Boundary Waters Expo | June 17-18, 2017

Boundary Waters Expo | June 17-18, 2017

Join us at the third annual Boundary Waters Expo, to be held June 17-18th, 2017 at the Seagull Lake public landing on the Gunflint Trail. This is a family-friendly, hands-on event with fun for everyone. Come enjoy the place that National Geographic has named one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Your Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness adventure starts here!

The Boundary Waters Expo will feature:

    • Speakers
    • Activities
    • Hands-on demonstrations
    • Breathtaking scenery
    • Campfire storytelling and discussions led by Cliff Jacobson and others.
    • And more! 

The Boundary Waters Expo will occur Saturday, June 17 from 9am-6pm and Sunday, June 18 from 10am-3pm. See the presentation schedule here.

Click here to see a map of the Expo.

Book your stay today! See Gunflint Trail lodging and businesses

BWE Sponsors image

SPONSORS + more to come!


Camp Chow click to expand

Camp Chow Great camping food made right on the Gunflint Trail.

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Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center click to expand

Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center: Journey 55 miles up the Gunflint Trail to a first-class museum housed in the historic Chik-Wauk Lodge. Learn the natural and cultural history of the rugged, remote area of the Gunflint Trail. Visit the activity-oriented Nature Center. Come join the Gunflint Trail Explorers Club. Discover some of the local plants and animals and enjoy a network of hiking trails. Open Memorial Weekend to mid-October.

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Cooke Custom Sewing click to expand

Cooke Custom Sewing at CCS, “Locally Sewn, Globally Tested” is more than just a nice slogan – we are truly committed to those words. From our shop in Minnesota, we have been designing and producing some of the finest gear made for canoeists and other outdoor enthusiasts since 1980. We are inspired by our own travels and our constant search for the best gear.

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Kondos Outdoors click to expand

For over 30 years, Kondos Outdoors has been hand-crafting outdoor gear designed for canoeing and dog sports in Ely, MN.

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Nemo Equipment click to expand

Nemo Equipment designs and engineers high quality outdoor gear. Nemo is at the cutting edge of the industry, building tents, sleeping systems, and accessories for life in the outdoors.

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Northstar Canoes click to expand

Northstar Canoes has a clear direction. Guided by renowned canoe builder Ted Bell, they’re focused on crafting exceptional canoes for experienced paddlers. But even a novice can paddle one – they’re designed to make you a better canoeist. And before too long, you’ll be discoursing about your appreciation of the elliptical cross-section, soft chines and constant flare.

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Northwoods Volunteer Connection click to expand

The Northwoods Volunteer Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to coordinating volunteer efforts on public land in northeastern Minnesota including the Superior National Forest and BWCAW. The work of Northwoods volunteers helps to keep our forests healthy and trails and campsites open for use. Volunteers gain a new outdoor experience while giving something back to these unique resources.


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Nova Craft Canoe click to expand

Nova Craft Canoe began in 1970, when they started producing a limited selection of fiberglass canoes in a small-scale, garage-based operation near London, Ontario, Canada. As the years passed and the reputation of their quality designs and workmanship quickly spread, and the company naturally began to grow.

Today, Nova Craft still builds canoes with fiberglass but have also adopted more advanced composite materials including aramid, basalt/Innegra, and carbon fibre. Alongside the use of these new materials came innovations in new manufacturing techniques including composite infusion, thermoplastic vacuum forming and rotational molding. The scope may have expanded since 1970 but the core focus remains simple – build quality canoes that give paddlers special experiences in the great outdoors. It’s all about making a connection to nature and wild places, be it solo or with friends and family.

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Stewart River Boatworks click to expand

Stewart River Boatworks is a premier builder of wood and canvas canoes, wooden kayaks and lapstrake row boats. All boats are handcrafted by Alex Comb, who has been building wooden boat professionally since 1979.

