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Boundary Waters BLOG

Greening July 2017 trip

Lynn/John -


I just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful trip with my son and grandson!   You all made everything easy and the equipment top-notch.   Thanks to Grant for driving us out and picking us up.  I will tell all my friends about your shop and we will use you again!

Thanks again,

Dennis, Wade and little Jack GreeningGreening_boys_July_2017.jpg

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King Family 2017 trip

Couple of photos of my girls on their first trip to BWCA. They did well despite some challenging weather on the afternoon and evening of day 1. We fished, swam, explored and of course ate well during the four day trip. Thanks again for everything.


Tim and Jana King



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Winter Fishing 2

Here is Kevins Rainbow Trout from January 2017...

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2017 Winter Fishing

Greg has been come up for Ice fishing this year. He & a friend have stayed in our Loft for a few weekends.

Here is a nice Trout they caught on their last stay.


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New Gazette

New 2017 Gazette!

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Yearly BWCAW permit update

We have had a really nice fall with temperatures still in the 50’s the second week of November!  Karyn has been going through all our gear and has a nice assortment of used gear for sale that should be added to our online store in a few weeks.  If anyone is planning on visiting Ely for winter activities don’t forget we do have our loft bunkhouse available.


This winter I will be in the office Monday thru Friday 10am till 3pm to answer any questions and help you plan your next trip!  I will have some phone help from April (food room manager) & Samantha (my daughter) this winter so please be patient if you reach one of them.  You can also see John & Lynn, Jacob, Kurt & or Nick at next year’s sport shows (see our website for the updated list).


I also wanted to remind you to call in before December 15th to lock in your 2016 rates for 2017…you don’t have to know exactly how many people for your trip, or the exact dates of your trip, or the exact outfitting for your trip.  Just call to make your anticipated reservation and deposit. 


Example:  Hi this is Jane Smith and I would like to start an early 2017 reservation.  I am thinking of coming in June and probably 4 people and want to go complete outfitting.  Here is my credit card for the $240.00 deposit.
(Or we just need two canoes – deposit of $80.00)


The limited lottery will be open for applications on December 14th, 2016 through close of business January 11th, 2017. The lottery results will be released by January 18th.  


This lottery includes only the following entry points (letters D, F, and G are day use motor entry points):

·       D Fall Lake and Beyond (motor);

·       24 Fall Lake (both overnight motor and paddle);

·       25 Moose Lake (both overnight motor and paddle);

·       F Moose, Newfound, and Sucker (motor);  

·       G Basswood over Prairie Portage (motor)


The Go-Live Date for all entry pointswill be January 25, 2017.


You can give us a call at (800) 848-5530, go to our website and make the online reservation (also make a note in the comments area that you are an early bird reservation and/or a previous customer so we don’t miss any of your discounts), or email us at one of the following email addresses; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Have a great & safe Holiday Season!




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Non-Quota Season Rules

Non-Quota Season Rules:
A permit is always required when a group goes into the BWCAW.
From October 1 through April 30th people use the non-quota, self-issue permit form whether they are 
staying overnight or just in for the day and whether they are using a motor on the motorized areas 
or are travelling without a motor.
The BWCAW rules and regulations are the same in both quota and non-quota seasons
with these exceptions:
•     Snowmobiles are only allowed in two places in the BWCAW : Crane Lake to Little Vermilion and 
the eastern portion of Saganaga.
•     During the ice-travel season, people may camp off of the designated sites. In fact, we prefer 
people camp offsite to avoid messes created when  the snow is deep and the latrines are hard to 
•     When snow is on the ground, fires may be built outside FS fire grates. However, care should 
be taken to locate fires where fire scars will not be left behind. Charred wood should be scattered 
out of sight. The use of a firepan is encouraged.
A few rules that stay the same but are sometimes for- gotten:
•     No more than 9 people should be gathered togeth- er anywhere in the BWCAW—even at the picto- 
•     Groups must have a permit.
•     No cans and bottles.
•     If you packed it in, pack it back out.
•     Cat holes (self made latrines) must be 150 feet from any water source,
       even if the lake or stream is frozen.
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David Peterson's trip


John and Lynn,
I want to thank you for planning our trip.  Here are the results.

and trip report

View or comment on David Peterson's post »


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Hurry 2015 trip

We did a day trip just for pike fishing. First pike in the canoe was 39". Caught several 36" including this one that Jim is holding, and numerous 30"+. Nothing under 30" and we put nearly 2 dozen  in the canoes. My son-in-laws were in awe (me too).


