Off the Map: Voyageurs National Park & Canoe Country

Paddle and hike in one of the few places in the Lower 48 where nature’s vastness and grandeur can leave us in awe — Minnesota's famed boundary waters.
Rating (4.67)
Program No. 21938RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Beloved by generations of canoeists and wilderness enthusiasts, Minnesota's boundary waters is one of North America’s truly untouched places. Go off the map to discover the beauty of Minnesota's North Shore, Burntside Lake and Voyageurs National Park – the only water-based wilderness park in the U.S. Gain a deeper connection with nature as you leave modern technology at home and learn about the region's geology on hikes and canoe adventures through remote landscapes and to hidden waterfalls, ancient pine forests and legendary gold mines. Study the conservationists who are the heroes behind this unspoiled nook of North America as you immerse yourself in the beautiful land they’ve tried so hard to protect.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking 2-5 miles a day and canoeing for 1-2 hours on flat water.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Uncover the best of the Great North Woods as you’re led by celebrated author, musician and wilderness expert Douglas Wood, and join him in exploring the famed home of Sigurd Olson.
  • Explore Doug’s own Fawn Island on Rainy Lake, and the nearby Mallard Island of wilderness champion Ernest Oberholtzer.
  • Enjoy paddling outings on Burntside Lake and gorgeous Lake Kabetogama, and a day-long boat-adventure to Historic Kettle Falls, on the U.S-Canada border, accessible only by boat or plane.

General Notes

This program is part of our “Off the Map” series, exploring truly remote areas of the United States as a way to connect with local culture and landscapes, and disconnect with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Our goal is to bring you to places that have limited access to Wi-Fi, cell service and other technology so you can enjoy authentic learning experiences without modern distractions.
Featured Expert
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Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood has been called "Minnesota's Renaissance Man." An author, artist, naturalist, musician and wilderness leader, he is the creator of 38 books for adults and children, and the recipient of many honors and awards. As a group leader, he has led scores of trips from southern Minnesota's Bluff Country to the Northwest Territories, focusing not just on the natural world of geography and geology, flora and fauna, but on the timeless relationship between nature and the human spirit.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Douglas Wood
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Hidden Forest
by Sigurd Olson
Toward Magnetic North: The Oberholtzer-Magee 1912 Journey to Hudson Bay
by Ernest Oberholtzer
Runes of the North
by Sigurd Olson
The Voyageur
by Grace Lee Nute
Wilderness Days
by Sigurd Olson
Listening Point
by Sigurd Olson
The Singing Wilderness
by Sigurd Olson
The Lonely Land
by Sigurd Olson
A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson
by David Backes
Open Horizons
by Sigurd Olson
Of Time and Place
by Sigurd Olson
Keeper of the Wild: The Life of Ernest Oberholtzer
by Joe Paddock
Reflections of the North Country
by Sigurd Olson

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