Participate in the Old North Canoe Program in Voyageurs National Park

Rate this Adventure Minnesota Ash River Visitor Center

Added by Jess Curren

Paddle back in history aboard a 26-foot North Canoe. Learn the voyageur paddle salute and explore the life of a voyageur.

Visiting Voyageurs National Park was the highlight of our summer last year. Full of history, beautiful scenery, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, this park is a gem! Although its difficult to get to, the drive up to northern Minnesota is definitely worth it.

We camped at the Wooden Frog Campground and drove the short distance into the Kabetogama Visitor Center our first drizzly morning to get our Jr. Ranger Books. We were a little surprised to see rangers dressed in period clothing come out of the backroom, loaded down with their packs and start talking in French accented English. I was fascinated and we hung around long enough to enjoy the ranger program and learn a few things about the Voyageurs and their history.

The kids and I loved it so much, we opted to drive (with Sam this time) 45 minutes down to the Ash River Visitor Center the next day to participate there the following morning (the program is not at all visitor centers every day). As a participant in the North Canoe program, you are a prospective Voyageur and are given a rundown of your responsibilities, attire, and on a good weather day – you pile into the canoe with 10 other people and actually paddle. Unfortunately, it was still too stormy to paddle, but the programs were different enough that although we did it twice it was still a lot of fun.

Minimum age is 5, paddling required, and weather dependent. Reservations recommended. Call (218) 875-2111. Free.

Pack List

  • Sense of adventure & fun
  • Shoes you can get wet
  • Jacket
  • camera
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Chillin, Photography, Volunteering

Skill Level:





Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Added by Jess Curren

Outdoor adventure loving mom of 3 amazing kids and wife to the best husband a girl could ask for. We sold everything in 2013 to travel the United States in our Airstream travel trailer. We bike, hike, backpack, and love to explore new places as a family.

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