Superintendent's Compendium

signed by Robert J. DeGross, Superintendent January 22,2024
Signed:  Robert J. DeGross, Superintendent, January 22, 2024. Signature on file.


1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the national Park System.

A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:


Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

The CFR is also available on the Internet at:


2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium

The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under Title 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) §100101(a) (formerly 16 U.S.C. 1a-1, “Organic Act”) to “….regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In addition, Title 54 U.S.C. §100751(a) allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.”

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970, Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, than that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

3. Consistency of This Compendium with Applicable Federal Law and Requirements

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

4. Development of the Requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:

  • Is there use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
  • Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  • Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
  • Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
  • Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
  • Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

5. Applicability of the Compendium

The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements

NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.

8. Comments on the Compendium

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to:

Voyageurs National Park
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649

9. Effective Date of the Superintendent Compendium

The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document and remains in effect until revised for a period up to one year.

10. Additional Information

Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

11. Availability

Copies of the Compendium are available at

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649

It may also be found at:


In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 U.S.C. §100751, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.


I. 36 CFR §1.4 – Definitions

Artificial Bait: Lures, fish attractants, and bait other than live or organic baits.

Backcountry Campsites: All designated campsites with a “B” or “H” designator and/or accessible only by foot or non-motorized boat.

Designated Houseboat Site: Campsites designated and signed for use by houseboats.

Front country Campsites: Any campsite accessible by private motor-powered watercraft.

Interior Lakes: All lakes, ponds, streams, creeks, or other bodies of water within the boundary of Voyageurs National Park other than Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes.

Houseboat: Registered vessels that contain sleeping facilities, cooking and food storage facilities, and a no-discharge toilet. Does not include sailboats or vessels with cuddy cabins.

Ice road: The marked and/or plowed ice-covered surface of any frozen lake within Voyageurs National Park maintained and intended for use by motor vehicles weighing less than 7,000 pounds.

Overnight: The hours from sunset to sunrise, or any portion thereof.

Snowmobile Trail: The marked routes and portages within Voyageurs National Park designated for use by snowmobile operators.

Undesignated Houseboat Site: Any location where houseboat occupants intend to camp other than designated houseboat sites to include vessels anchoring upon the water surface.

Unmanned Aircraft (UA): A device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Watercraft: Any vessel, boat, canoe, kayak, tube, or other device used for the purposes of flotation or locomotion on or in a body of water.


(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours:

  • The park is open for visitor use all day, every day throughout the year. Temporary and/or emergency closures may impact visitor use and will occur only when situations, such as ongoing emergencies, occur. The following visiting hours apply to the listed facilities:
    • Rainy Lake visitor Center:
      • January – March: Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10am to 4pm
      • June – September: Open daily 9am to 5pm
      • October: Open Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4:30 pm
      • Closed during times not noted as open
    • Kabetogama Visitor Center:
      • June – September: Open daily 9am to 5pm
      • January – March: Open Friday and Saturday 10am to 4 pm
      • Closed during times not noted as open
    • Ash River visitor Center:
      • June – September: Open daily 9am to 5pm
      • Closed October to May
    • Headquarters:
      • Open year round – Monday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm as staffing allows
      • Closed on weekends and all federal holidays
Public Use Limits:
  • Aquatic Invasive Species:
    • Any watercraft, trailer, or other item which has been on or within the waters of Rainy Lake must be decontaminated prior to being launched, used, or operated in any other park waters.
    • Any aircraft that has operated on the liquid water surface of Rainy Lake must be decontaminated prior to operating on the liquid water surface of any other park waters open to aircraft.
    • Portages:
      • Vessels traveling across the Kettle Falls Portage from the Rainy Lake Basin to the Namakan Lake Basin must be decontaminated by park-approved personnel prior to the completion of the portage.
      • Vessels may only use the Gold Portage to travel from Kabetogama Lake to Rainy Lake. Portages from Rainy Lake to Kabetogama Lake are prohibited.
Acceptable decontamination procedures are as follows:
    • All visible aquatic plants and invasive species are removed from any vessel, aircraft, or other item which has been on or within contaminated waters, and;
    • All livewells, bilge tanks, other tanks, or containers containing contaminated water are drained in the contaminated watershed, and;
      • All surfaces of the vessel, aircraft, or items that have been in contact with the contaminated water are sprayed or rinsed with 120° water for at least 2 minutes or 140° water for at least 10 seconds, or;
      • All surfaces of the vessel, aircraft, or item that have been in contact with contaminated water are drained and dry for at least 5 days prior to use in any non-contaminated waters.
(In 2021 zebra mussel veligers were discovered in Black Bay of Rainy Lake and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources declared Rainy Lake to be infested by zebra mussels. To prevent the spread of zebra mussels into other park lakes where they may cause severe ecological and economic harm, the public use limits are required.)Closures:
  • Bushyhead Mine:
Bushyhead Mine is closed to public entry from December 1st to April 1st.(This closure is necessary to protect roosting habitat of bats observed overwintering in the area. Disturbance of bats within the mine can lead to increased mortality)
  • Climbing:
Climbing, rappelling, jumping or other similar activities are not permitted from any man-made structures.

(This closure is established to provide for visitor safety and to avoid conflict with other user groups and is the minimum necessary to achieve such results).

  • Boating:
The launching of privately owned watercraft is prohibited on any interior lake except for holders of commercial use authorizations on Mukooda Lake.
  • Aircraft:
The open, liquid water surfaces, of all interior lakes are closed to the landing of aircraft. The frozen waters within the park are closed to the landing of aircraft except for:
    • Rainy Lake
    • Kabetogama Lake
    • Namakan Lake
    • Sand Point Lake
    • Locator Lake
    • War Club Lake
    • Quill Lake
    • Loiten Lake
    • Mukooda Lake
    • Little Trout Lake
    • Shoepack Lake
(These closures are implemented to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species and fish diseases into waters free of these species and fish diseases. Water sampling efforts on Rainy and Namakan Lakes during 2006 revealed the presence of spiny water flea, and water sampling in 2021 revealed the presence of zebra mussel larvae in Rainy Lake. The Minnesota DNR has designated Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point lakes as infested with spiny water flea and Rainy Lake as infested with zebra mussel. The impacts of spiny water flea and zebra mussel can be devastating to aquatic organisms as these aquatic invasive species compete with native zooplankton and minnows. This competition can disrupt the food chain at its base with potentially significant effects farther up the chain.Research has shown that physical characteristics of the spiny water flea allow it to cling to surfaces of boats or maintain viable eggs out of water for up to 12 hours, and zebra mussels can remain viable on boats for multiple days. The interior lakes are currently managed as water bodies that are not infested with spiny water flea or zebra mussel. This restriction is established under Minnesota state statute corresponding to the management of activities on waters declared to be infested by the Minnesota DNR. An administrative determination to implement this restriction was completed and adopted by the Park Superintendent on June 19, 2007).
  • Unmanned Aircraft:

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.The Superintendent has determined that unmanaged or unrestricted recreational use of UAs within Voyageurs National Park will conflict with, or impact, a variety of park uses including visitor experience. (The Superintendent has determined that unmanaged or unrestricted recreational use of UAs within Voyageurs National Park will conflict with, or impact, a variety of park uses including visitor experience. The use of unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park has the potential to harm visitors, disturb wildlife, impact view sheds, cause excessive noise, and interfere with other visitors' enjoyment of the area).

