Welcome from the Superintendent
At night, looking down from space, Minnesota shows a dazzling spray of lights from the Twin Cities outward to the farm country, the Mississippi River valley, and the Iron Range. Just north of the glow, lies Voyageurs National Park, under a dark, night sky.
In Voyageurs National Park, you can lay stretched out on a rock half as old as the world and gaze up at nature's light show in a sharply, clear sky. I did this on a three-day trek along the Cruiser Lake Trail. My companions and I saw only one other party in the interior of the park. We camped and hiked in a solitude that was never lonely. We passed lakes that had no names; lakes with tawny boulders rising from the water like giant loaves of bread; long flowages disturbed only by the slap of a beaver's tail.
Apart from its sheer beauty, the Kabetogama Peninsula reveals the drama of nature's forces at work. We passed forests where fire had renewed life and windrows of dead and fractured trees that were sheared off by straight line winds that tore through ridges and valleys. The ridges themselves, high above the lakes, bare the marks of glaciers moving on bedrock, like fingers drawn through sand.
In the course of a day's hike, we passed through many environments-bogs, boreal forests, mixed hardwoods, oaks, shorelines, and cliffs. The landscape spoke of endurance, fragility, and change. We need to hear what this landscape, aquatic and terrestrial, is telling us in a time of unprecedented influx of non-native species and accelerated global climate change.
Visitors, we ask your help in protecting our forests and waters. To help inhibit the spread of invasive species; aquatic, plant, and pest, Voyageurs National Park allows only the use of "artificial bait" and does not allow private watercraft on the interior waters of the Kabetogama Peninsula. Also, as you are enjoying your evening campfire, please use the dead and downed firewood or wood from a vendor that is certified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR). By doing this, it will help preserve the special opportunities for all anglers, campers, and visitors of Voyageurs National Park.
While you enjoy all the park has to offer, our park researchers, along with area universities and partner agencies will be listening to the landscape and checking its vitals.
I welcome you to the park in all seasons. We have programs for all ages, including ranger-led boat tours, voyageur North Canoe trips, family canoe programs, hikes, snowshoe and cross-country ski programs and so much more! We hope you will find your own place in the park to experience the solitude that isn't so lonely, the darkness that lets you see the stars, and the silence where you will hear the landscape speak.
Mike M. Ward
Did You Know?
Voyageurs National Park is home to several wolf packs. Listen for their distinctive howl or look for fresh tracks in the winter.