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Boundary Waters West - National Geographic Map
Boundary Waters West - National Geographic MapAsk us a question
The water-rich Superior National Forest includes more than 2,000 lakes and rivers that offer a chance to canoe, boat, fish and camp where early Native Americans, voyagers, missionaries, loggers and explorers once traveled. About a third of the Forest lies within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Visitors to the BWCAW will find a sense of solitude and primitive recreation; permits are required and special regulations apply.
The Boundary Waters was recognized for recreational opportunities in 1926, named the Superior Roadless Area in 1938, the BWCA in 1958, and federally designated under The Wilderness Act in 1964. It wasn’t until October 21, 1978, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act was established to provide specific guidance for managing the million plus acres of the Superior National Forest.
The BWCAW has changed little since the glaciers melted. With over 1,500 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams waiting, the BWCAW draws over 250,000 visitors each year. As part of the Superior National Forest, the BWCAW is managed by the US Forest Service.
Coverage Highlights: Hiking trails, portages, cross-country, snowmobile and snowshoe trails, trail access locations, campgrounds and tent sites, birding, fishing, kayak, canoeing and power boating opportunities; Ash River, Crane Lake, Kabetogama and Rainy Lake Visitor Centers; Park Attractions: Gull Island Rookery, Grassy Bay Cliffs, Anderson Bay, Kettle Falls, Hoist Bay, Gold Portage.