On January 8, 1971, President Richard Nixon authorized the creation of Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. It was named for the French Canadian frontiersmen called voyageurs, “travellers” in French. The park covers most of the Kabetogama Peninsula. Kabetogama, “rough waters” in Ojibwa [Chippewa], is a heavily wooded peninsula bordering the United States and Canada providing a year round experience, summer or winter, of seasonal biodiversity. It is north and adjacent to the Kabetogama State and the Superior National Forests. It is quintessential boreal forest above precambrian granite that breaks out into cliffs and islands where ancient glaciers have exposed them. Lake and river, and lush wetland biomes harbour eagles, the gray jay, and a range of waterfowl.
Voyageurs National Park has more than 890 km2 (344 mi2 ) of water across all or part of four major lakes. There’s Rainy Lake, 97 km (60 mi) long, and part of an extremely large system of lakes that stretches north to the Arctic Ocean. Kabetogama Lake is 24 km (15 mi) long and has approximately 200 islands. Namakan is a similar length, crescent-shaped lake but is less windy than others in the park. Sand Point Lake is the smallest but deepest lake and home to northern pike and walleye.
Naturalist-led programs include botanical walks for plant lovers, dark sky series for amateur astronomers, and a variety of lake boat tours. There is even a hands-on voyageur canoe experience on a typical “north” canoe of 8m (26 ft). Individual canoeing and kayaking are available to boreal explorers itching to investigate connected waterways where quiet paddlers can spot otters playing in water around smooth sloping rocks, watch loons cross close by, or ogle moose browsing through their next snack of aquatic plants along the shore.
B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage