9 Reasons I’m Going To The Boundary Waters Wilderness

It’s the time of year when summer vacations are planned and weekend trips start back up in earnest. Everyone wants to do something fun or relaxing (or both).

This summer, I’m traveling back to my home state, Minnesota, for an excursion outdoors. A few of the men in my family are going on a weeklong trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Boundary Waters

The Boundary Waters Wilderness is a 1.3 million acre region along 150 miles of the border of northern Minnesota and Canada. It’s part of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota and borders Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. We’ll be paddling some of the same waters 17th century French fur traders traversed over 300 years ago.

I went to the Boundary Waters once, just before I graduated from high school. A bunch of my friends and I took a recreation class at the community college and spent a full week surviving in the Northland with nothing but the supplies we decided we needed and a couple coolers full of too much food.

This time around it will be very different.

I’ve spent more time exploring outdoors in the past 4 years than I have in my entire life, so I feel adequately prepared to make the most of this new trip to the edge of my homeland.

9 Reasons I’m Going To The Boundary Waters Canoe Area

  1. I want to accept challenges. Some of the greatest periods of personal growth I’ve experienced are when I’m facing something difficult yet rewarding. Paddling a canoe for hours a day (in potentially opposing weather) will pose quite a challenge.
  2. I get to spend time exploring more of my great home state. I feel more and more enjoyment out of remembering where I’ve come from is still a large part of who I am becoming.
  3. I get to see family. I’m going on the trip with a few members of my family I haven’t spent much time with. This will be a great trip to reconnect and experience something new together.
  4. It’s a chance to improve on my past performance. My mindset is largely different now than it was the first time I ventured to the Boundary Waters. Being out in nature is no longer a chore for me; it’s a privilege to be part of the big, beautiful world and enjoy it in different ways.
  5. Rest. Work can be put on hold. This is my vacation.
  6. Escape from routine. I love the regular schedule of my life; the ideas I’m learning, the job I perform, the relationships I have, the activities I get to experience. But leaving routine for a little while is still necessary. The Internet will have to carry on without me. A new place and a new pace makes for a new perspective. It will also help me do better, more creative work when I return refreshed.
  7. It’s an underrated part of the country. More people should experience the Boundary Waters, where a person could not see another soul for days if one really wanted to get some space.
  8. To remember God provides. Especially when we’re put into survival situations, we care less about the luxuries we don’t have and we’re more thankful for the things He provides to meets our needs.
  9. To listen. When we create space in our lives to slow down, we notice more. When we no longer hear the drone of traffic or blaring music, we can think with refreshing clarity. We hear the world as it really is, and perhaps what God is trying to tell us amidst all the noise. In the forests and the mountains and the lakes and the blue skies, I’ve gotten better understanding of who God is and who I am because of that.

I hope you find some space for your own wilderness experience this summer.


What are you doing for summer vacation or travels?


Read more:

Why You Should Go Backpacking In The Wilderness
10  Quotes to Ponder in the Great Outdoors


2 responses to “9 Reasons I’m Going To The Boundary Waters Wilderness

  1. I went on two trips to the boundary waters during high school, and I’m so glad I did, even though paddling a canoe for hours on end each day while periodically stopping to carry it over your head to the next lake wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time when I was 16. Watch out for the bears, who have been known to knock backpacks out of trees and steal cookies and grape jelly. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go back sometime!

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