Nature & Science

Voyageurs is a mosaic of land and water.

Nature Quick Links

Otters bask in the sun on the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center dock

Iconic North Woods animals such as moose, gray wolves, black bear, and beaver inhabit the forests and wetlands year round. Bald eagles, loons, double-crested cormorants, owls, and warblers are common residents of the park's forests, waters, and skies.

Within Voyageurs, boreal tree species from the north such as spruce, fir, aspen, and paper birch coexist with pines, oaks, maples, and basswood from the south and east. It is a place where wildflowers are abundant. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are plentiful (and delicious). It is a place where human and plant interactions have defined the history of the region.
Natural Features and Ecosystems
When we think of the changes that have occurred in what is now Voyageurs National Park over time, natural features that define it take on a kaleidoscopic quality--as glaciers, lakes and forests advance, retreat, change, disappear, and return again and again over time.

Night Skies
The night sky is filled with wonder. From the moon to Mars, the Milky Way to meteors, when you look to the sky, a whole new world awaits. Half the park comes out after dark.
A park biologist looking inside a birdhouse
A park biologist uses a mirror to view Tree Swallow eggs in a nest box.


Water is the life blood of Voyageurs. Forty percent of the park are the waters of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes. These waters were the transportation corridors for the park's namesake, the voyageurs, and they are the basis for recreation in the park today. These waters are home to walleye, northern pike, lake trout, and sturgeon. Unfortunately, they are also home to some unwanted non-native species such as spiny water flea. Although these waters are all natural lakes, the water levels of the largest lakes (Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point) are regulated by dams within and outside the park. The effects of these water level regulations on the ecology of Voyageurs have been the subject of considerable research in recent decades.

Voyageurs research programs range from inventory & monitoring to air quality to animal and plant studies. The park is always looking for better ways to manage the lakes, forests, wildlife, viewsheds, soundscapes, and the many other components that make up the park.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649


(218) 283-6600

Contact Us