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INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN - In the summer of 2022, Voyageurs National Park will have a new tour boat - Ne-zho-dain (pronounced Knee-Zho-Dan) - based at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center to serve park visitors. Park Superintendent Bob DeGross is pleased to announce the park received funding to build a 32-passenger tour boat for excursions to Kettle Falls, Ellsworth Rock Garden, and to explore the waters of Kabetogama and the Namakan Narrows. The funding for the boat comes from the 2020 Federal Lands Highway Category III - Alternative Transportation Program.
The vessel name was selected from a park staff contest held in 2021. "The name translates to 'Twin' or 'Two Hearts' and is named after Chief Ne-zho-dain from the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, an important leader who resided in Kabetogama and was reported to be the last known Ojibwe survivor of the famous Battle with the Cut Foot Sioux in his 1908 obituary in the Border Budget.”
An open house for the public is being planned for June 2022 and tours will start in mid-June 2022.
The Ne-zho-dain vessel will allow the park to restore consistent tour boat and charter services on Kabetogama Lake and will accommodate full class-size school groups for field trips, be used for charter events that highlight the park’s significance, accommodate requests for special tour/shuttles in support of community events, and is planned for ranger-led tours.
DeGross believes the new vessel can certainly serve as the new passenger flagship for Kabetogama Lake and the park. The 42-foot-long Catamaran style tour boat will be an all-weather, fully accessible passenger tour boat. Visitors can view the park’s wildlife, geology, and scenery from an enclosed cabin or open-air side and back walking areas. A hydraulic steering system and outboards with counter rotation will be installed for better vessel handling and assisting with docking in high wind conditions. The vessel was built by ACI boats based out of Washington state and delivery will be in the spring of 2022.
Last updated: February 16, 2022