Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
Canoe the Wild North Woods
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a million-acre swath of forest and glacial lakes along the Canada border, is one of the U.S.’s most pristine backcountries. These days, it’s also one of the most threatened: In September 2018, the Trump administration unilaterally canceled an environmental- impact study on a proposed copper-nickel mine just outside the BWCAW and moved ahead with the permitting process for the project. Environmentalists have good reason to worry that the mine could leach chemicals into the BWCAW’s thousand-plus interconnected lakes.
Go Now: Snag an entry permit for Snowbank Lake, outside the town of Ely. Only nine permits are issued per day, meaning no crowds. —Ryan KroghBack to top