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Canoeing and Kayaking

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a million acre wilderness in northeastern Minnesota with about the freshest air and purest water in the country, one of the few places left in the world where a unique Minnesota Canoeing experience is still available.

Vosburgh's Custom Cabin Rentals is located on the edge of the BWCAW on Moose Lake. Endless paddling adventures are available, starting directly from our boat launch. There are excellent day trip options in the area. We have aluminum canoes and kayaks available for paddle rental. There are many outfitters in the area who can provide complete outfitting. We are happy to provide recommendations and provide guide services. 

Learn more about canoeing in Ely here.

Day Trip Paddling Options in the Ely area BWCAW


Check out these popular family-friendly day canoe trips in the Ely area BWCAW. Beyond the suggested routes below, there is ample day paddling on Moose Lake.  

  • You must have a day permit (available at the entry point) and follow BWCAW rules and regulations

  • If you are new to paddling in the BWCAW we highly recommend hiring a guide for your first time. We are happy to provide suggestions to our guests for excellent local guides. 

  • Bring ample food, water, and sunscreen, and always check the weather prior to traveling.

  • Cans and glass are not allowed.

  • We recommend that you use an official map. The maps below are just suggested routes and do not have campsites or portages listed. We have Moose Lake area maps available for sale.

  • We strongly encourage paddlers to be competent in safely portaging and loading a canoe, map reading,  and steering in strong winds prior to embarking on a wilderness adventure. Make sure you have the skills to handle adverse weather.

Map of lake one loop in the BWCA.

Lake One Loop

4 mile loop

  • A scenic loop featuring fun island picnic sites, beautiful rapids (you must portage around them), and ample wildlife!

  • Only a few miles down the road from Vosburgh's Custom Cabin rentals.

  • If you want more mileage you can explore Lake Two and Three.

  • Start at the Lake One Entry Point

  • Printable map

Hegman Lake pictographs of person and moose.

Hegman Lake

4 miles total

  • Experience the history of the Ely area and check out the Native American pictographs on North Hegman Lake.

  • Start at the Hegman Lake Entry Point (40 min from Vosburgh's Custom Cabin Rentals). 

  • Printable Map.

Map of Kawishiwi River route in the BWCA.

Kawishiwi River

14 miles total

Bass Lake loop in Ely, MN for canoes.

Bass Lake Loop

18 mile loop

  • Although not technically in the BWCAW this is a very fun and scenic day paddle through the historic Bass Lake. Take a dip in the dry falls rapids on Bass Lake falls on your way. Lots of waterfowl on this route! Prior paddling experience required.

  • Start at the Bass Lake Trailhead.

  • 30 min from Vosburgh's Custom Cabin Rentals. 

  • Printable map. 

Snowbank loop in Ely, Minnesota for canoes. BWCA loop route.

Snowbank-Disappointment-Boot Lake Loop 

14 miles total

  • A fun adventure connecting a series of small beautiful lakes. Prior paddling experience required.

  • Start at the Snowbank entry point.

  • 15 minutes from Vosburgh's Custom Cabin Rentals.

  • Printable map. 

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