We knew that this was a water park and intended to canoe into it and spend at least one overnight on an island. But alas, our island lust lessened over the course of the prior week on Isle Royale so we decided to just take on the visitor centers and some short hikes.
Voyageur is a relatively young park celebrating its 40th birthday this year. The park consists of 218,000 acres which most of it is only accessible by water. Only 254,000 people visit each year and the few Minnesotans that we met haven’t been there as they favor the boundary waters that border the parks east side.
The park is named after the Voyageurs that came down from Montreal by canoe in search of beaver pelts. Here the Ojibwa Indians were happy to become trade partners with the Voyageurs. The European community prized the beaver pelt and as the Indians farmed the beavers the voyageurs pushed slowly westward. In the years that followed as the amount of beavers decreased the use of the area changed to included logging, gold mining, commercial fishing and finally tourism.
We signed up for a ranger led program where the rangers were in full Voyageur costume and were recruiting us to join them. They gave us a glimpse of the life of the Voyageurs which included; how they traded, what they ate, how they rowed the canoe for 14 hours a day and even touched on the Skunk and Bear oil that they used to repel the mosquitos! The second part of the program had us going out onto the water with them on a 26-foot canoe, unfortunately the weather was not favorable and they had to cancel.
Even though we didn’t get to get out on the water we did enjoy the coast and some great lake views!
Visited: July 2015