Leave No Trace Principles

The actions we take when visiting natural areas will always have an effect on the places we explore. Choose to make only beneficial impacts by following the principles of "Leave No Trace." By practicing these seven Leave No Trace principles, no matter the season, you can help be a steward of your national park.

 
Winter snow and ice
Prepare for weather and changing conditions.

NPS

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Summer

    • Know and understand park rules
    • Prepare for extreme weather.
    • Make a campsite reservation in advance.
    • Print campsite permit and bring from home.

Winter

    • Know the area and what to expect.
    • Prepare for extreme weather and changing conditions.
    • Monitor snowmobile, ski trail, and ice road conditions.
    • Be aware of regulations and special rules.
 
Hiking Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail
Hike on established trails (Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail).

NPS

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Summer

    • Hike on established park trails.
    • Only camp at designated campsites.
    • Pitch tents on existing tent pads.
    • Avoid altering campsite and surrounding vegetation.

Winter

    • Stay on deep snow cover where possible.
    • Choose a campsite on ice or deep snow.
    • Stick to marked snowmobile trails and portages.
    • Avoid parking snowmobiles on vegetation.
 

Dispose of Waste Properly

Summer

    • Pack out what you pack in.
    • Repackage food and gear to minimize waste.
    • Use pit toilets when available and avoid putting trash in them.
    • Leave campsite in better condition than when you arrived.

Winter

    • Dismantle all snow structures when you leave.
    • Chop up ice blocks and remove from ice surface.
 
Taking a picture of a moose antler
Take photographs to remember your trip.

NPS

Leave What You Find

  • Leave all plants, animals, and rocks as you find them.
  • Take photographs to remember your trip.
  • Avoid transporting non-native or invasive species.
  • Respect all historic structures in the park and leave historical artifacts in place.
 

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Summer

    • Use a campstove for cooking.
    • Keep fires in established fire rings in campsites.
    • Only use dead wood found on the ground.
    • If you bring wood in, it must be approved by MN Department of Natural Resources.

Winter

    • Campfires can cause lasting impacts as the snow melts.
 
Loon on water
Observe wildlife from a distance.

NPS

Respect Wildlife

Summer

    • Observe wildlife from a distance.
    • Control your pets on a leash at all times.
    • Keep your food secure from wildlife in bear-proof food lockers and poles
    • Avoid wildlife during nesting periods.

Winter

    • Winter is a vulnerable time for animals.
    • Never feed wildlife or leave food behind.
 

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Summer

    • Let the sounds of nature prevail.
    • Camp and picnic away from others.
    • Respect other visitor's quality experience.
    • Be aware of your impact on other people.

Winter

    • Yield to others. Prepare for blind corners.
    • When stopped, move off the trail.
    • Avoid walking on groomed ski trails.
 

Last updated: October 8, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649

Phone:

(218) 283-6600

Contact Us