(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

  • Water Skiing/Towing Areas
    • The following waters are designated for towing of a person by a vessel:
      • Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point lakes except in the following areas:
        • King Williams Narrows between the Park boundary and Sand Point Lake navigational buoy #27
        • Namakan Narrows between navigational day marker #12 and Namakan Lake navigational day marker #14
        • Kettle Falls area between navigational buoy #41 and the dam on Rainy Lake and between the dam and 100 feet west of Squirrel Narrows on Namakan Lake
        • Ash River Narrows from 100 feet beyond each end of the narrows on Kabetogama Lake
        • Brule Narrows between navigational buoy #12 and #32 on Rainy Lake
        • In designated channels
  • (The ‘Narrows’ have been closed as the result of an administrative decision that public safety would be seriously compromised if the activity was allowed. The King Williams Narrows is a narrow passageway bordered by rock walls. Space is limited for two passing vessels in this area and requires slow passage to ensure safe boating operations can be conducted. The Kettle Falls area, designated harbors and swimming beaches receive concentrated public use both in the water and on the water. Visitor safety requires slow speed boating activity in this area to ensure adequate operator awareness of public use and behaviors that would be seriously compromised with water skiing activities).
  • Swimming and Wading:
    • Swimming or wading is allowed at all locations except at the docks and vessel mooring basins within the Park's developed areas listed below:
      • Rainy Lake Visitor Center
      • Kabetogama Visitor Center
      • Ash River Visitor Center
      • Kettle Falls
    • Swimming from a vessel which is underway is prohibited, except in circumstances where a capable operator is on board and all propulsion machinery is off and/or sails are furled.
  • Rainy Lake Recreation Trail:
    • The trail is designated for pedestrian and human-powered modes of travel, to include:
      • Bicycles
      • Roller skates, skateboarding, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices
        • During conditions of snow and ice, the trail is groomed and tracked in a manner to allow traditional cross-country skiing on one side, while the other side is left ungroomed to allow for snowshoeing, skiing, and fat-tire biking
        • All forms of motorized conveyance are prohibited (Exception: See Electric Bike description on pg. 26)
  • (This compendium designation and/or restriction are to provide for recreational uses consistent with adjoining recreational paths).
  • Masks:
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:
  • Ice Road Construction
    • Constructing, maintaining, or using a structure, windbreak or shelter made of snow or ice on the frozen lake surface is prohibited
  • Plowing to construct or maintain a parking area on the frozen lake surface which exceeds 300' in length from the plowed edge of the established NPS ice road and construction of a private ice road prior to the establishment of park maintained ice roads, without a permit, is prohibited
  • Plowing snow on the frozen lake surface which creates a risk of jeopardy to snowmobiles by creating berms with peaked or abrupt edges or piles that stand more than 3' tall, is prohibited
  • The following activities within 50' of the plowed edge of the established NPS ice roads are prohibited:
  • Placement of equipment or any type of structure. Structures placed on a frozen lake surface prior to the annual establishment of the ice road shall be moved if the ice road must pass within 50’ of the structure.
  • Drilling or cutting of holes in the ice for fishing or other activities
  • Snowmobile Trail Use
  • The following activities within 50' of the centerline of snowmobile trails are prohibited:
  • Placement of equipment or any type of structure. Structures placed on a frozen lake surface prior to the annual establishment of the snowmobile trail shall be moved if the snowmobile trail must pass within 50’ of the structure.
  • Fishing activity or other forms of recreational activity except snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, and other strictly human powered forms of travel
  • Operating any form of motorized vehicle other than a snowmobile or towing any form of trailer other than a toboggan or structure on skis across, over, or along within 50’ of the center line of the designated snowmobile trail is prohibited, except at NPS posted crossing locations. (This prohibition does not apply to snowmobile-trail grooming machinery operating under agreement with the NPS.)
  • Only snowmobiles as defined in 36 CFR §1.4 are allowed across portages listed in 36 CFR §7.33(b)(2).
  • Vehicles that do not meet the NPS definition of a snowmobile are not allowed on land portages in the park except under the terms of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent
  • (This compendium restriction is in response to public safety concerns resulting from fishing activity conducted on those trails open to snowmobile use as designated in 36 CFR 7.33b. Conflicting public activity within a designated trail must be prohibited in order to reduce the risk of injury or death to park visitors. Environmental conditions including poor light, inadequate depth perception and blowing snow can easily reduce the ability of a snowmobile operator to safely respond to, stop and/or avoid people, structures and materials located within a designated snowmobile trail. All designated trails are inspected and groomed (except the overland portages and the chain of lakes trail), to a width of 60’. An additional 40’ width beyond the groomed designated trail area serves as a shoulder for snowmobiles to pull over and stop. This public use restriction will aid in avoiding unsafe visitor activities within 100’ of designated snowmobile trails. This restriction is not expected to cause significant public controversy).
  • Dogsledding and Skijoring
    • Dogsledding and skijoring are allowed on the frozen lake surfaces of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes.
    • Overnight dogsled and skijoring users must stake dogs on a frozen lake surface in a manner that will not cause damage to vegetation or the shoreline.
    • Wood chips or blankets/tarps are the only acceptable form of bedding for overnight dogsledding and skijoring use.
      • Wood chips must be collected and removed from the frozen lake surface upon the conclusion of the overnight occupancy of the site.
  • (The conditions enacted are necessary to limit the potential for the interaction and disease transmission between dogs and wildlife, to reduce the potential for introduction of non-native plant material, and to limit the potential conflict between different use groups of the public)



(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required.

§1.5(d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits:

  • Construction or maintenance of ice roads more than 300’ long and/or further than 300’ from the plowed edge of the NPS ice roads
  • Travel by dog sled/dog team on winter portages, park-maintained snowmobile trails, park maintained ice roads, or any landmass within park boundaries.
  • Vehicle travel on the Mukooda Lake winter portage
  • Retrieval of equipment or personal property which has fallen through a frozen lake surface
  • Disturbances to shorelines, docks, and wetlands

§2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net (excluding legal firearms)

§2.5(a) Specimen collection (Take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

§2.10(a) The following camping activities:

  • All camping requires a permit

§2.12 Audio Disturbances:

  • (a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas

  • (a)(3) Operating any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine, in non-developed areas

  • (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51

§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:

  • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means

  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft

§2.23(b) The following special recreation activities (per 36 CFR Part 71):

  • Rental of nonmotorized boats provided by the National Park Service on certain interior lakes

§2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services

  • Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services is prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50 (Special Events), §2.51 (Demonstrations) or §2.52 (Distribution of printed matter).

§2.38 Explosives:

  • (a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents

  • (b) Use or possess fireworks

§2.50(a) Special Events

  • Sporting events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremonies, and similar events are allowed, provided:
    • There is a meaningful association between the park area and the event
    • The observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area
    • A permit has been issued by the superintendent.

