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21938
Minnesota

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
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,599
Minnesota

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.
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,599
Program No. 21938 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2021
Starting at
1,599
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2021
Starting at
1,599
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2021
Starting at
1,599
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2021
Starting at
2,469
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2021
Starting at
2,469
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2021
Starting at
2,469

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
All Experts
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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.

Profile Image of Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood View biography
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.
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.
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
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
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8 days
7 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
DAY
1
Arrival, Introductions, Orientation
Duluth, MN
D
Days Inn

Activity note: light walking

Dinner: Dinner will be across the street at Blackwoods Grill

Evening: Evening will be free for you

DAY
2
Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Hike Shovel Point
Silver Bay
B,L,D
AmericInn Lodge & Suites Silver Bay

Activity note: walking 2-3 miles

Breakfast: at Days Inn

Morning: We will depart for Lake Superior's North Shore and explore beautiful Gooseberry Falls State Park and its trails

Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch along the shore

Afternoon: We will continue along the North Shore and visit the famous Split Rock Lighthouse State Park,Lake Superior's most famous lighthouse. We will also stop at Tettegouche State Park and hike out to Shovel Point.

Dinner: We will check in to the hotel and eat dinner at Cove Point Lodge.

Evening: After dinner, Douglas Wood will share an essay from his new memoir "Deep Woods, Wild Waters."

DAY
3
Sigurd Olson House, Listening Point, canoeing
Ely, MN
B,L,D
Adventure Inn

Activity note: Paddling a canoe, light walking

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Drive to Ely. We will continue to learn about the geology and natural history of the area. Once in Ely, we will visit Sigurd Olson's House and writing shack.

Lunch: Lunch at Sigurd's house.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will take the short drive out to Listening Point- Sigurd Olson's cabin and personal retreat on beautiful Burntside Lake, gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. After listening to an essays from Olson's books, we will push off the shore in our canoes and paddle out to Pine Island, a state scientific and natural area home to 400 year old pines. After exploring on the island, we will paddle back to the vans.

Dinner: Dinner at the Evergreen Restaurant.

Evening: Leisure evening

DAY
4
Kawishiwi Falls, Int'l Wolf Ctr, Molter Museum, Bear Ctr
Ely, MN
B,L,D
Adventure Inn

Activity note: Hike up to 2 miles

Breakfast: Breakfast at Evergreen

Morning: Hike the Kawishiwi Falls trail. Visit the International Wolf Center and participate in program lead by their education staff.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch at the city park

Afternoon: Visit the Dorothy Molter "The Root Beer Lady" museum. Visit the North American Bear Center. Hike before (or after dinner) along the Trezona Trail.

Dinner: We will have dinner at the Boathouse

Evening: Leisure evening

DAY
5
Oberholzer's house on Mallard Island, Fawn Island
International Falls, MN
B,L,D
AmericInn-International Falls

Activity note: light walking

Breakfast: Breakfast at Evergreen.

Morning: Drive to Rainy Lake. Continue to learn of the cultural and geological history of the Quetico-Superior area.

Lunch: Picnic lunch

Afternoon: Visit historic Mallard Island, home of wilderness warrior Ernest Oberholtzer. Learn of Oberholtzer’s significance in protecting the Quetico-Superior area and tour his residence, which is now a 501c3 organization

Dinner: Eat at Thunderbird Lodge on Rainy Lake.

Evening: Douglas Wood will read passages from his book "Fawn Island" and Granddad's Prayers of the Earth".

DAY
6
Voyageurs National Park, Boat Cruise to Kettle Falls Hotel
International Falls, MN
B,L,D
AmericInn-International Falls

Activity note: Light walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Days Inn

Morning: Visit the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, gateway to Voyageurs National Park and learn about the rich history of the voyageur fur traders. After that, we will board the park boat Voyageur, and head off on a 60 mile round trip down the wild and stunningly beautiful east arm of Rainy Lake, taking in dozens of islands, expansive lake views, bald eagles and more. We will eventually arrive at the historic Kettle Falls Hotel, accessible only by boat or plane and a fixture on the landscape for over 100 years. All the while, a National Park ranger will provide interpretation on what you are seeing.

Lunch: Lunch will be enjoyed at the historic Kettle Falls Hotel.

Afternoon: After exploring Kettle Falls Hotel and enjoy lunch, we will board the Voyageur and begin our return voyage back to the Rainy Lake Visitor, getting a different look at the lake and once again learning more about this incredible part of the planet.When we return, Douglas Wood will share two of his books “Breathe the Wind, Drink the Rain” and “Prescriptions from the Dock”.

Dinner: Dinner at The River Golf Course

Evening: We will return to the hotel where you will have the evening free.

DAY
7
Paddle a canoe from Woodenfrog Point on Lake Kabetogama .
Duluth, MN
B,L,D
Days Inn

Activity note: Paddling a canoe. Light walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Days Inn

Morning: The morning will be spent leisurely paddling a canoe on Lake Kabetogama and exploring the Grassy Islands.

Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch at Woodenfrog Point.

Afternoon: After lunch we will depart in the vans for Duluth

Dinner: Dinner at Blackwoods Grill

Evening: This will be our last evening together and we will offer closing remarks and wrap up the week's experiences with everyone.

DAY
8
Depart
Duluth, MN
B

Activity note: light walking

Breakfast: Breakfast at the Days Inn

Morning: Depart after breakfast






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