Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Open Again
Minnesota's Stay-At-Home order may still be in place, but you can once again head out and explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.
We'd heard back in April how the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), located just south of Minnesota's border with Canada, was set to close to help avoid the spread of COVID-19. The BWCAW is part of the Superior National Forest, which is managed by the US Forest Service, a division of the US Agriculture Department. And they just announced that as of Tuesday, May 5th, the BWCAW will be open again-- but with a few restrictions.
According to a release on the Forest Service website, the BWCAW and Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota’s Superior National Forest are now open to daytime visitors, but overnight camping is still prohibited through May 17th-- the last day of Minnesota's latest Stay-At-Home order.
You still need a permit if you're going to enter the BWCAW, even just for the day, and getting one is a little more involved currently, seeing as US Forest Service offices are closed. The service IS still issuing them, though, but virtually (You can find out more here.) And Recreation sites like campgrounds in Superior National Forest will stay closed, as well.
And, if you're brave enough to head to the BWCAW right now, of course, you're encouraged to use proper social distancing. The Forest Service has a few other recommendations, as well: "Be cautious and choose low-risk activities to avoid injury. This will help lower the burden on our hospitals and healthcare system. Avoid activities such as jumping off of cliffs, night fishing, inexperienced/novice camping, through-hiking, interior camping with small children, etc," their website noted.
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