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views

  • Demonstrations includes picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers.
  • (b)(1) Demonstrations involving 25 persons or less do not require a permit unless:
    • The event presents a clear and present danger to public health and safety
    • The event takes place outside a designated area
    • Structures, stages, platforms, sound systems are used
    • The event unreasonably interferes with other permitted demonstrations and special events, or park program activities
  • (c)(2) All demonstrations will be held in designated areas. For a list/map of those locations contact the office of the Chief Ranger and/or see maps at the end of this document

§2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter and other message-bearing items.

  • Printed matter is message-bearing material such as books, pamphlets, magazines, and leaflets, provided that it is not solely commercial advertising. Other message-bearing items include: Readable electronic media such as CDs, DVDs, and flash drives; clothing and accessories such as hats and key chains; buttons; pins; and bumper stickers.
  • Sale or distribution of printed matter and the free distribution of other message bearing items without asking for or demanding payment or donation must take place in designated areas and the small group permit exception applies (see Demonstrations §2.51 (b1) and (c2)).

§2.60(b) Livestock use

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands

§2.62 Memorialization:

  • (a) Erection of monuments (requires approval from regional director)

  • (b) Scattering ashes from human cremation

§3.3 Use of a vessel:

  • Permits are required for the overnight mooring of a vessel at all docks in the following areas:
    • Rainy Lake Visitor Center
    • Little American Island
    • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center
    • Ash River Visitor Center
    • Kings Cabin
(Overnight mooring special use permits at the above-mentioned locations will be considered on a case-by-case basis under the criteria established in the general regulations under Section 1.6a to ensure adequate protection of resources, mooring infrastructure, and separation from adjoining visitor use sites).

§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

§5.1 Advertisements (display, posting or distribution)

§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States or must be pursuant to special regulations).

§5.5 Commercial Filming, Still Photography, and Audio Recording:

  • (a) Commercial filming and still photography activities are subject to the provisions of 43 CFR Part 5. All commercial filming requires a permit. Still photography does not require a permit unless:
    • It uses a model, set, or prop
    • It takes place where members of the public are not allowed
    • The park would incur costs to provide onsite management to protect resources or minimize visitor use conflicts
  • (b) Audio recording does not require a permit unless:
    • It takes place at locations where or when members of the public are generally not allowed
    • The equipment requires mechanical transport
    • It requires an external power source
    • The activity requires monitoring
    • The activity impacts resources

§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads

§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

§6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site



(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:

  • All areas (except for individuals under a use and occupancy reservation in the park) may collect dead and down wood in sufficient quantities for their use as heating fuel. Such wood cannot be removed from the park.

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

  • Strawberries
  • Chokecherries
  • Rose Hips
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Mushrooms
  • Wild Rice
  • Acorns

Collection of the edible plant species described above is limited to one gallon per person per day.

(The collection of these edible plant species is allowed as they are fairly resilient plants that will produce their fruits/foods annually and/or regenerate following growing seasons).


(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • The carcass must be tagged and possessed in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
  • Any carcass shall be covered by a tarp, gamebag, blanket, or similar and kept out of view to the greatest extent possible during transport.
  • Individuals transporting a legally taken animal across park lands or waters must proceed to an exit point of the park via the most direct means possible and may not stop while enroute for any reason.

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All park areas

36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

(a) The following State fishing laws and/or regulations, as noted, do not apply in the listed areas:

  • Fish, as defined under Section 1.4, does not include mussels (clams), crayfish, frogs, and turtles
(State law permitting the taking of mussels (clams), crayfish, frogs, and turtle species conflicts with federal law and is not assimilated as a permitted activity within the park).

(d)(2) Possession or use of live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibian, non-preserved fish eggs or roe is permitted in the following freshwater areas:

  • The waters and adjacent shorelines of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes are designated for possessing or using bait for fishing.
  • Bait may be possessed, but not used, on the frozen surface of Mukooda Lake for transportation purposes when traveling non-stop across the lake on the most direct route.
  • Except for transporting bait on Mukooda Lake, only artificial bait is permitted on interior lakes.


(a)(2)(i) Weapons (excluding legal firearms), traps, or nets may only be carried, possessed or used at the following designated times and locations:

  • Nets and spears may be possessed for non‑commercial use within the park in accordance with State law.


