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Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Set along the border lakes between Minnesota and Canada, the Voyageurs National Park is one of the few parks in the national park system which is oriented almost entirely to water. To see it properly, or indeed to grasp its immense beauty at all, you need to leave your car behind and venture into the wild by boat. Once out on the lakes, you will begin to understand the great, silent world that this park really is.
The park has varied wildlife. Kingfishers, osprey and eagles swoop down for their share of the abundant walleye. Moose and bear wander along the banks. The lakes also feature northern pike, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and lake trout. Sunrise and sunset in this magnificent place have inspired poets and photographers alike.
You can't do justice to Voyageurs on a day trip. Daily cruises from Rainy Lake visitor center, ten miles east of International Falls, do at least allow a peek at the lake country. However, if you're here for a few more days, rent a boat and camp out. The best way to experience the park is to camp out on one of its many scattered islands, most plentiful around Crane Lake. However, if you're not the adventurous kind, there are many resorts in and around Kabetogama.
Do remember that it's easy to get lost in this maze of islands and rocky outcrops, and unseen dangers lurk beneath the surface. If you're unsure, hire a guide for the first day. Check mercury levels in the fish before eating them, boil drinking water, and watch out for bears.