Located in Northern Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park provides access to pristine wilderness for all Minnesotans. Entrance to Voyageurs National Park by J. Stephan Conn is licensed under Creative Commons.
Located in Northern Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park provides access to pristine wilderness for all Minnesotans. Entrance to Voyageurs National Park by J. Stephan Conn is licensed under Creative Commons.

Minnesota travel destinations: Voyageurs National Park

If you are into the outdoors and looking for an adventure, this national park in northern Minnesota provides a cheap and flexible vacation option for all Minnesotans.

Voyageurs National Park

Located on the Northern border of Minnesota and Canada, and due East of International Falls. Voyageurs National Park encompasses an area of about 340 square miles full of pristine waterways, large forests and sprinkled islands throughout the lakes in the region. The most notable waterways within the park include the Rainy River, Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and Namakan Lake. This vast Northern wilderness is mostly untouched leaving large Conifer and Hardwood forests which Minnesota was known for before European Settlement. Some of the most notable destinations within the park include Kettle Falls, The Ellsworth Rock Gardens, and over 125 miles of trails. Voyageurs National Park also boasts views of The Northern Lights and other astronomical events due to the lack of light pollution. 


Voyageurs National Park holds a chain of 3 major lakes which starts with the Rainy River. The chain begins with Rainy Lake; a very well known Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Muskie fishery. Further down the chain are the lakes Kabetogama and Namakan. Also known for their fishing both lakes are sprinkled with heavily forested islands along with multiple natural sandy beaches.

Kettle Falls

Rainy Lake is a well know Walleye, Smallmouth, and Muskie fishery in Northern Minnesota. (MN Rainy Lake by Bjoertvedt” is licensed under CC BY SA – 3.0)
Connected by Rainy Lake to the rest of the chain is an international channel split between both the United States and Canada. Near the mouth of this waterway is the famous Kettle Falls, a misleading name for a small dam regulating flow through the channel while also connecting the mainland to the large Kettle Island. On the mainland Kettle Falls boasts the famous Kettle Falls Hotel, a famous remote hotel and resort providing villa rental, guide services, and rooms at the hotel itself.

The Ellsworth Rock Gardens

On the shores of Lake Kabetogama is The Ellsworth Rock Gardens also known as the “Showplace of Lake Kabetogama”. Artist Jack Ellsworth shaped the rock outcroppings with expansive flowerbeds and over 200 rock sculptures throughout the terrace. Ellsworth first began his project in the 1940’s and took nearly 20 years to complete his vision. At present day, The Ellsworth Rock Gardens are one of the most visited places within Voyageurs National Park, and has also been admitted into the National Register of Historic Places by the National Parks Service.

Created during the 1940’s the Ellsworth Rock Gardens has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Ellsworth Rock Gardens Map by National Parks Service is licensed under Creative Commons Public Domain.

The Northern Lights

Voyageurs National Park being located 3 hours northwest of Duluth and 45 minutes east of International Falls, eliminates any artificial light pollution from major population centers. For this reason along with being located so far North provides breathtaking views of the Milky Way as well as the Northern Lights. Between the months of November through April are considered the best time to view the Northern Lights within the Park, however, year round views of unfiltered night skies are always provided enabling views of both Summer and Winter constellations.

View of the Milky Way over a lake in Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs National Park by National Parks Gallery is licensed under Public Domain Dedication.

Voyageurs National Park provides memorable views of both Northern Minnesota as well as beautiful night skies. With its many Waterways and remote islands, anyone can enjoy a secluded vacation away from the flat fields and gloomy skies of Central Minnesota. Furthermore, the National Park is only a 5 hour drive from Sartell giving an affordable getaway for anyone looking to leave the mud and dirty snow behind.

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About the Contributor
Noah Hacker, Journalist
Grade: Senior Hobbies: Hockey, Fishing, and Hiking Favorite Quote: "Don't hope for an easier life, work to be a better man" College Major: Dual Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Favorite TV Show: NCIS