(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities. A permit system has been established for camping activities, and conditions for camping activities are in effect as noted:Permits

  • All overnight use requires a camping permit from except:
    • use and occupancy residents
    • private landowners on their private lands
    • concession users staying in concession facilities
  • One permit is required for each houseboat that uses the park overnight
  • One permit is required for each group of associated campers using the same site
  • Permits must be issued in the name of a person in the actual camping party
  • Transferring or selling a camping permit is prohibited
  • Camping permits must be physically present and displayed at the campsite
  • When a reservation has been made for a tent campsite, failure to physically occupy the site within 24 hours of the reservation start time voids the reservation without refund.
  • Designated Sites or Areas:
    • Tent camping use is allowed at designated campsites
    • Houseboat overnight use is allowed at designated houseboat sites and at undesignated sites
    • Designated and undesignated houseboat sites are used on a first-come, first-serve basis
    • Houseboats camping at an undesignated site are prohibited from mooring or anchoring within 200 yards of the permanent NPS metal campfire ring of any designated campsite or houseboat site, any sign designating a trailhead, structure, or day use site or any occupied undesignated site.
  • All overnight use is prohibited at:
    • Designated day use sites, picnic areas, public docks, trailheads, parking areas, boat launch sites and structures
  • On National Park Service land bordering the Black Bay Wildlife Management Area during Minnesota waterfowl hunting season
  • Within 1/4 mile of the Park's developed areas, including the parking lots, roads and picnic areas at the Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and Ash River visitor centers, Kettle Falls and on lands under a use and occupancy reservation without the tenant’s permission
  • The southeast edge of Cherry Nose Island. (Cherry Nose Island is located southwest of Cemetery Island on Kabetogama Lake)
  • At Sweet Nose Island, and within 200 feet of the “no camping” signs at Williams Island, Sprague’s Point and Woodenfrog Islands
(An April 11, 2007 internal staff review of resources and current camping practices determined that:
  • The level of camping at these undesignated sites has been observed at a significant level to create harm to the resources and/or the overlying protective soils and vegetation
  • Resources at these sites were deemed to offer significant value requiring special protection
  • The NPS documented resource impacts at these sites from undesignated camping, and the level of impact was identified as moderate or severe
Camping means the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer, or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy).
  • All tent campsites are designated as reservable and require a permit from for use.
  • Houseboat overnight use at designated and undesignated houseboat sites requires a permit from
  • Houseboat mooring at an undesignated site or area is not allowed within 200 yards of the permanent NPS metal campfire ring of any designated campsite or houseboat site, any sign designating a trailhead, structure, or day use site or any occupied undesignated site
  • Sailboats and Cabin Cruisers are permitted to use tent sites with a valid tent camping permit.
  • Erecting tents on other than an established tent pad is prohibited
    • Exceptions are designated Backcountry sites on Interior Lakes that may not have tent pads, and the Blueberry Ridge (H2) and Red Pine (H1) backcountry sites located on the Kab-Ash trail. Camping at Kab-Ash trail sites is allowed only within 100 feet of the designated campsite sign
(There are no tent pads, only a core camping area cleared for these campsites. Monitoring usage over time will help determine any other infrastructure or resource mitigation efforts).
  • Houseboats must be actively used (physically occupied by an individual or person) on an overnight basis and cannot be left unattended to ‘hold’ a site for future use
  • Check in time for permit holders of a reservable campsite is 3 pm or later
  • Check out time for permit holders of a reservable campsite is 12 pm or earlier
  • Fishing from shore, picnicking, hiking, and all other legal recreational pursuits is prohibited within 200 yards of an occupied reserved campsite except by members of the permitted camping group
  • Day use of unoccupied campsites is allowed from 12 pm – 2 pm.
  • Mooring of houseboats to NPS docks is prohibited, except at the following day-use locations:
    • Rainy Lake Visitor Center floating dock
    • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center floating dock
    • Ash River Visitor Center floating dock
    • Anderson Bay trailhead
    • Locator Lake trailhead
    • Group campsites (Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan)
    • Little Cedar Island day use site
    • Dryweed Island day use site
    • Sheen Point day use site
Overnight mooring at these sites is prohibited.(This prohibition is implemented to prevent damage to docks and/or houseboats attached to them. Other docks are not designed to support the mooring weight of a houseboat in windy conditions. Tent camping is prohibited due to the absence of toilet facilities at houseboat sites and the history of human waste improperly deposited in the area of the houseboat site).
  • Overnight Use Limits:
    • At front country camp sites overnight use is limited to no more than 14 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 30 nights in the park in a calendar year, except for group campsites
    • At group campsites overnight use is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
    • At backcountry camp sites overnight use is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
    • Overnight use of park backcountry boat rentals is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
(These limits do not apply to: Use-and-occupancy residences, staying on private lands, and guests in concession facilities.
  • Capacity Limits:
    • Small campsites may be occupied by 1 to 9 people
    • Large campsites may be occupied by 1 to 18 people
    • Group campsites may be occupied by 14 to 30 people
    • Group campsites are limited to a maximum of 5 houseboats
    • Designated or undesignated houseboat sites are limited to a maximum of 2 houseboats

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • Camping within 100 feet of a body of water is authorized pursuant to the permitting and conditions established in 36 CFR §2.10(a).

