One of six national parks in Minnesota, Voyageurs is a landscape carved by ancient earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers and the water from melted glaciers. Four large lakes and 26 interior lakes cover 40 percent of the 218,000-acre national park. A vacation in Voyageurs should surely include some time on the water, but don’t neglect the 27 miles of trails, roughly 500 islands and 655 miles of shoreline within its boundaries.
The park’s name comes from the French word for ‘traveler,’ the term applied to the 18th- and 19th-century French-Canadians who transported furs, primarily by canoe, for the fur trade.
Visitors plying the waters of Voyageurs, say the folks at the National Park Service, will encounter vistas similar to those seen by voyageurs in the 1700s: “majestic white and red pine interspersed with spruce, fir, aspen, birch, jack pine, and red maple. Disembarking on a rocky shoreline, one can find the same delicious blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and hazelnuts that sustained the voyageurs on their journeys as well as the bearberry they smoked in their pipes and the birch bark they used to patch their canoes.”
It’s been said that half of the park comes out after dark. Millions of stars shine in the night sky, and in northern Minnesota, the greens, yellows and reds of the aurora borealis are likely to pay you a visit.