Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park open for overnight camping Monday

Campfires now allowed across Superior and Chippewa national forests.

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Both Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will reopen to overnight camping starting Monday under Minnesota's gradually relaxing COVI-19 restrictions. File / News Tribune

Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will reopen to overnight camping starting Monday following the state’s gradual relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Both the park and the BWCAW have essentially been closed to overnight camping since April, but will now be open to the public under the usual reservation and permit systems.

Meanwhile, Superior National Forest officials also announced they will allow overnight camping at individual dispersed campsites throughout the forest starting Monday and that the campfire ban has been immediately lifted for the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. Visitors are now permitted to have campfires, use charcoal grills and wood-burning camp stoves in both forests.

Formal, multi-site campgrounds on both forests remain closed under state COVID-19 guidelines as do all other campgrounds statewide, except those that serve as permanent residences.

Voyageurs National Park will allow overnight use for camping and houseboats, but reservations are required. The park said its Rainy Lake Visitors Center is expected to open May 30 with reduced hours, with Kabetogama and Ash River centers set to open June 30. For more information, go to .


With few or no visitor facilities open, guests must print permits on their own.

For information on BWCAW permits go to . For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information on reopenings, visit .

“We are happy to be fully allowing visitors into the BWCAW,” Connie Cummins, Superior National Forest supervisor, said in a statement. “We ask that visitors please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing wherever they choose to visit.”

Visitors to the BWCAW should note that Quetico Provincial Park is still closed in Ontario and that all general travel access to Canada at any point is closed until further notice, including by car, canoe or boat.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at
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