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:

  • From April 1 to November 30 - All food, lawfully taken fish, garbage, and equipment used to store food (such as ice chests) in all park areas must be kept in closed and locked compartments of a vehicle or vessel, bear‑proof food storage locker, hung from a bear pole, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object. This storage requirement does not apply when previously described items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption.
  • Food, lawfully taken fish or wildlife, garbage, and equipment used to store food will be exempted from the above requirements if these items are stored within containers manufactured and tested as bear resistant food storage containers. Approved containers must be used and locked according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Examples of approved containers can be found at the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) at:

Hard side coolers with eyelets for locks are only bear resistant when bolts or padlocks are utilized with the predrilled corners.


  • Public picnicking and day use activities are prohibited in the following areas:
    • Concessioner facilities where tables are provided as part of a food service operation
    • Developed campsites that are in use, or occupied by campers with a valid camping permit
    • Developed campsites after 2 p.m.
    • NPS residential, maintenance, service and utility areas
    • Designated houseboat sites
    • Undeveloped or non-established sites within 200 yards of any developed or established day use site, campsite, houseboat site, trailhead sign, dock, or structure.
  • (Picnicking is prohibited in Concession facilities to minimize impact on those operations where services are provided to include tables provided by the Concessioner for their customers and include maintenance, cleanup and public use management as a requirement of the Concessioners responsibilities. Developed campsites after 2 p.m. and houseboat sites are closed to public picnicking to avoid conflict with users who have an exclusive right to the site for overnight use. NPS residential, maintenance, service and utility areas are closed to public picnicking to prevent conflict with administrative activities not suitable for public engagement and intrusion on private uses as part of a landlord contractual agreement).
  • Conditions:
    • Use of designated day use sites is limited to no more than 18 people total
    • Use of designated day use sites is only allowed between sunrise and sunset

36 CFR § 2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

  • Designated Areas:
    • Designated tent and houseboat camping sites
    • Undesignated houseboat camping sites
    • Day use sites
  • Conditions:
    • Fires at designated camping or day use sites must be contained within NPS metal fire rings.
    • Undesignated houseboat sites may utilize up to one fire pan or may construct one rock fire ring.
      • Fires at undesignated houseboat sites must be contained within a fire pan or constructed rock fire ring not exceeding 36” in diameter.
    • The park adopts Minnesota state law and regulation regarding firewood. Acceptable firewood is purchased from a vendor that is either
      • non-ash firewood harvested from and purchased in the same county where it will be used (be sure to keep your receipt to show proof of purchase)
      • firewood harvested in Minnesota that has been certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture or the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (be sure to keep your receipt to show proof of purchase)
      • Kiln-dried, unpainted, unstained dimensional lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substances, or manufactured logs. Pallet wood is not approved firewood. Dimensional lumber does not require proof of purchase
    • Burning of trash, including but not limited to plastics, Styrofoam, glass, and metal cans is prohibited
(This restriction is consistent with firewood restrictions in Minnesota State Parks. Prohibiting this type of wood is necessary to protect Voyageurs National Park from infestations of emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, Sirex wood wasp, Asian long-horned beetle, and a number of other wood-boring insects. It also protects against decay, fungi and pathogens that cause Dutch elm disease, oak wilt and sudden oak death).
  • Use and Occupancy Reservations:
    • The legal occupant of federally owned lands under a use and occupancy reservation is allowed to have a campfire while utilizing said property unless temporary emergency restrictions are enacted.
    • A state burning permit is required for burning brush or debris and must be in accordance with State and Federal air quality regulation and law.

(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:

  • Lighting and maintaining a fire which is contained in or on a raised platform that is not in contact with the ground, is permitted within the park (e.g. barbecue style grill, cook stove)

(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:

  • All ash, coals, and wood must have no visible fire, burning, smoldering, or smoke emanating from them and must be cold to the touch


(a)(2) The use of government refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial, or industrial refuse, brought as such from private or municipal property is allowed under the following conditions:

  • None; the act is prohibited.

(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:

  • In all backcountry and front country camping settings that don’t provide a park privy human waste must be:
    • Carried out and disposed of in an approved trash receptacle or;
    • Buried 6 inches or more in the ground and must be more than 100 feet away of a flowing stream, river, or body of water

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are open to the possession of pets:

  • Front country campsites and day use sites (within 100’ of the shoreline on Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point lakes)
  • Outdoor developed public use areas, parking areas, walkways, and boat ramps
  • Lake surfaces (frozen or open water) on which motorboats are allowed
  • The Rainy Lake Visitor Center Recreation Trail
  • When adequate ice and snow conditions are present dog teams and dog sleds are permitted on frozen lake surfaces of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes within the park.

