Trip planning takes priority as summer season approaches

Boundary Waters canoeing. (Photo by Robert Engberg via Flickr)

As the sun swings back north, thoughts turn to this year’s trips to the Boundary Waters. There are several opportunities in the weeks ahead to gather with other wilderness lovers, learn from experts, and talk about routes, gear, and everything else that goes into a successful adventure.

In addition to these events, the Superior National Forest’s BWCAW Trip Planning Guide offers official information on how to have a safe and fun trip. It covers permits, Leave No Trace, wilderness rules and regulations, safety, and much more. Click here to download (PDF).

2020 BWCA Wilderness Trails Backpacking Kickoff

March 7, 2020 12:00 PM to 2:45 PM
YMCA Day Camp Sacajawea
5121 McAndrews Rd Apple Valley, MN

Many beautiful and remote campsites await the wilderness hiker in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The Friends of BWCA Trails is a group devoted to hiking/backpacking in the BWCAW. This kickoff event will inspire you to travel the BW by foot, carrying on your back what you need to be safe and comfortable while experiencing the intimate setting of a forest path.

Details and registration »


March 13-15
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Several nonprofits, wilderness resorts, and youth camps will be present at this gathering of paddlers from around the Midwest. There is a full schedule of programs and presentations, including BWCAW trip planning basics.

Getting Started Planning a BWCA Canoe Trip
Is this the summer you will make the decision to canoe the BWCA? Whether you are a first-timer or seasoned traveler, join Kathy, an experienced BWCA outfitter, as she guides you through the planning process with tips & techniques for a successful canoe trip. Learn key points for reserving a permit, what route to take, when is the “best” time to travel the BWCA, what to include, and what not to pack, and much more!

Adventure Forward: Women in the BWCA
Discover wonderful opportunities in the BWCA designed to empower women to explore their strength and joy in the outdoors. Learn about some great routes through the BWCA, as well as tips and tricks that help women succeed on wilderness trips. Get pointers about transporting canoes, portaging gear, staying safe, and choosing quality food. Discover what clothing works best to stay dry, warm, and comfortable.

More information and full schedule »

REI Boundary Waters Trip Planning Basics

Mar 10, April 1, 9, 28, 30, and June 26
REI Bloomington, Roseville, and Maple Grove, MN, and Southlake, TX

Join REI’s Boundary Waters experts for this information packed class on planning and preparing your own Boundary Waters adventure with trip-tested ideas and suggestions. We will cover an overview of the BWCAW, trip planning, information on permits, equipment, packing, portaging, food and more! The program will be especially helpful for the first time Boundary Waters traveler.

More information and registration »

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