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Save the Boundary Waters click to expand

The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters is leading the effort to ensure permanent protection for the Boundary Waters Wilderness, America’s most visited Wilderness and Minnesota’s crown jewel, from proposed copper-sulfide mining. Join us and speak loudly for this quiet place.

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Sealskinz click to expand

Sealskinz is the industry leader in waterproof paddle clothing accessories. Sealskinz designs and builds socks, gloves and hats for outdoors, bike and canoe sports.

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Seattle Sports click to expand

Seattle Sports Since 1983, Seattle Sports has strived to honor the relationship between outdoor adventure and everyday life through innovation, history, and an understanding of our environment. The result is the continued creation of a wide selection of quality outdoor gear at a full range of price points. We produce gear that speaks to a world where outdoors and everyday are synonymous.

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Sigurd Canoe Co click to expand

Launched by avid canoeist and lover of everything outdoors, Jamie Cooper started making paddles in the backyard of his childhood home with nothing more than a chisel and block plane. After a small interest quickly turned into an obsession,
Sigurd Canoe Company was launched. We are committed to creating high quality handmade wooden canoe paddles. Made from a variety of woods to create a functional, strong, lightweight paddle that will stand the test of time. Having a variety of different paddles, Sigurd Canoe Co. is sure to meet your paddle needs.

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St. Croix Canoes click to expand

St. Croix Canoes builds fine custom made, hand crafted cedar strip canoes. St. Croix Canoes was started on a whim by a couple of old Scout Guys. After their sons were finished with Boy Scouting (Eagles Scouts, as well), several leaders wanted to stay connected. The idea of canoe building was presented and it seemed like a worthy project. Their canoes are beautiful, light and strong, and built with techniques backed up by many miles of BWCA and Quetico paddling.

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Voyageur Brewing Company click to expand

Voyageur Brewing Company: If you were to imagine the perfect place to brew beer, it would look exactly like this. Grand Marais, MN, sits squarely between the ancient Sawtooth Mountains on the west and Lake Superior, the world’s largest body of perfect brewing water to the east. Here we create adventurous Craft Beers and serve them up alongside perfectly paired food in our North Shore taproom. Nothing about this area – or our beer — is ordinary. If you’ve been here, you know. If you haven’t, visit soon. We’ve got a beer – and an adventure — with your name on it.

Like the voyageurs and trappers that first discovered the area, our Craft Beer reflects a spirit of adventure you won’t find anywhere else. From our flagship beers, seasonal offerings, and specialty brews, all are made to be enticing, bold and unwavering.

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Wtip: North Shore Community Radio click to expand

WTIP is the first community radio station broadcasting on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Visitors and residents spread out over 1,500 square miles of woods and waters come together through WTIP, a non-profit organization that provides an arena for information-gathering, discussion, and expression.

WTIP was launched by a small group of pioneering volunteers sitting around a kitchen table who believed that local radio in Cook County could play an important role in building a sense of shared community.

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      • And more to come!

Boundary Waters Expo Speaker Image

SPEAKERS + more to come!

Cliff Jacobson click to expand

Cliff Jacobson is one of North America’s most respected outdoors writers, wilderness guides, national and foreign consultants, and is the most published canoeing/camping writer of this century. He is a professional canoe guide and outfitter, a wilderness canoeing and camping consultant and the author of over a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing— numerous titles have been translated into Spanish, German, French and Turkish with sales approaching one million copies. His video, The Forgotten Skills, details the most important campcraft procedures. Cliff’s methods are proven by the sweat of pack and paddle and are reminiscent of the days when skills were more important than things. A retired environmental science teacher (34 years!), Cliff is respected by educators for his backcountry ethics, water quality, and wilderness navigation curricula. The Wilderness Meal, an outdoor ethics unit he wrote for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNR), is among the most successful environmental education activities of all time. You’ll find a copy in his book, Boundary Waters Canoe Camping With Style.

