The perfect canoe trip looks different for everyone. Some people prefer to paddle in a short distance and set up a luxury base camp, while others like to paddle hard traveling many miles between campsites each day. For some people the Boundary Waters is a place to relax and read a book, while others know it as a fisherman’s paradise. We are happy to help you in planning your trip, but first you and your group need to decide what your priorities are and what kind of experience you want. Once you have figured this out we can steer you toward an entry point and route that best meets what you are looking for.
How far do I want to travel?
In answering this question it is helpful to think about your whole trip and look at how you want to spend your time. On average groups will travel between 2-3 MPH in the Boundary Waters. Consider everything you want to do on your trip and then decide how much time you want to spend travel vs. other things like enjoying camp, swimming, reading and fishing. Also consider the possibility that weather may prevent or limit travel on certain days, so build in a lay-over day if possible.
How much am I willing to portage?
Portages can be tough and physically demanding, but if you are willing to take on more portages you can expect to find more solitude and often better fishing due to the lack of other groups.
Do I want to spend time on big lakes or smaller bodies of water?
Big lakes are gorgeous and result in you having to take fewer portages.They do however come with the chance of being unable to travel in heavy winds. Extra caution should be used in the spring and fall while paddling on large lakes.
How often do I want to move campsites?
Some groups really like setting up a base camp and exploring the area lakes on day trips. This can be a big time saver since you don’t have to pack camp and reset it up each day. It also allows you to more easily bring extra luxury items along. On the flip side there is a magic about traveling with a loaded canoe and reaching deeper spots in the wilderness. It is hard to beat sitting in the stern knowing everything you need is in front of you and the areas ahead are yours to explore.
How much do I plan on fishing?
For some groups fishing is the reason they come to the Boundary Waters and yet other do not even bring poles. If fishing is not a priority for you planning your trip just got a lot easier. If you are all about fishing doing your research now will help you make sure you are heading to the most productive water. Having fished most of our area lakes and hearing a lot of trip reports from returning guest we can help point you in the right direction.
How important is it to get away from other people?
This one ties largely into how far you want to travel and how much portaging you are willing to do. However, It can also be a matter of what entry point you choose. Each entry point allows a different number of groups to entry ranging from 27 groups per day to 1 group every other day. If solitude is a priority consider a smaller entry point or a trip during the shoulder seasons.
Do I want to complete a loop trip or do an out and back?
Completing a loop is great in that you can see new areas for almost all of your trip, but in some areas loops are not possible and an out and back trip may allow you to reach more spots.
We are happy to help in your route planning, After considering these questions give us a call or an email and we will work with you to put together the perfect trip for your group.