Top Ten Parks for Spring


Voyageurs National Park

Only-in-springtime view: Expanses of bright yellow marsh marigolds
Activities: Hiking, fishing, bird-watching, canoeing, houseboating

Spring at Voyageurs is a season of wildflowers and warblers. The park is a peninsula — the Kabewatoma — surrounded by island-studded lakes. In winter the park is the domain of snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. But by May the snow melts, the ice melts, and the waters open. We maintain that the best way to experience what's special about this park is a canoe. After all, the park is named after the voyagers who transversed the continent in canoes, trading in pelts.

This is the north woods, often compared to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area to the east. But Voyageurs is much more accessible than Boundary Waters. At night you can still hear howling wolves. By day you might encounter a moose, particularly in the wet areas. The leaves on the dormant canopy and understory trees and shrubs emerge, filling in a fresh green. Keep your binoculars ready for returning songbirds in the forest, and for gulls and diving birds along the shore and on the open water.

This may not be as wild as it gets, but it's wild enough.

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