Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest

July 19 - July 25

Event Navigation



Be a part of the stewardship legacy of the first long-distance wilderness hiking and backpacking trail in Minnesota! The Border Route Trail is a rugged 65-mile-long hiking trail that traverses the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in the far northeast corner of Minnesota and follows the international border between Minnesota and Ontario. The trail follows ridgelines wherever feasible, offering expansive views across the BWCAW and Canada. It is rugged and primitive in nature, providing solitude and a true wilderness experience to those looking for something off of the beaten path. In March 2019, the Border Route Trail became an official part of the North Country Trail: a National Scenic Trail currently under construction that stretches 4,600 miles from North Dakota to Vermont. Downed trees and patches of thick brush are common obstacles on the trail. This particular Volunteer Vacation will focus on using primitive hand tools (such as saws and nippers) to remove fallen trees and trim back vegetation from the trail. Additional tasks may involve some maintenance of and improvement to designated campsites. We will camp in the wilderness backcountry at a designated site and daytrip to the work location, sometimes commuting via canoe to portions of the trail. Come enjoy a very unique experience and some of the best of the BWCAW!


US Forest Service


Primitive Tent Sites


Backpacking 2 miles to basecamp (Day hiking up to 4 miles each work day)

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

The Superior National Forest is located in the northeast tip of Minnesota and is sandwiched between Lake Superior and the Canadian border. One third of its three million acres contains the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), which offers 2,200 developed backcountry campsites and over 1,500 miles of canoe and portage routes. The closest town to the project is Grand Marais, MN: a small picturesque town on the shore of Lake Superior, on the eastern edge of the Superior National Forest. It has a year-round population of approximately 1,250, and is known for its vibrant arts community and many festivals. It’s influenced by tourism due to its proximity of the internationally-known attraction of the largest fresh water lake in the world, as well as the BWCAW, the most visited wilderness area in the nation. It is a quaint, yet modern town with grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, outfitters, lodging, gift and souvenir shops, and medical facilities.

Accommodations Description

The campsites for this project will be designated backcountry wilderness campsites in the BWCAW with a steel fire grate and latrine. Group cooking will be done with a backcountry cooking system that consists of pots, pans, and gas camping stoves. Water filtration systems will be provided to filter water from the many lakes in the immediate area. A bear-hanging system for food protection will also be provided. Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag/sleeping pad, cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils, and personal gear. Volunteers will need to carry their personal gear and a portion of the food/tools/cooking gear to base camp.


Airport Pickup Provided from Duluth International Airport. Airport pickup and dropoff times will be sent to registrants when the trip is confirmed.


Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Superior National Forest
2020 W. Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55064 United States