Can You Drive into Voyageurs National Park? A Quick Guide for Visitors

Can You Drive into Voyageurs National Park
Find out if you can drive into Voyageurs National Park and discover alternative access tips.

If you’re eyeing Voyageurs National Park for your next adventure, you might be wondering, “Can I simply drive there?” Let’s cut to the chase: the answer is no, but don’t let that steer you away.

While the park’s treasures are tucked away from vehicular paths, this guide is your compass to all the thrilling ways you can delve into its beauty.

Discover how to glide over the waters, which serve as the true thoroughfares, or traverse the frozen landscapes by snowmobile.

Dive into our quick guide for practical tips on park access points, transport options, and essential safety guidelines. Your journey into the wild heart of Voyageurs starts here—no car keys required.

Accessing The Park

Voyageurs National Park is a unique and beautiful destination, but it’s important to note that it’s not directly accessible by car. 

To truly experience the park, one must leave their vehicle behind and access the park by water or snowmobile. In this section, we will explore the two primary ways to access the park.

By Water

We highly recommend visiting one of the park’s visitor centers located at Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and the Ash River Visitor Center, where you can acquire maps, hiking guides, and up-to-date information. 

Public boat launch ramps are available at these locations, as well as at numerous resorts and state launches in the area. Boating is the primary means of transportation within the park, and there are many opportunities to rent boats, canoes, and kayaks to explore the park’s waterways.

By Snowmobile

Another popular way to access Voyageurs National Park during the winter months is by snowmobile. 

Many of the park’s trails are groomed for snowmobile use, offering a thrilling and scenic way to explore the park’s frozen landscape. 

Be sure to check the park’s website for snowmobile access points, trail maps, and current conditions before venturing out. Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying any outdoor activity, especially in winter conditions.

Roads in Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is a unique and remote destination located in northern Minnesota. As you plan your visit, it’s essential to understand how to get around and what transportation options are available. So, let’s discuss the roads in and around Voyageurs National Park.

First, we should mention that there are no roads that go directly into the park’s interior. The primary mode of transportation within the park is by boat, as the park consists of numerous lakes interconnected by waterways. 

However, there are some access points and roads on the park’s periphery that allow visitors to reach various visitor centers and boat launching areas.

One way to get to the park is by traveling to one of the three visitor centers located at Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and the Ash River Visitor Center. 

Can You Drive into Voyageurs National Park

These centers are accessible by road, and once you’ve arrived, you’ll find public boat launch ramps available for use. Additionally, several nearby resorts and state launches offer boat access into the park, making it easy to start your aquatic adventure.

Although there are no roads within the park’s interior, you will find some well-maintained trails for hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery. 

These trails vary in difficulty, ranging from leisurely strolls to more challenging treks, so take advantage of the park’s unique wilderness experience.

While Voyageurs National Park doesn’t have roads providing direct access to its interior, visitors can still access the park via visitor centers and boat launch areas. So, prepare for an adventure like no other in this stunning, secluded wilderness.

Park Boundaries

At Voyageurs National Park, we’re lucky to be surrounded by a vast and beautiful landscape of forests and numerous lakes. 

The park is located in Northern Minnesota and shares its northern boundary with Canada. It lies just west of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. 

To fully appreciate the park’s rich landscape, it’s important to understand its boundaries and how to navigate its terrain.

Driving into the park is a bit different compared to other national parks, as roads do not lead to the lakes and shoreline areas. 

The park’s main access points are its visitor centers, where you can gather essential information and park maps. The visitor centers are accessible by car, and from there, you can explore the park by boat or on foot.

Voyageurs National Park is approximately 5 hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul on I-35 and Highway 53, 3 hours north of Duluth on Highway 53, and 4 hours south from Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you’re arriving by plane, the nearest airport is Falls International Airport, located in International Falls, Minnesota.

