What Makes Canoeing & Kayaking in Voyageurs National Park Special?

For the best canoeing or kayaking location in Minnesota, look no further than Voyageurs National Park. Nearly half of this park’s 220,000 acres are made up of water. A houseboat might provide exceptional comfort in a remote place, but some visitors want to spend some time away from modern conveniences – especially in such a beautiful location.  Canoes and kayaks provide a unique glimpse into living, breathing ecosystems and the picturesque landscapes of Voyageurs National Park.

Whether you’re hoping to get a closer view of wildlife, explore narrow passages between islands, or want to test your rowing endurance as a physical challenge, you’ll enjoy an authentically beautiful Northwoods setting during your Voyageurs National Park canoeing and kayaking journey. In this pristine area of natural beauty, you can explore:

  • 1,000+ forested islands
  • Four major lakes
  • 600+ miles of shoreline
  • Historic waterways

No matter where you’re kayaking or canoeing at Voyageurs National Park, there is always something new to see. Seeped in the rich histories of Native Americans and French fur traders, Voyageurs National Park is a slice of unspoiled beauty in northern Minnesota perfect for exploring.


Seasonal Considerations for Your MN Canoeing or Kayaking Activities

Like camping or hiking, the ever-changing Minnesota weather plays a big part in your outdoor adventure. When most people think about canoeing or kayaking in Minnesota, the setting in their minds is likely to be warm with plentiful sunshine. However, as it sits on the northern border of Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park can tend to get cold. It never hurts to bring a jacket along, even on the sunniest of days!

When the water is frozen, it makes canoeing and kayaking Minnasota’s Rainy Lake a bit …difficult. After the frigid chill of a northern winter, the waters begin to thaw typically in late April or early May. Making it the perfect time to start exploring the park. 

As soon as the lake thaws, canoeing and kayaking are open to the public. Spring, summer and fall are all great times to paddle around and admire the surroundings at Voyageurs National Park. Fall, in particular, brings striking colors to the area’s foliage.

Get the Most Out of Voyageurs National Park by Canoeing or Kayaking

Make your Minnesota canoeing or kayaking experience even more rewarding by having a plan in mind before your next visit. You can either bring your own boat or rent one from us. Whatever you choose, there is usually plenty of room for a smaller boat on your houseboat. Be sure to check out the layouts of all our vessels, and plan a place to store your canoe or kayak before you step aboard.

When you find a great place for canoeing or kayaking such as Voyageurs National Park, it’s important to take precautions so you don’t get lost or injured on the water. Some tips for basic safety include:

  • Always be sure to have a map or GPS unit on your canoe or kayak – especially if you plan on venturing out into some of the more remote waterways and further away from your houseboat
  • Be sure to alert any passengers where exactly you’ll be paddling to and how much time you’ll be gone 
  • A life jacket is a must. Even for the most experienced paddler, it’s better to be safe than sorry

You can use your canoe or kayak to explore narrow waterways that are not navigable by larger boats. As you get closer to shorelines (while keeping an eye out for shallow rocks), your canoe or kayak provides a front-row seat for observing wildlife. Take a few moments to simply listen to the sounds of the wilderness, and try to enjoy the gorgeous wildlife you won’t see back home.

Lady of the Lake Series

Size: 54' x 16'
Capacity: 6-12 People

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Rainy Lake Houseboats offers a rewarding experience for any event including bachelor parties, friends and family getaways and more. We are also proud to be an LGBTQ safe destination accepting everyone for a great experience. Contact us for details!

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