(a)(3) Pets may be left unattended and tied to an object in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • This action is prohibited. Pets may not be left tied and unattended.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • All pet excrement must be collected immediately and disposed of in a trash receptacle or removed from the park.

(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Park employee housing consistent with park housing policy
  • Park buildings and facilities upon superintendent’s written authorization


(a)(1) Areas designated for operating or using aircraft are provided for in section 7.33

(a)(2) The operation or use of aircraft under power on water within 500 feet of designated swimming beaches, boat docks, piers, or ramps is permitted in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • All areas of the park

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.

  • Removal of downed aircraft from park areas requires the issuance of a permit from the Superintendent.
  • Aircraft shall be removed as expeditiously as possible.
  • Aircraft shall be removed in a manner which limits damage to vegetation and other park resources.
  • Aircraft removal will be conducted in such a way as to have minimal impact on public use of park areas.


(c) Snowmobiles may be operated only on routes designated in Title 36 CFR Section 7.33(b)

(d)(4) Maximum speed limit:

  • 25 mph on all land portages and land trails
    • Exception: the Minnesota state trail Voyageur Snowmobile Trail traversing through a small section of the park near the Moose River Grade is 45 mph to reflect Minnesota’s maximum snowmobile speed limit
(This is to seek enforcement consistency with the state regulations given that this area is frequently patrolled by Minnesota Department of Natural Resource officers and park rangers).
  • 45 mph on all frozen lake surfaces


(a) The following park roads and/or parking areas open to motor vehicle traffic may be used for skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, inner tubing, tobogganing, and similar winter activities under the conditions noted:Conditions:

  • Park roadways are not open to winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating.
  • See section 1.5(a)(2) for limits related to ice roads and other activity specific conditions.


The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:
  • Rainy Lake Recreation Trail

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

  • All Park buildings, structures, and facilities
(This is to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, and prevent conflicts among visitor use activities)

36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Structures used for fishing on frozen lake surfaces during the ice fishing season and in compliance with state laws

  • Visitors camping on public lands adjacent to or within the park may leave their vehicles and boat trailers at designated parking areas

  • Overnight users of private cabins and leased land may not leave vehicles or boat trailers in public parking areas for more than 24 hours

  • Leaving unattended items associated with ‘geo caching’, which is an activity related to the use of GPS and the internet to locate a hidden cache of materials on park lands, is prohibited. These unattended items will be considered abandoned and impounded whenever located. All other unattended property which is not included in part 2.22 (a)(2) may be impounded after 24 hours.


(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

  • Entrance Fee Areas:
    • None
  • Daily Site Use Fee Areas:
    • None
  • Special Recreation Permit Fee (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):
    • None


(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all visitor centers, National Park Service owned vessels, and vehicles except under the terms of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent.


(b) Fireworks and firecrackers may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • None. The possession and/or use of fireworks and firecrackers is prohibited in all park areas except under the terms of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent.

36 CFR §2.51 –Public Assemblies, Meetings

(c)(2) The following areas for Public Assemblies are designated on maps available in the Office of the Superintendent:

  • Rainy Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area in the western end of the boat launch parking lot near the first island

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. grassy area at the southwest end of the upper parking lot

  • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area on the small point directly north of the launch ramp near the east end of the parking lot

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area of grassy between the dumpsters and the bulletin board at the east end of the parking lot

  • Ash River Visitor Center and boat launching facility:

    • 50 ft. by 50ft. area between the visitor center and the lower parking lot

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area between the visitor center and the middle parking lot

  • Headquarters Administrative Building:

    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area located on the grass adjacent to the west side of the concrete walkway entrance

36 CFR §2.52 - Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

(e) The following areas for Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter are designated on maps available in the Office of the Superintendent:

  • See areas listed in §2.51(c)(2) and maps available attached to this document or at the office of the Superintendent.

36 CFR §3.8 – Prohibited Vessel Operations

(a)(2) The following are designated boat launch sites:

  • Rainy Lake Visitor Center boat ramp

  • Kabetogama Visitor Center boat ramp

  • Ash River Visitor Center boat ramp

  • The developed shoreline on the southwest shore of Kabetogama Lake where the shoreline is not owned by the park

  • Both developed boat ramps on the Rainy and Namakan side of Kettle Falls portage road

  • The shoreline directly adjacent to the interior lakes:

      • managed under the NPS “Boats on Interior Lakes” program is allowed only for the launching and recovering of NPS boats or;

  • boats authorized under a commercial use authorization


(a) See section §1.5 for a list of locations open to water skiing and towing.


(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

  • NPS established and maintained ice roads which are established yearly on the frozen lake surfaces of Rainy and Kabetogama Lake are restricted to vehicle and trailer combined weight of no more than 7,000 pounds.

