Best American Adventures: Canoe the Boundary Waters
We've just updated our popular America's
Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking,
heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure
for you. Check in each day for a new, out-the-backdoor adventure highlighted here on our blog.
By Kate Siber; Photograph by Christian Heeb, Aurora Photos
If you’re planning to rob a bank in the Midwest,
arguably your best escape route is through the Boundary Waters Canoe
Area. After entering this one-million-acre (400,000-hectare) bastion of
lakes, streams, and primordial pine, birch, and aspen forests, you’re
very unlikely to be found. That goes for law-abiding escapists, too.
The Boundary Waters offer some 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) of canoe
routes and 2,000 secluded campsites; in other words, it's the perfect
territory in which to disappear for a while.
of people organize their own trips into the BWCA, but it’s far easier
to let Ely, Minnesota-based Boundary Waters Outfitters do the work.
They’ll organize meals, plan a route, rent equipment, and hand over all
the maps. For true solitude, go in late August or early September when
the summer crowds have thinned, or have the outfitters charter a float
plane, which will drop you off far away from any signs of civilization.
at least four days to explore lake after lake, punctuated by rocky
cliffs, waterfalls, and Native American pictographs. That’s about how
long it takes to tune in to the heartbeat of this place—the silky
water, the changeable skies, the deep fairy-tale-like forest, and all
of the small details: moose and deer frequenting the shallows, eagles
gliding between trees, and fresh wolf prints on shorelines.
Need to Know: Boundary Waters Outfitters (www.boundarywatersoutfitters.com) fully outfits trips and offers guides on a custom basis. Unguided, four-day trips start at $406 per person.
- Nat Geo Expeditions