Voyageurs National Park is increasing visitor services, following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities.
Access to backcountry camping and canoe rentals has reopened. All backcountry camping that offers canoe rentals, which is defined as camping on the interior of the Kabetogama Peninsula, will require an advanced 4 day permit on www.recreation.gov. This will allow staff and visitors ample time to arrange key pick-up while park facilities are closed. Visit https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/camping.htm for more details.
Park staff remind visitors who are getting camping and houseboat permits to ensure permits are printed at home. There will be no facility at the park to assist in printing a permit.
National Park Service Passport Stamps have been made available outside visitor centers and online. Voyageurs National Park passport stamps will be located outside each visitor center kiosk station, and a virtual passport stamp can be printed from home at https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm
The National Park Service is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Junior Ranger booklets and badges are also available online at https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/beajuniorranger.htm and at www.voyageurs.org/visitor/info
Park staff will be available for visitor inquiries near boat launches, outside visitor centers, and on trails starting on the following dates:
- Rainy Lake Visitor Center grounds – starting May 30 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
- Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center grounds – starting June 30 on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Ash River Visitor Center grounds – starting June 30 on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays
In following current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure the health and safety of its employees and the public, the park has modified the following operations through the 2020 season:
- Rainy Lake and Kabetogama Lake Group Campsite reservations: those reservations already made for May 18 and beyond will be honored unless future guidelines stipulate otherwise. Through the remainder of the summer operational period these sites will be managed through reservations as large individual campsites.
- King Williams Narrows and Mukooda Campgrounds: those reservations already made for May 18 and beyond will be honored unless future guidelines stipulate otherwise. Through the remainder of the summer operational period site A in each campground will remain open for reservations but sites B through E will be closed.
- Through the end of May concession operations at Kettle Falls Hotel will be limited to the sale of marina gas and portage services only. Beyond May, other services are likely to be limited. Check www.kettlefallshotel.com or call (218) 240-1724 or (218) 240-1726 for updates.
- Park boat tours have been suspended for the entire 2020 operational season.
- Visitor centers within the park are closed until further notice, and some may be closed for the entire 2020 summer season.
- Park headquarters remains closed to the general public. Staff are available via phone, and email. Deliveries are being accepted.
"At Voyageurs, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored," said a news release. "We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
"While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities."
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Virtual tours of Voyageurs are available online for anyone who is at home or not traveling at this time. Please see the videos produced in partnership with the Voyageurs National Park Association at https://vimeo.com/user34378905.