Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest, Minnesota
© Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Image
Canoeing in solitude. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
If you’re in the mood for a quiet canoe ride, you must take a trip to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in northeast Minnesota. In today’s photo, we’re on Birch Lake but the Boundary Waters wilderness stretches for 240 kilometres along the border within Superior National Forest. Known by those seeking solitude, Boundary Waters is one of America’s most beautiful and remote locations. Formed long ago from the scraping and gouging of glaciers, the area is distinct with its rugged cliffs, canyons, and thousands of lakes and streams. More than 2,000 kilometres of canoe routes are enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
Canoeing the many waterways may be the main draw, but 80 percent of the area is forest. In fact, the Boundary Waters wilderness contains the largest swath of uncut forest in the eastern portion of the United States. That’s even after the 1999 ‘Boundary Waters blowdown,’ a powerful derecho storm that lasted 22 hours and took down millions of trees with its 160-kilometre-per-hour winds. Many animals call the forested area home, including the largest population of wolves in the contiguous states.
If you’re more of a night owl, the Boundary Waters wilderness offers a unique opportunity. In 2020, the area was designated one of only 15 Dark Sky Sanctuaries around the world by the International Dark Sky Association. This differs from a normal Dark Sky designation in that its fragile landscape is one of the planet’s most remote locations, free of light pollution and ideal for night sky observation. The point is, night or day, you’re sure to find something worth your time at the Boundary Waters.