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Minnesota: Canoe the Boundary Waters

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Kayaking in Birch Lake, Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area, Minnesota; Photograph by Christian Heeb, Aurora

Recharge with a paddle trip through Minnesota’s iconic wilderness.

What Is It? Create the experience of a lifetime by immersing yourself in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), one of the last truly untouched places on the planet. With approximately 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) of canoe routes and 2,000 secluded campsites, there are countless options for spending a long weekend—or an entire week—here.

Why Do It? This is your chance to really leave life behind and tune in to the rhythm of the natural world. Disappearing into this million-acre sanctuary dappled with pristine lakes, singing streams, enchanted forests, and rocky bluffs will leave you inspired and recharged. Witness rainbow sunsets, moose diving into the water’s depths, eagles soaring overhead, and wolves howling at the moon. These astonishing acts of nature and the peace you find will make you want to come back year after year.

Make It Happen: To do it yourself, pick up Exploring the Boundary Waters: A Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCAWExploring the Boundary Waters: A Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCAW by Daniel Pauly or visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources site for planning information. Go guided with Wilderness Outfitters—they can plan and run everything or just rent you the necessary equipment.

What’s your favorite summer weekend adventure in Minnesota?

50 Best Summer Weekend Adventures: Great adventures are all around us—and summer is the ideal time to seek them. To give you some ideas and inspiration, every weekday we will be sharing a different U.S. summer weekend adventure, state-by-state from A to Z. We invite you to share your favorite summer weekend adventures in the comments section below when your favorite state is featured. Report back after the weekend to tell us about the outdoor adventures you had.