BWCA is an acronym for the name Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Boundary Waters Wilderness is part of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. It is a million acre wilderness that borders northern Minnesota and Canada... On the Canadian side of the border is the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario Canada. The Quetico Park is a two million acre wilderness. Thus the wilderness comprised by these two parks is over three million acres. The Boundary Waters is the largest wilderness east of the Rockies.


The Boundary Waters Wilderness is an ancient Boreal forest that contains over 1500 waterways. This wilderness is fully protected and managed by the US Forest Service. Permits are required to enter the Boundary Waters, and it remains essentially untouched by civilization. The use of any type of motors in the Boundary is totally restricted except for a very few portages and lakes. The favorite summer way to travel in the Boundary Waters is by canoe and in the winter by dogsled.

The last major dramatic change to this wilderness area occurred over 10,000 years ago when glaciers exposed the bedrock and left many lakes and interconnected waterways. There are thousands of miles of canoe routes within the Boundary Waters and many of these were traveled by early voyageurs and fur trappers. You can actually retrace many of these canoe routes today. Historic pictographs are scattered throughout the Boundary Waters and attest to the presence of a more ancient Indian presence in this area.

The Boundary Waters was recognized by National Geographic Magazine as "one of 50 places a person should visit in their lifetime". A well deserved honor.

Timber Trail Lodge has direct access to this vast wilderness area. Timber Trail and our full service canoe trip outfitting company Boundary Waters Outfitters ( are prepared to help any guests to the Ely Minnesota area experience the Boundary Waters. We can arrange for a day trip either by motorboat or by canoe, or a more extensive overnight camping trip. A typical overnight camping trip lasts 3 to 7 days. We can supply all the food, equipment, maps, and knowledge to help even the most novice camper create some lifetime memories by experiencing this unique wilderness.

Information on fishing the Boundary Waters can be found throughout our Minnesota Fishing Resort website.

The Boundary Waters offers some of the finest fishing in North America. We have many guests at Timber Trail who return each year to once again experience one of these adventure fishing trips. Based on the experience of thousands of guests who have taken these trips over the past 20 years of our management of the resort you will not be disappointed.

If you would like additional information you may call Timber Trail Lodge at (800-777-7348) or Boundary Waters Outfitters (800-777-8574).

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