Voyageurs – Minnesota

Kayaking Kabetogama Lake | Ash River | Locator Lake trail

Date of Visit: July 21-24, 2016

How we got there: Drove from Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, about 4 hours.

Lodging: Arrowhead Lodge. One of our favorite places we’ve ever stayed.


  • Kettle Falls Cruise – Ranger-guided cruise crosses Kabetogama Lake and spends 2 hours on land for dinner or lunch at Kettle Falls Inn. Visits the Kettle Falls Dam on the Canadian border. Lots of wildlife viewing.
  • Locator Lakes Trail and Canoe – Call the Kabetogama Visitor Center to book a canoe. The canoes are stashed at the end of the Locator Lakes Trail. The ranger will give you a key to unlock the canoe when you arrive there. Transportation across Kabetogama Lake must be arranged separately. (see below)
  • Kayaking across Lake Kabetogama – Getting to the Locator Lakes Canoe area requires crossing Lake Kabetogama. You can either arrange a shuttle, take your own boat or kayak 3 miles across the lake to reach the trailhead.
  • Motor Boating – We rented a small motor boat from Arrowhead Lodge and took off across the lake to the Ash River Visitor Center. Be sure to purchase a good lake map and get some guidance from a local before heading out, but it’s a really fun way to experience the park.
  • Ellsworth Rock Gardens – An eccentric Chicagoan with a summer home on Kabetogama Lake before the NPS days spent years building terraced flower gardens on his property. Accessible only by boat, this is a unique piece of local history surrounded by nature.

Tips: Bring bug repellent. Plan on visiting for a few days to really experience the variety of activities available in the park.

Next time: Visit Rainy Lake area. Hike Cruiser Lakes Trail. Join the North Canoe paddle tour.