In addition to great fishing, Voyageurs National Park offers a wide variety of opportunities for visitors.

The Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center is located on Gappa Rd. about 6 miles from Voyageur Park Lodge. The Ash River Visitor Center in the historic Meadwood Lodge is about 23 miles away. Both are open late May to late September, offer interesting interpretive presentations, bookstores and more. The Park offers both Summer/Fall tours and programs, as well as several Winter events

  • Kettle Falls Boat Tours
  • Ellsworth Rock Garden Boat Tours
  • Guided Canoe Trips
  • Hiking trails & scenic overlooks
  • Evening Naturalist Campfire Programs
  • These programs begin around June 20th and continue through the end of August. We have printed information in your cottage and in the Lodge to help you plan your activities.

Ellsworth Rock Garden

One third of a century ago, about a decade after the giant logging company, Virginia & Rainy Lake had withdrawn from logging there, a quiet Chicago cabinet manufacturer named Jack Ellsworth began with lever and sledge hammer and green thumb to rearrange the site of the V & RL camp on the north shore of Lake Kabetogama just west of Clyde Creek.

From the spring break-up to fall freeze-up each year for nearly 20 years, Mr. Ellsworth labored terracing, planting and sculpting – all by hand! – until the bleak campsite was transformed into one of the wonders of the boundary waters, a rock garden rising 65 feet from the shoreline to the pines, its walls topped with white quartz, its beds packed with flowers. Approximately 62 terraced flower beds were constructed on the granite outcrop that were filled with more than 13,000 lilies of four different varieties at the peak of the garden’s bloom.  The Ellsworth Gardens are restored and maintained as an example of what one man can do with “leverage, just leverage,” as Mr. Ellsworth explained to the visiting Jake Hastay during a visit to the gardens in 1965. (Excerpt from a newspaper article printed October 17, 1976)

The Ellsworth Rock Gardens are on the north shore of Lake Kabetogama and are only accessible by boat. There is ample dock space for private boats, you can charter a water taxi for a visit, or reserve a spot on one f the Park’s tours to the gardens. They are worth a visit, and a great place to enjoy lunch.

Hiking Trails

There are a number of hiking trails within Voyageurs National Park. Some are accessible from one of the 3 visitor centers, while others have trailheads only accessible by water. Note that most trails within the park do not allow pets. Here are some of our favorites in the Kabetogama / Ash River area:

The closest to Voyageur Park Lodge, this 2-1/2 mile trail is great for bird watching as it winds around the hills and wetlands surrounding Echo Bay. There is a nice parking area for your car. In winter the trail system is groomed for cross-country skiing.

The Locator Lake Trail is 2-mile (one way) trail is only accessible by water. Take your boat, or connect with a local outfitter or water taxi for the ride across Lake Kabetogama to the trailhead dock near Mallard Point. The interpretive trail goes up and down some steep terrain to Locator Lake.  You can make a reservation to for one of the day-use canoes on Locator Lake, reserve a campsite there ore on one of the other lakes accessible from Locator Lake.  We can supply a trail booklet that describes each of 10 stops along the trail.

There are several trails from the Ash River Visitor Center, accessible by car or boat. The 2.9 mile Blind Ash Bay Trail begins in the parking lot at the Ash River Visitor Center and continues west along Lake Kabetogama into Blind Ash Bay and loops back to the Visitor Center. The Beaver Pond Overlook Trail is a short but moderate 0.4 mile trail to a rocky outcrop where you can enjoy views of the pond, birds and occasionally large wildlife.  The Sullivan Bay Trail is an easy 1.5 mile round trip from the Visitor Center road. The Ash River Visitor Center is about 21 miles from the resort. By car, travel south on US Hwy 53 about 3 miles to Ash River Trail (Co Hwy 129), then to Meadwood Road about 9 miles from Hwy 53 on the left. By boat you can reach the Ash River Visitor Center in about 20 minutes. The Park has convenience docks you can use while you are there.

This strenuous 4-mile (one way) trail winds from the trailhead in Lost Bay on Lake Kabetogama past Agnes Lake to Cruiser Lake. Or continue on the full 8 miles to Anderson Bay on Rainy Lake. Most people hike in to Agnes Lake for a day trip. The Cruiser Lake Trail is only accessible by water after an approximate 45 minute boat ride.

The Backcountry Camping and Canoe Rental page includes a great overview map of the trail location.

This is a half mile interpretative trail that is partially paved and partially handicap accessible. The Visitor Center also has interesting displays for your information. The Visitor Center is located East on Highway 11 about 10 miles from downtown International Falls. You can avoid going through International Falls by using Highway 332 (exits right from US Highway 53 approximately 2 miles this side of International Falls) to reach Highway 11, then turn right. International Falls is approximately 30 miles from here.  There are more Voyageurs National Park Trails available from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and in the Crane Lake area as well. 

Visit Voyageurs National Park website. 
National Geographic Outdoor Recreation Map West PDF
National Geographic Outdoor Recreation Map East PDF

Voyageurs National Park Gallery