Regional Guide

Family - Boundary Waters

It's the classic Boundary Waters excursion: paddling with the kids. But don't let the sheer vastness of the area's waters intimidate you. There are plenty of quiet paddling areas suitable for families, including Cross Bay Lake and Missing Link Lake in the Round Lake area, and the Granite River System, accessible from Larch Creek. Visit Ely's International Wolf Center ( and learn about the world's wolf population and its precarious relationship with humans. Tour the museum, hike through the forest in search of wild wolves, or enjoy a day of family-friendly dogsledding. Take in Superior the easy way. Drive the North Shore Discovery Drive, which begins at Tofte, Minnesota, on the Sawbill Trail, and let your family see some of the forest's best without leaving the car—or its amenities. Stops along the route set the historical backdrop with stories of the area's early settlers and its logging past. Explore Grand Portage National Monument, home to the partially reconstructed North West Company Fur Trade headquarters and a 8.5-mile portage route. Tote the kids along and familiarize yourself with Northern American history as you peruse Indian artifacts and local gardens. To add a little outdoor flair, hop on the ferry (mid-June to Labor Day) to Isle Royale National Park. Float in style on Voyageurs National Park's Kabetogama Lake. As you putter along in your houseboat, you can stop when you want to fish, take a dip, admire a view, or rest for the night, and you'll have no worries about marauding bears or raccoons.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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