Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

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Voyageurs National Park is located in Northern Minnesota on the Canadian border. The large network of lakes and boreal forests create a remote and ecologically diverse park. The park name commemorates the French-Canadian fur traders, called “voyageurs” who were the first European settlers in the region, but the region has been occupied for 10,000 years including the Cree, Monsoni, and Assinoboine tribes. Later in the 18th century, the Ojibwe people lived in the area.

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We drove around the park to both the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and the Ash River Visitor Center. We stopped for a drizzly hike to the Voyageurs Forest Overlook. It had been intermittently raining all day, but the rain was still light enough for a short hike. Not even a mile into our loop trail, we heard a loud noise that sounded like a car door slamming. We assumed we were closer to the trailhead than we realized and it was another hiker who had just arrived. About a minute later, we heard the sound again as a large tree cracked and crashed down on the trail not 5 feet in front of us. As the wind picked up, more trees creaked and groaned as we ran back to the car. It was absolutely terrifying!

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Because we plan on returning to the area for a canoe camping trip at the Boundary Waters, we opted to not pursue any water activities at the park this time. We are excited for a chance to canoe the chilly waters in the future and get an even closer view of the forests.

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