campsite and cooking that authentic shore lunch, the staff at Voyageurs Outfitters are here to help you make the most of your adventure.
Here on Rainy Lake in Voyageurs National Park, we share one of the longest and most beautiful unsecured International borders in the world. We have peacefully shared this border with our neighbor to the North (Canada) for over 150 years. This border represents the wonderful relationship between the two countries and has been a model for peacefully negotiated treaties throughout the world.
Along the 1,500-mile border, which is made up of 40% water, you will find 20% of the world’s freshwater supply. From creeks and streams that are only a few inches deep to vast lakes over 1000 feet deep our International border is one of the most diverse and scenic on the planet.
Throughout the years there have been three major treaties dictating the usage of the border between the United States and Canada.
Today the border is used by a diverse group of stakeholders on Rainy Lake, Rainy River, Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior, and across the borderland of northwestern Ontario and Northern Minnesota. These user groups include but are not limited to:
The border lakes region is truly an amazing place that we share with our Canadian counterparts and should not be taken for granted. The hard work of many folks throughout the years has helped make this place protected while still remaining easy to access. Voyageurs Outfitters can help you plan your trip along the border and help you make the most of your time while partaking in the splendor of Voyageurs National Park.
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