There is a place straddling the border between Ontario, Canada and Minnesota, United States that is becoming known as the Heart of The Continent. It is an area of extraordinary character, the largest protected wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains, and provides a world-class opportunity for paddling, hiking, cross-country skiing, dog-sledding, cycling and other non-motorized outdoor activities.
The number of publicly managed protected areas here is unusual including the 3 million-acre Superior National Forest, which includes the USA’s paddling mecca –Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. On the canadian side of the border is Quetico Provincial Park, which offers a paddling-only extravaganza of countless lakes connected by short portages.
There is also Voyageurs National Park on the US side, with it 200 “boat-in” campsites, ranger-guided activities, hiking trails and in winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.
Or consider Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, that famous peninsula jutting into Lake Superior, with plenty of hiking trails, great vista over the lake and a fine campground to keep you busy.
Add in Grand Portage National Monument, La Verendrye Provincial Park Reserve, Fort William Historical Park, a whole slew of Minnesota State Parks, roaring Kakabeka Falls in the provincial park of the same name, Isle Royale National Park, the new Lake Superior Marine Conservation Reserve and you’ve got the beginnings of an extremely special collection of wilderness recreation areas.