Map Mondays – Week 11 – Morgan to Lake One

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Map Mondays – Week 7 – Larch Creek to Brule Lake

By Riley Smith | August 21, 2023

As part of our continuing series on the “route planning game,” we are creating routes using randomly selected entry points, exit points, and number of days to create unique and fun BWCA routes. Let’s check it out! Total Mileage: 52.5 milesNights: 6Paddle Distance: 42.8 milesPortage Distance: 9.7 miles Day 1: Miles: 13.6Target Campsite: Saganaga Lake,…

Three Generations of BWCAW Rules Videos – Side by Side

By Riley Smith | December 13, 2023

It’s as ubiquitous of an experience as one can find tied to a canoe trip into the Boundary Waters, and the memories of it are deeply rooted in my childhood as they are for many who make the annual pilgrimage north to paddle the border waters of canoe country. Even now, I can close my…

How to Plan a BWCA Route: The Treebear Way

By Riley Smith | July 12, 2022

Amidst guiding, outfitting, and plenty of personal trips in between, I’m blessed to have “crossed the line” into the BWCA 88 different times. I look back at all those incredible memories and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Boundary Waters still has plenty of surprises in store and so many more breathtaking moments to come. I also believe I…

Is it Possible to Circumnavigate Minnesota by Canoe?

By Riley Smith | April 20, 2023

Preface: This route plan should not be utilized without extensive personal research. I have not completed this route nor do I specifically intend to. It exists for entertainment purposes only. As with all adventures, do your due diligence and research in vetting any part of this article before attempting a dangerous or challenging activity. With…

2022 Border Challenges

By Riley Smith | September 2, 2022

  Everywhere one walks and paddles in the BWCA there is a unique connection with the past. Every lake, every portage is filled with stories of legendary figures and lives lived. And through those stories come the marvelous tales of adventure and achievement born of adversity and hardship amidst the beauty. This coming week, a…

Worst BWCAW Reviews – The Wilderness is NOT for Everyone

By Riley Smith | May 17, 2024

This time of the year, the itch for that perfect summer canoe trip begins to intensify as permits are pulled, routes are planned, gear is cleaned, and the days begin to lengthen! It’s also time to remember that for every person who lives and breathes their wilderness trips, there is another who writes theirs off…

How to Hike the BWCA this Fall

By Riley Smith | October 19, 2022

For those of us whose Boundary Waters trips don’t end with canoe season, Fall can be a challenging time to decide what activities to pursue. As the ice begins to line the outer edges of the lakes and canoeing becomes tougher, it’s just the perfect time of the year to hit the trails and backpack…

Map Mondays – Week 9 – Trout to Moose River South

By Riley Smith | August 30, 2023

As part of our continuing series on the “route planning game,” we are creating routes using randomly selected entry points, exit points, and number of days to create unique and fun BWCA routes. This route highlights a route across the rugged western section of the BWCA. Check it out: Total Mileage: 35.2 milesNights: 5Paddle Distance:…

Wildlife in Wildlands – A History of BWCA Wildlife

By Riley Smith | February 28, 2023

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest, and Voyageurs National Park make up the largest wild landscape in Minnesota as well as being one of the largest wild spaces east of the Mississippi in the US. Combine that with wildlands directly across the border in Quetico Provincial Park and the surrounding crownlands, and…

The Lost BWCA Entry Points

By Riley Smith | November 4, 2022

The Boundary Waters have always been steeped in discussions of how to manage the number of people who visit it. Unlike western wildernesses, there is no natural filter which prevents large numbers of visitors from enjoying it. Many wilderness areas are remote, buffered by dozens of miles of existing land that one must travel through…

Author Bio:

Riley Smith

Riley is the Director of Community Engagement and Public Relations for Portage North and Sundog Sport. He comes from a background in wilderness programing and environmental education with four years of BWCA outfitting and guiding before taking this role. In his free time, he can be found out canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, capturing photography, and writing.

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