Activities For Dogs In Voyageurs National Park

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Introduction

Located near International Falls Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park was first established in 1975 in order to help preserve one of America's few remaining wild lands. Pets are allowed to visit certain areas of the park, such as any of Voyageurs' frontcountry campsites as well as the park's 2 mile Recreation Trail. There are also a number of trails and attractions near the park that welcome pets on their premises, so long as they're leashed and accompanied by a human companion. While these restrictions will limit the number of things you and your dog can do together at the Voyageurs National Park, you two can still make the most of your time by following the steps outlined in this guide.

Rainy Lake Recreational Trail

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Water
waste bags
Activity description
The Rainy Lake Recreational Trail is one of the shortest and easiest trails that visitors of the Voyageurs National Park can walk along with their pets by their sides. This 1.7 mile path will provide you and your pet with a breathtaking view of the glimmering Rainy Lake, which streaks all the way through the United States and Canada. It won't cost a cent to use this trail, which is open year round and will provide visitors with a different experience for each season. As with all areas of the park that permit pets, you'll need to keep your dog on a leash and within close proximity at all times.
Step
1
Down by the riverside
As one might expect from a trail named after a national landmark, the Rainy Lake Recreational Trail will allow you and your dog to get very up close and personal with nature. Depending on where you live and the places you've visited throughout your life, you may have never seen water as clear and as blue as the bodies of water that can be found here. The views that you and your dog will find here are nothing short of picturesque.
Step
2
Respecting Rainy Lake
This point is somewhat of a no-brainer but we feel it's worth reiterating due to how important it is; while visiting the park, please be sure to clean up after any waste that you or your dog might produce. Furthermore, refrain from tossing any food into the lake in an attempt to feed any ducks or mallards that you might encounter - your heart may be in the right place, but feeding the wild animals things that they wouldn't normally encounter in their ecosystems could have unintended yet long-term consequences that might negatively affect these creatures in a major way. Allow your dog to enjoy the area while keeping them within arm's reach at all times.
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Frontcountry Camping

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Normal
24 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Boat or Watercraft
Life Jackets
Tent
Food and Water
First Aid Kit
waste bags
Activity description
The interesting thing about the Voyageurs campsites is the fact that they can only be accessed by using a boat or watercraft to sail over to them. The campsites are located on tiny little mini islands that are surrounded by glistening water on all sides. The campsites can be used free of charge, though you'll have to bring your own supplies, equipment, and boat, which can be costly if you don't have a boat of your own. Dogs are permitted to access these areas as well, provided they remain within close proximity of their human companions. Try to camp at the park during the sunnier, less turbulent times of the year.
Step
1
The frontcountry frontier
As mentioned earlier, the frontcountry campsites can only be accessed via a boat or watercraft of some kind. That means you and your dog will either have to commandeer and sail the vessel over to one of the campsites yourselves or you'll have to party up with another group and make your way over with them. It's also plausible to hitch a ride over to one of the campsites, but you and your dog are best off having a more permanent means of transportation.
Step
2
Setting things up
Once you finally do touch down at a campsite, you and your dog will have plenty of space with which to set up camp. We recommend setting up your tent near the areas that have tables and campfire bins nearby; that way if you're struck with the urge to heat up some marshmallows or just warm up next to an open fire, you and your pet won't have to travel far. If you do have a campfire, keep a close watch on your pet around the flames and coals.
Step
3
Recreational activities
Don't forget to bring along your dog's favorite toys for this trip as well, since you and your pet will have plenty of room to play fetch and frisbee after you've set up camp. Since the frontcountry campsites are surrounded by fairly shallow water, you and your pet can also go for a swim together if you're so inclined.
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Frontcountry Hiking

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Backpack
Water
Waste Bags
Activity description
While the park's frontcountry area is one of the only areas dogs are allowed to set foot in at the park, it's also one of the largest areas of the park overall. If you have the inclination, you and your dog can go for a hiking trip through this area without having to pay for anything outright. If you're interested in going for a moderately challenging hike, however, you'll want to set aside a modest budget to buy all of the supplies you'll need for such a trip. Feel free to attempt this activity during any season of the year that you feel you and your pet would best enjoy as long as you pack and prepare accordingly.
Step
1
Inventory check
This step should be performed before you and your dog hit the trail and after you two have completed it and are preparing to leave. Check to see that you've got your essential items (your maps, water bottles) but don't worry about food so much, as you and your pet will likely end up eating it throughout the hike and there aren't really any forager type animals that'll try to steal it from you.
Step
2
Reading a map
Knowing how to read a map is a generally great skill to possess overall but is really only paramount if you plan on venturing away from the main trail for an extended period of time. Know how to separate your latitude lines from your longitude lines as well as how to determine your cardinal direction and you'll be able to figure out your position if you're map's reliable and up to date. If you can't navigate with a map then we heavily advise against veering off course for the sake of your dog's and your own safety.
Step
3
Hike and enjoy
While you and your canine hiking companion are on the trail, respect the creatures that live there by not allowing your curious pup to give chase to any animals that seem interesting. Watch that your dog does not eat plants or leaves in case they may be toxic. Additionally, pick up after your pet if need be.
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More Fun Ideas...

Treasure Hunting

The frontcountry campsites have a lot of room for you and your pet to play around in. If you've brought along a few of your pet's favorite toys, you can stash them around one of the campsites and engage in an impromptu treasure hunting session with your four-legged best friend.

Trash Cleanup

As unfortunate of a reality as it is, there are a number of visitors who litter and leave behind trash while they visit the park. While your pup is having a nap, take the chance to do a cleanup of the area.

Conclusion

When visiting areas like the Voyageurs National Park, it's important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind throughout the entirety of your stay there. The hardworking folks charged with looking after the park certainly are doing the same, which is why they'll be on the lookout to ensure that you and your dog can have a safe and fun time during your visit. All they ask in return is that you and your pet remain on your best behavior during the trip by honoring the rules that have been set in place. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you and your pet will be able to comply with the park's requests while also having a great time.