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BWCA Canoeing Trips

Boundary Waters Canoeing Trips are the perfect family getaway. Families have been coming to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) for nearly a century enjoying some of the best canoeing in the most beautiful place in the world. The Canoe is king here.

The Quetico-Superior was made for the canoe.  The terrain has been crafted by the ice age sculptor.  With over 2,000 interconnected lakes the possibilities for wilderness canoe travel are endless.    When the Boundary Waters Canoe Area was added to the Federal Wilderness Preservation System, it was widely perceived as a fisherman’s paradise.  The area was known for its legendary smallmouth and walleye populations.  As the knowledge of this incredible area spread, the canoe wilderness has become known for much more than fishing.
To many it is the chance to turn back the hands of time and see the canoe country just as the Native Americans and the earliest Voyageurs.  It is the opportunity to experience true solitude, and to explore your natural surroundings at a relaxed pace from the seat of a canoe.  There are no prescribed “Hours of Operation.”  No schedule to keep.  This is wilderness camping and paddling the way it was done 100 years ago (with a few modern conveniences added).

The Canoe Country must be taken seriously.  Many Canoeists have had the opportunity to experience nature in all her fury.  The Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared is very appropriate in Canoe Country.  It is also up to each canoeist to do their best to protect this canoe wilderness for our progenitors and bring only the highest outdoor ethics to this great wilderness.


Whether you desire to canoe 3 miles or 300, we can accommodate you.  Many  of our guests will pack up every morning and canoe on to the next site paddling and portaging from one lake to the next.  For these trips, the fun is in the travel.  They love to canoe in new country and experience some of the magnificent natural wonders that abound in the wilderness area.  They realize that they have to break camp and move their equipment and canoes to the next campsite and set up camp again.  We have all the right gear and equipment to facilitate these trips.  Lightweight Kevlar canoes, filling and tasty trail food and durable, compact camping gear are needed for this type of canoe trip.


One of the greatest challenges an outfitter in Canoe Country faces is trying to convince their visitors that often times, more is just more, not necessarily better. Meaning, you don’t have to canoe a long distance to have a wonderful experience in the Boundary Waters.  Many of our guests will go into the woods, canoe  a couple of lakes, do a couple portages, find a great campsite, and park there.  This allows them to establish a comfortable camp and maximize their time relaxing not just canoeing.  If you are a fisherman, this also allows you to spend a whole lot more time fishing.  You never have to worry about finding a vacant campsite, having dry firewood, or getting the tent set up before dark.  This type of canoe trip is perfect for families with young kids, seniors that don’t have Sherpas, and fisherman that actually want to catch fish.


Many new visitors are not exactly sure what an “Outfitter” can do for them.   We live in a “do it yourself” age, and no one wants to pay for things they don’t need, or feel like they have been taken advantage of.  So let’s talk for just a moment about what it is that a canoe outfitter can help you with.

First, they will help you come up with a plan for your canoe trip.  This is THE key to a great canoe trip.  In a 2 million acre wilderness area with 2,000+ lakes, it really helps to have someone that can tell you about different canoe routes and conditions, as well as help direct you to areas where you are most likely to satisfy your expectations.

Second, they will help secure your entry permits for you and facilitate all the paperwork requirements, e.g. Remote Area Border Crossing documents, fishing licenses, etc.  True you can obtain these on your own, but often times there are glitches in the various systems and bureaucracies and we are experienced at helping resolve these sticky issues.

Third, we have the right canoes for canoe country, and importantly, these canoes are equipped the right way, with appropriate canoe seats and portage yokes.  You do NOT want to be out in woods and have your canoe fall apart.  NOT GOOD!

Fourth, we have a complete array of gear and equipment for your camping trip.  We have the best in tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, packs, tarps, cooking gear, stoves and basically anything else you need to go camping in a very unforgiving wilderness area.

Fifth, we can provide all your food for the canoe trip.  We have the best menu of trail food available. It includes fresh food such as steaks,  bacon, and eggs.  It also has a wide variety of some of the best freeze-dried food available.  You simply fill out a menu, submit it online and the food is packed and ready for you when you get here.

Sixth, we serve as a great base of operations for your canoe trip. We can provide first and last night lodging in our bunkhouse, dinner and breakfast in our dining room, transportation to and from your canoe entry points.

Finally, we are your safety net.  Our most serious responsibility is to make sure our guests are armed  with all the information they need to complete a safe and fun canoe trip.  We have a parking lot where you can leave your vehicle.  We coordinate any messages that come from folks back home. Should there be any problems in the woods, we are here to make sure all the help you need gets to you.

PO Box 358 Ely, MN 55731
(800) 322-5837

Canoe Trip Specialists
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness / Quetico Park Outfitter
Williams and Hall Wilderness Guides and Outfitters
Located on Moose Lake in Ely, Minnesota

© 2011 Williams & Hall