Voyageur Maps - #9 - BWCA

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Voyageur Map 9 covers portions of the eastern Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) on both the north and south sides of the Gunflint Trail. This area offers world-class canoe routes, good hiking opportunities, and a network of excellent groomed cross-country skiing trails. A total of fourteen different canoeing entry points are shown on Map 9.

Link to Map Coverage

Map 9 differs from all other Voyageur Maps in that the North-South dimension is longer than the West-East dimension. This was necessary in order to cover all parts of the BWCAW from the Canadian border town to Kinogami Lake.

Many lakes on Map 9 are long and thin, stretching from west to east between towering hills of gabbro bedrock. As a result of their size and orientation, many of these lakes channel westerly winds down their length. Of note is Brule Lake, which often develops large waves coming out of the west. These waves can complicate travel on Brule, because movement along a north-south course can be treacherous when the wind is blowing out of the west. For this reason, plan travel on Brule with winds and weather in mind. Winds are usually calmest at dawn, so this is often the best time to try to cross the big open stretches of Brule.

The geology of this area also heavily impacts portage difficulty. Most portages that follow a west-east axis, or connect the east and west ends of lakes, are relatively flat and easy. In contrast, portages having a north-south axis are often quite hilly and challenging.

If you’re looking to explore Map 9 by land, the Border Route Trail provides some of the nicest wilderness hiking in Minnesota. The Gunflint Trail area also has tremendous cross country skiing options, including miles of maintained trails. The Banadad ski trail, located south of Gunflint Trail, is one of a handful of maintained ski trails that is actually within the BWCAW. Other good skiing can be found (for example) at Gunflint Lake, Poplar Lake, and Flour Lake.

  • Dimensions:  38 3/4" x 28 3/4"
  • Delivered Folded 6"x 10" (not available unfolded)
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Waterproof Paper
  • Updated in 2021