David Hurry

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Collins/Marks 2016 trip

Dave: Thanks for forwarding the pictures of our trip to Lynn. I also would want to thank Lynn, John, and their helpful staff in making this a great trip. This is my 5th trip with VNO and they provide great equipment and knowledge to get the most out of a trip in the BWCA. Thank you so much and I look forward to many more trips in the future.



William K. Collins


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After trip "Thank you"

Just now left Ely on our way home. Another great trip! We just want to say thank you for your friendly service! See you next year!


Jeff Goodwin

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Quetico Fire ban

Quetico Fireban Details:

As of May 7th and until further notice, Quetico Provincial Park Interior and Dawson Trail Campground will be under a Restricted Fire Zone. No fires are permitted at any time.

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2014 Late October trip to Triangle Lake (North Kawishiwi entry)

Since we had some really nice weather at the end of October so I took a friend out for an overnight trip to Triangle Lake.

This area is where the entry #29 North Kawishiwi River is located - you have to start at Ojibway Lake, portage 5 rods to Triangle Lake, & paddle across to the portage.

My friend Katie and I decided that we would camp at Triangle Lake and walk the portage to the Kawishiwi River to check it out...Its 190 rods & not an easy portage, not horrible but It
would be more difficult to carry packs or canoes across.


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Jack on Nina Moose 2013


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Ely Rebrands Fall as "Getup"




               ELY, MINN. — SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 —It’s time for fall colors everywhere. But this year, America’s Coolest Small Town, Ely, Minn., is launching a campaign to encourage tourists to Getup — instead of Fall. 


               "Fall is such a negative word. And yet for hundreds of years, that's what we've been calling these post-summer months,” says Ely mayor, Ross Petersen. “Time for a change, we say, to do this season justice. With all there is to do this glorious time of year in Ely, well, we're just going to go ahead and rename it Getup."


               “We know we’re messing with a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. We know there are potential astronomical and meteorological implications with renaming a season,” adds Petersen. “But really, it’s bad karma. Temperatures fall. Leaves fall. Let’s turn it around.”


               So Getup to Ely and experience its stunning bright orange, reds and yellow foliage. Enjoy uncrowded lakes and easy permits in the BWCAW, as well as great hiking, biking and bird watching. The days are warm, the nights are cool and everything slows down a pace or two.


               “In years past, we’ve told the story of Ely’s "legendary" leaf painting family, the Zueniks.We have a lot of fun pulling tourists’ legs in Ely,” says Petersen. “But this is no joke. It’s truly time to Getup here before the snow flies — and experience the opposite of Fall. What a downer. Fall. Who thought of that, anyway? Getup already!”


               Get up to Ely, named “Coolest Small Town in America” by Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel; and to book a vacation that’s less than four hours from the Twin Cities, visit

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All boaters must do this!

Before traveling to Minnesota every boater must:

  • Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species from boats and trailers.
  • Drain water from boat, bait buckets and motor; drain live well and bilge by removing drain plugs.
  • Keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.

In Minnesota is it illegal to:

  • Transport watercraft without the drain plug removed.
  • Arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.
  • Transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species, whether dead or alive.
  • Launch watercraft with prohibited species attached.
  • Transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers.
  • Release live bait into the water.

More information about Minnesota’s AIS laws is posted on the DNR website at Resorts, chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus, and lake associations may also provide trip-planning information and links to AIS laws.

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Heather & kids first trip

b2ap3_thumbnail_298226_2492269623334_1583685596_n.jpgMy friend Heather wanted to go on her first canoe trip, so we choose a simple 3 day base camp on Isabella Lake for the end of August. The kids really had a good time & were really good campers!



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2013 BWCAW Permit Reservation Update

2013 BWCAW Permit Reservation Update:

Jim Sanders, Forest Supervisor for the Superior National Forest has decided to implement changes to the lottery and reservation system for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

For 2013, the lottery will be retained for Fall Lake entry points D (Fall Lake & Beyond) and 24 (Fall Lake) and Moose Lake entry points F (Moose-Newfound-Sucker), G (Moose-Prairie-Basswood) and 25 (Moose Lake). People wanting day use motor, overnight motor, and overnight paddle permits for these entry points can continue to use the lottery to make their reservations as they have in the past. All other entry point reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis shortly after the lottery is run.

Lottery applications can be made starting from 12:01 am CT on December 19, 2012 to 11:59 pm CT on January 21, 2013. The lottery will run on January 22th. Reservations for all entry points can be made on a first-come, first-served basis starting January 30that 9:00 am central time. Reservations can be made at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

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Amber, Becky, & Karyn's September trip - Crane to Moose River






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Amber & Becky's Hegman Lake October Day trip

Click below to view trip photos...

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