(The park ice roads are only rated to a weight limit of 7,000 pounds. Weights exceeding this amount cannot safely travel upon the ice surface without risk of damaging the frozen lake/road surface and breaking through the ice)


(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

  • The maximum speed limit on all designated ice roads is 30 mph

  • The maximum speed limit on NPS-1 road is 35 mph, unless posted otherwise

(Due to the character of an ice road surface, limited braking, steering and traction, the allowable speed is reduced to 30 mph to enhance appropriate control of a vehicle).

36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

Electric Bikes:

The term “electric bicycle” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of not more than 750 watts that meets the requirements of one of the following three classes:

      • “Class 1 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
      • “Class 2 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
      • “Class 3 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

All three (3) classes of electric bikes are allowed in Voyageurs National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed, this includes the Rainy Lake Recreation Trail, County 96 Road (Rainy Lake Visitor Center Road), and the Meadwood Road (Ash River Visitor Center Road). Electric bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor exclusively to move an electric bicycle for an extended period of time without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an electric bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h) (2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an electric bike within Voyageurs National Park is governed by Minnesota State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

(Electric bikes are a relatively new technology that advance Healthy Parks Healthy People goals to promote parks as a health resource by supporting a healthy park experience that is accessible, desirable, and relatable to people of all abilities, and by minimizing human impact through the expansion of active transportation options in parks. Specifically, electric bikes can increase bicycle access to and within parks, expand the option of bicycling to more people, and mitigate environmental impacts through reduced carbon emissions. The superintendent has determined that expanding access of electric bikes, per the definitions and restrictions above, to areas in the park where bicycles are already allowed does not pose additional safety or resource protection concerns).

V. Part 7: Special Regulations in Areas of the National Park System

36 CFR §7.33 - Voyageurs National Park

(a) Fishing. Unless otherwise designated, fishing in a manner authorized under applicable State law is allowed.
(b) Snowmobiles.

(1) The following lakes and trails within Voyageurs National Park are open to snowmobile use:

(i) The frozen waters of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Mukooda, Little Trout and Sand Point Lakes.

(ii) The Moose River Railroad Grade from the park boundary north to Ash River, and then east to Moose Bay, Namakan Lake.

(iii) The portage trail between Grassy Bay and Little Trout Lake.

(iv) The Chain of Lakes Trail from its intersection with the Black Bay to Moose Bay portage, across Locator, War Club, Quill, Loiten, and Shoepack Lakes, to Kabetogama Lake.

(2) Snowmobile use is allowed across the following marked safety portages: Black Bay to Moose Bay, Lost Bay to Saginaw Bay, Laurins Bay to Kettle Falls, Squirrel Narrows, Squaw Narrows, Grassy Bay, Namakan Narrows, Swansons Bay, Mukooda Lake to Sand Point Lake (north), Mukooda Lake to Sand Point Lake (south), Mukooda Lake to Crane Lake, Tar Point, Kohler Bay, and Sullivan Bay to Kabetogama Lake.

(3) The Superintendent may determine yearly opening and closing dates for snowmobile use, and temporarily close trails or lake surfaces, taking into consideration public safety, wildlife management, weather, and park management objectives.

(4) Maps showing the designated routes are available at park headquarters and at ranger stations.

(5) Snowmobile use outside open designated routes and lake surfaces is prohibited.

(c) Aircraft.

(1) Aircraft may be operated on the entire water surface and frozen lake surface of the following lakes, except as restricted in paragraph (c)(4) of this section and § 2.17 of this chapter: Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Locator, War Club, Quill, Loiten, Shoepack, Little Trout and Mukooda.

(2) Approaches, landings and take-offs shall not be made within 500 feet of any developed facility, boat dock, float, pier, ramp or beach.

(3) Aircraft may taxi to and from a dock or ramp designated for their use for the purpose of mooring and must be operated with due care and regard for persons and property and in accordance with any posted signs or waterway markers.

(4) Areas within the designated lakes may be closed to aircraft use by the Superintendent taking into consideration public safety, wildlife management, weather and park management objectives.


In accordance with National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Voyageurs National Park may use Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.

The NPS’s use of CCTV for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist activity; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities, revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers.

Operation of CCTV cameras will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy. No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views.

Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.



Appendix A

Public Assembly Areas

Aerial map of a portion of Voyageurs National Park.
Designated 1st amendment sites at Voyageurs National Park.
Aerial satellite map of portion of Voyageurs National Park
Designated 1st amendment sites at Voyageurs National Park.
Aerial satellite photo of a portion of Voyageurs National Park.
Designated 1st amendment sites at Voyageurs National Park.

Last updated: July 12, 2024

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360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649



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