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Rob Kesselring click to expand

Rob Kesselring is a veteran leader of 21 arctic canoe expeditions, 71 BWCAW-Quetico trips and he has paddled over 100 rivers worldwide. He is currently a licensed Guide in the Boundary Waters, Big Bend, and Gates of the Arctic National Parks. He is the author of two books, River Stories and Daughter Father Canoe and has spoken the Expos across the country.

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Sue Plankis click to expand

Canadian Sue Plankis is an expert canoeist and citizen naturalist. She earned a masters degree in science and education. She has a forty year history of canoeing and is a former distinguished and certified instructor/trainer. Her mentors include Omer Stringer and Tom Mckenzie. Her grace on the water captivates audiences young and old. A skilled citizen naturalist, Sue has 314 birds on her Minnesota life list and is an avid birder, bird bander, and wildlife researcher.

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Winchell Delano click to expand


Winchell Delano is an award-winning expedition paddler, speaker and video producer. Both the Trans-Territory (2012) and Rediscover North America (2015) canoe expeditions were awarded Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s Expedition of the Year, and the respective film projects have been widely circulated. This past spring, Rediscover North America won the “Best Adventure Travel” category with the Reel Paddling Film festival and is touring nationally.


He has degrees from Gonzaga University (BA in 2007) and the University of Kansas (MA in 2011), both in Environmental History, and has years of guiding experience in the field. Overtly committed to paddling trips that involve a holistic experience of upstream, downstream, open water, whitewater and portaging, and always has several trip ideas in mind at any given time. Avid consumer of fantasy and science fiction novels.



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Jerry Vandiver click to expand

A singer/songwriter from Nashville, Jerry has songs recorded by Tim McGraw and The Oak Ridge Boys to name a few.  He has song credits on over 15 million records and paddling credits on countless rivers and streams in North America. He’ll be talking about how his BWCA experiences have inspired his songwriting and performing those inspirations for a new and unique BWCA Expo experience.


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Dan Cooke click to expand

Dan knows outdoor gear … he (along with his wife Karen) produce a wide variety of high quality outdoor products under the Cooke Custom Sewing brand name.

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Dave and Amy Freeman click to expand

Since 2001 Dave and Amy Freeman have traveled over 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled through some of the world’s wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named the Dave and Amy Adventurers of the Year in 2014 and their images, videos, and articles been published by a wide range of media sources from the CBC, NBC, and FOX to the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, Outside, Backpacker, Canoe and Kayak, and Minnesota Public Radio.

The Freemans are memorable speakers and skilled educators who use their wilderness journeys to inspire, educate and entertain a diverse range of audiences, from armchair adventurers and k-12 students to business leaders and seasoned wilderness travelers. They use exploration to highlight life lessons, conservation, and backcountry skills that benefit a varied audience. When Dave and Amy aren’t on expeditions or speaking tours, they guide canoe, kayak and dogsled trips near their home on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota.

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Alan Gage click to expand

Alan Gage is just some guy who likes to take long distance solo canoe trips with his dog, Sadie. Year by year he’s building his resume and experience in the school of hard knocks. In 2015 he spent 30 days traveling the length of the Bloodvein River in Northern Ontario before turning around and paddling back upstream. In 2016 he did 42 days linking multiple river systems that took him to the Nunavut border. The goal of his trips are maximum time on the water for minimum cost. In addition he’s also an avid backyard canoe builder who has been paddling his own designs for the past few years. Sadie will also be present to answer questions.

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And more to come!


    • Camp Chow
    • Cooke Custom Sewing
    • Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center 
    • St. Croix Canoes
    • Stewart River Boat works
    • Nemo Equipment
    • Seattle Sports
    • Sealskinz
    • Nova Craft Canoe
    • Northwoods Volunteer Connection
    • The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters
    • Northstar Canoe
    • Kondos Outdoors
    • Sigrud Canoe Co


This event is in cooperation with and under a Special Use Permit from U.S. Forest Service, Gunflint Ranger District

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