Remember, while exploring the park, it’s crucial to be aware of Canadian and U.S. customs regulations, especially if you plan on crossing the border. Canadian Customs can be reached at (807) 274-3655, and U.S. Customs at (218) 283-0769.

As we navigate the intricate web of lakes and islands, we want you to make the most of your experience in Voyageurs National Park. 

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time explorer, understanding the park’s boundaries and respecting its rules will ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.

Transport Within The Park

At Voyageurs National Park, exploring and getting around can be quite an adventure. In this section, we’ll cover the available transportation options within the park, focusing on Park Boat Service and Shuttle Services. Let’s dive in!

Park Boat Service

One of the unique aspects of Voyageurs National Park is its vast and interconnected waterways. To truly experience the beauty of this park, we recommend taking advantage of the park’s boat services. 

Can You Drive into Voyageurs National Park

Public launch ramps are available at three park visitor centers: Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and the Ash River Visitor Center. 

Additionally, numerous resorts and state launches offer boat access into the park. Don’t forget that the park is primarily accessible through water, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

Shuttle Services

Although there isn’t any public transportation directly to Voyageurs National Park, shuttle services are available to transport visitors to and from the park. 

These shuttles usually run from nearby towns and cities, making it convenient for visitors without their own transportation. 

To find the most up-to-date information on shuttle services, we suggest contacting local tourism agencies or checking the park’s official website.

It’s essential to remember that transportation options within the park are limited due to the park’s vast waterways. We urge you to plan ahead, consult park maps, and speak with park rangers to optimize your visit to Voyageurs National Park.

Safety Guidelines

We believe that a safe trip is a happy trip, and we want all visitors to have an enjoyable experience at Voyageurs National Park. To help ensure your safety, please follow these guidelines during your visit.

First, make sure to stop at a visitor center when you arrive at the park. Here, you can get accurate and up-to-date information about park regulations and safety measures. 

This is also an excellent place to pick up official maps, hiking guides, and other materials that will help you navigate the park.

Since Voyageurs National Park is a water-based park, understanding lake navigation and following proper boating safety practices are important aspects of your visit. 

Familiarize yourself with the navigation markers and buoys, and always follow their guidance. Additionally, consider taking a boating safety course to be better prepared for your trip.

We also want to stress the importance of storing food and other attractants properly to avoid attracting bears. Protect both yourself and the wildlife by using bear-resistant food containers and following proper food storage practices.

Finally, check the weather, climate, and geography of the park before your visit, and plan ahead for your trip. 

Bring appropriate clothing, gear, and provisions for the varying conditions you may encounter during your stay. And, always remember to abide by all park regulations, which have been put into place for everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

By following these safety guidelines, we hope that your visit to Voyageurs National Park will be a pleasant and memorable experience.


We have discovered that unlike some national parks, Voyageurs National Park does not have a main road for visitors to drive or bike through to access its primary features and attractions. 

However, there are three visitor centers that can be accessed by car. 

To fully explore and enjoy the park’s offerings, it’s essential to note that the majority of the park is accessible by boat or by hiking trails, making for a more adventurous and natural experience.

It’s worth mentioning that the park is located approximately 5 hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul on I-35 and Highway 53, 3 hours north of Duluth on Highway 53, and 4 hours south from Winnipeg, Manitoba. For those looking to fly in, the Falls International Airport is located in International Falls, Minnesota.

In order to make the most out of your visit to Voyageurs National Park, we recommend stopping at one of the visitor centers upon arrival to gather essential information, maps, and hiking guides. 

This will ensure that you have the proper tools and knowledge to have a safe and enjoyable time while exploring the beautiful scenery this park has to offer.

It is important to adhere to the park regulations and respect public use closures. Keep an eye out for posted signs and check visitor centers or boat launch ramp bulletin boards for any closed areas. 

Remember, hunting is not allowed in Voyageurs National Park. For any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to ask a park ranger.

We hope this information helps you to plan your visit and have an amazing time at Voyageurs National Park!

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