Boating in Cook County
Boating on Lake Superior and Inland Lakes
Boating on lakes in Minnesota – like Lake Superior and inland lakes – offers world-class fishing and sightseeing. Whether canoeing, waterskiing, sailing, or enjoying the taste of the fresh fish you just caught, time spent on the water is time well spent!
Here in Cook County, public water access is closer than you think! The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is our northern star. The BWCAW is home to a thousand lakes in Minnesota with 2,200 campsites. Permits are required, obtained at US Forest Service or at one of our expert outfitters. Portages connecting lakes offer unlimited routes of various lengths and difficulties.
Want to use a motor? Our inland lakes in Minnesota are well-marked and easily accessible public access ramps. The DNR maintains a comprehensive list at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html.
Lake Superior Boating:
Lake Superior offers some of the best fishing around – not to mention the most spectacular views of the shoreline. Lake Superior has inland sea qualities. Never underestimate its power, it can turn dangerous very quickly. Here are a few tips to ensure your day on the lake is fantastic.
- Research wind and weather conditions. Even if you plan to stay close to the shoreline, check the forecast to be prepared for whatever the weather may bring.
- Pack adequate provisions. Fog or an east wind on Lake Superior quickly drops temperatures and experienced navigators always have a down jacket on board, even in July and August.
- A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is state law for all children under 10, and adults should wear one at all times too, have one on the boat for each passenger. It’s a sad fact that 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a lifejacket, and drowning is rare when one is snapped on. No matter what your level of expertise, tell someone your plans, bring more than adequate floatation devices (and wear them at all times), and know in advance how to swim.
- Best two items to have on board: A VHF-FM two-way marine radio, and a compass. The radio keeps you informed and in touch with the land, and in hard rain or fog, the compass will keep your direction true. A cell phone can help in a pinch, but cellular reception is spotty or non-existent along portions of the North Shore.
- Operation Drywater. Do not drink and boat. After numerous senseless accidents and drowning, both the state of Minnesota and the US Coast Guard are cracking down on BUI’s (Boating Under the Influence) on our lakes in Minnesota. Licenses and registrations are necessary.
- Our charter captains are seasoned Superior mariners, by hopping on a half day or full day charter, you can truly enjoy a beautiful day on the water.
- We are working hard to keep invasive species out of lakes in Minnesota. Make sure to check your boat before you launch and after your time on the water.
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