U.S. Forest Service officials on Wednesday announced that they will close the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to all overnight and day use until at least May 4 to comply with Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The closure shouldn’t have a big impact at this point in the season — it’s too late for winter camping and too soon for canoeing or fishing with the lakes still locked in ice.
Reservations made through May 4 will receive a full refund, including reservation fees.
Suzanne Hirsch, a spokeswoman for the Superior National Forest, said forest officials will closely follow the state’s stay-at-home order and, if the order is extended, reassess the status of not just the BWCAW closure but also other recreation sites in the national forest.
From May 5 and beyond, visitors will have two options to pick up their required BWCAW permits — either print their confirmation at home and use it as their permit or pick up the permit at any cooperating business that remains open.
Reservation confirmation emails come from email@example.com at the time of reservation and again seven days prior to the entry date. U.S. Forest Service offices are currently closed to the public and will provide virtual services until further notice. If you’ve made your travel arrangements or are renting gear or hiring a guide with a local cooperator or outfitter guide, please look for information from them or contact them directly with questions.
For more information on permit reservations go to recreation.gov or call the Superior National Forest hotline at 218-626-4395.