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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218 283 6670
International Falls, MN: Beginning at 9 am CST on April 15, visitors can start reserving their seats aboard Voyageurs National Park’s Voyageur tour boat on Rainy Lake, or the new Ne-Zho-Dain tour boat on Kabetogama, at rates recently approved by the National Park Service.
During the summer of 2021, the National Park Service completed a Civic Engagement process to determine if changes to recreation fee and transportation rates are warranted for park amenities. Public comments were gathered from June 28 to July 25 of 2021, during which a public meeting, a Facebook live presentation, and online resources were offered as opportunities to provide feedback. After evaluating the responses submitted, park and regional officials determined that the majority of the public supports the proposed changes.
“Throughout the civic engagement period, it was encouraging to read supportive feedback from park users who value the work that is done with transportation fee dollars,” Superintendent Bob DeGross expressed.
Voyageurs National Park’s alternative transportation program is crucial for providing meaningful visitor experiences in this unique water-based park where much of the rich natural and cultural resources can only be viewed beyond where roads end. For visitors without a vessel, boat tours offer a way to experience the scenic and expansive waterways, abundant wildlife, ancient geologic formations, and remote visitor destination sites that are dedicated to sharing the park’s history and significance.
Fee revenue brought in from the transportation program allows the boat tours to be self-sustaining, covering costs for fuel, maintenance, and approximately 85% of the seasonal staff that conduct tours. This includes boat captains and deckhands to safely transport visitors, and knowledgeable interpretive rangers to provide engaging discussions.
The expanded tour options for the 2022 summer season will be posted on recreation.gov by April 15, 2022, and are scheduled to run from June 12 through August 31, with a modified fall tour schedule running from September 1 through September 24.
The new fee structure is as follows and includes a $1 reservation service fee per ticket. A discount of 50% is honored for Interagency Senior and Access Pass card holders only when used at the time of making an on-line reservation. Passes are not available on-site.
|Tour Name||Park District||Adult
(17 and up)
(Up to 3)
|Little American Island Tour||Rainy||$40||$20||$5|
|Kettle Falls Cruise||Rainy||$85||$42.50||$5|
|Kettle Falls Day or Evening Cruise||Namakan||$60||$30||$5|
|Ellsworth Rock Gardens||Namakan||$40||$20||$5|
Tours aboard the Voyageur, departing from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center:
· Grand Tour (2.5 hrs) – Discover the wonders and beauty of Voyageurs National Park. The captain will navigate Rainy Lake in search of abandoned gold mines, abundant wildlife, and a historic commercial fish camp. This tour also stops at Little American Island.
· Little American Island Tour (2 hrs) – This tour takes you to Little American Island where you may depart from the tour boat with a park ranger to catch glimpses of the area's mining past on a ¼-mile accessible walk.
· Kettle Falls Cruise (6.5 hrs) – Voyage to the Historic Kettle Falls Hotel. This tour takes you on a cultural and natural history tour of the park. Spend 2.5 hours aboard the Voyageur getting to the hotel. Once at the hotel, spend 2 hours on land, dining and touring the site and nearby dam. Finally, enjoy a 2-hour cruise on your return route.
Tours aboard the Ne-Zho-Dain, departing from the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center:
· Ellsworth Rock Gardens (1.5 hrs) – Cruise across Kabetogama Lake to the Ellsworth Rock Gardens. At the gardens, join a ranger-led ¼-mile tour of the unique rock sculptures, dry-stacked flower bed terraces, building remnants, and winding paths. Partially accessible.
· Kettle Falls Cruise (5.5 hrs) –Voyage to the Historic Kettle Falls Hotel. This tour takes you on a cultural and natural history tour of the park. Spend 2 hours aboard the Ne-Zho-Dain tour boat getting to the hotel. Upon arrival, spend 2 hours on land, dining and touring the site and nearby dam. Finally, enjoy a 1.5-hour cruise on your return route.
Park staff encourage visitors to make reservations as soon as they know their plans. Visitors may make reservations by going to the Voyageurs National Park Tours page at recreation.gov or by contacting the National Call Center at (877) 444-6777.
Last updated: April 11, 2022