Worst BWCAW Reviews – The Wilderness is NOT for Everyone

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 as an ill-advised nightmare. For this piece, we've scoured the internet for the top 10 bad reviews of the BW. Just as there's an odd person out who doesn't appreciate the grand views of Yosemite or can't come to grips with the social schedules of Yellowstone Bison, some folks just weren't cut out for the Boundary Waters Wilderness Experience I suppose.

Here it's good to note that these are not meant to offend; we don't believe in calling out individual people or outfitters for the experiences that were had. It's all in good-natured fun. With that note, here are the top 10:

review 1

"The lakes were frozen. Seems like a money grab."

review 2

"WHY?!!!! Would anyone deliberately go here and exhaust yourself canoeing only to set up camp and deal with bugs and rodents. Discovery Channel is cheaper and comes with a couch"

review 3

"Too much paddling.  Too much portaging.  Too many bugs.  No fish were caught.  Dogs were miserable.  Do not recommend."

review 6

"We had a 260 rod portage with two large downed trees directly across the steep path, which was incredibly overgrown to begin with. The wood planks that were used had rotted away in other areas of the same portage. Not what I expect when carrying the pack and canoe. Ridiculously unsafe in a remote area."

review 4

"They really need to do something about the mosquitoes"

review 5

"We encountered a beaver dam across the river in a dangerous place that we had to line the (kevlar) Canoe over. As much as I like to see nature untouched, something needs to be done about that before someone gets hurt. And there’s a landing on the Northside of one of the portages that’s nothing but ankle breaking rocks and mud that’ll suck your boots off. Again, more dangerous than it should be."

review 7

"The winds were high that day. Made fishing difficult."

review 8

"Mosquitoes were horrendous. Make sure you have a head to toe airtight system, with no gaps, not even one square millimeter, or they will get in, and ruin your experience."

review 9

"boring the only thing there is trees and rocks."

review 10

"Little management leaves lots of dead trees."

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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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