Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest, Minnesota
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Canoeing in solitude. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
In the mood for a quiet canoe ride? If so, consider a trip to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in northeast Minnesota. The Boundary Waters wilderness stretches for 150 miles along the US-Canada 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 1,200 miles of canoe routes are enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
Canoeing the many waterways may be the main draw, but 80% of the area is forest. In fact, the Boundary Waters wilderness contains the largest swath of uncut forest in the eastern US. That's even after the 1999 'Boundary Waters blowdown,' a powerful July 4 derecho storm that lasted 22 hours and took down millions of trees with its 100-mph winds. Many animals call the forest home, including the largest population of wolves in the contiguous states.
If you're 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.