Voyageurs National Park

Award-winning Destination in Voyageurs National Park on Lake Kabetogama

You simply can’t get closer to a Voyageurs National Park vacation than from Northern Lights Resort. We are located so close to the park that the waterline of our lakeside resort rests at the beginning of the park’s boundary. Lake Kabetogama is arguably one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Northern Minnesota, and our prime lakeside location makes it a great home-base for your Voyageurs experience.

We’ve been recognized by both Travel & Leisure and CNN Travel as a Top 10 Lake Destination in the USA in 2012. TripAdvisor and Family Vacation Critic have also listed Northern Lights Resort as a top Voyageurs National Park destination for 8 years running.

With such “5 Star” recognition and ideal location, it’s no wonder that guests travel here year after year to enjoy the stunning beauty and adventure. The wooded shorelines of the Voyageurs lakes are a beautiful combination of forest, sandy bays and ancient glacier carved rocks known geographically as the Canadian Shield. The rocks are laced with granite and quartz to bring sparkle and wonder to your journey throughout the park.

Sunset on Lake kabetogama. Text: Because you've earned it... Vacation at Northern Lights Resort Minnesota.

What sets Northern Lights Resort above the rest?

  • We offer unparalleled privacy on Lake Kabetogama. As the only resort on the Echo Island bay, our private north woods setting is a tough location to beat. Be careful; once you come to visit, you may never want to leave!
  • We offer the largest private floating waterpark in Voyageurs National Park and all of Northern Minnesota.
  • Abundant watercrafts free to use for our guests: paddle boards, paddle boats, canoes and both kid’s kayaks and sea-going kayaks.
  • Other lake recreation activities include a private sandy beach with lounge chairs, volleyball net, and a playground area.
  • We offer a full-service harbor with gas and live bait. Did you know we’ll even clean your fish for you?
  • High-quality boat rentals at a price you can afford pontoon and fishing boat rentals are offered for people to launch from NLRO to explore the national park. All boats are fully equipped with GPS for safe boating.
  • Our cabin and boat rentals are centrally located on Lake Kabetogama for easy access to the water and all Voyageurs National Park destinations.
  • Our resort is close to the Kabetogama Voyageurs National Park Visitor Center and only a few minutes by boat or car. How does only two stop signs and no stop lights sound for you city drivers? We are centrally located to explore the two other additional visitor centers in the park too (Rainy Lake Visitor Center and Ash River Visitor Center). Scroll down this page for visitor center details and tips for planning your visit to Voyageurs National Park..

It’s Free – sound too good to be true?

Unlike many National Parks that have a gated entrance where you pay to enter, access to the only Minnesota National Park is free! There are three visitor centers at Voyageurs National Park – Ash River, Kabetogama and Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Your cabin rental on Lake Kabetogama at our resort is centrally located to explore the entire park.

Aerial view of Voyageurs National Park Cliffs, Grassy Bay, Sand Point and Namakan Lake

Voyageurs National Park Activities and Events

In addition to the activities and lake recreation at our resort our visitor center offers many family and youth activities. Click Here to Learn More. If you don’t want to drive your own boat on the lake, choose a water taxi or guided tour launched from a Voyageur’s Visitor Center.

Hours do vary at each visitor center, so please check the most current information by visiting the links below or calling the number listed.

The Best of Minnesota Wildlife awaits you in Voyageurs National Park

Wildlife abounds within Voyageurs National Park where you will often see eagles soaring overhead or diving to catch a fresh fish for lunch. Eagles aren’t the only ones catching fish around here. There is no shortage of fish for the avid angler. The fresh, clear cool waterways are excellent for hooking big game fish. Come fish for walleye, northern pike or a fish fry of bass, crappie and perch.

The historic Kettle Falls is not only a lovely landmark, but their diner will even fry up your fish for you! Check out our Kabetogama online fishing guide for more tips.

The Minnesota State bird, the loon, is often seen from our dock or as you explore the Voyageurs Chain of Lakes. You will learn they will dive quickly and deeply and can hold their breath for over a minute. The game is who can spot the loon first after it resurfaces! To see the mother loon carry her babies on her back is priceless. To hear the call of the loon is unforgettable.

The Kabetogama peninsula is the best place to see moose or bears in their natural habitat in Northern Minnesota. Come see an active beaver dam or deer grazing. In 2014, two fawns were born here at Northern Lights and as we enter 2016 they are regular residents roaming our property.

What about the wolves? Even though there are five wolf packs that claim Voyageurs National Park as their home, they are more likely heard than seen!

Canoe in the lake at sunset.

The best way to see the park and wildlife is by boat!

Two of the best hiking trails in Voyageurs are on the south shore of the Kabetogama peninsula, which is easily accessed from Northern Lights Resort by boat. You can bring your own boat or rent one from us. Our resort guests have free access to our canoes and kayaks to paddle the park at their leisure during their vacation stay. Refer to our Kabetogama Lake Maps page and boating tips for navigating the Voyageurs Chain of Lakes.

There are several hiking trails also accessible by car, too. The Echo Bay Trail is just down Northern Lights road from our resort and a lovely “loop” trail. Find a full list of trails with maps on the National Park website.

Bring your camera and binoculars to view the wildlife and great variety of birding, too! Our Voyageurs birding page highlights the large variety of species and hiking trails in the region. If you enjoy wildlife photography, you can’t miss out on Voyageurs. Tracy and Steve both love snapping photos of this lovely area and capturing wildlife on film, too. See the latest on our Facebook page or stay connected through our periodic blog posts throughout the year that feature our top picks for nature and wildlife photos!

Picnic Lunch on your own Private Island

Lake Kabetogama has over 200 islands to see and explore. Pack a picnic lunch or go blueberry picking. Any campsite within the park is available to use for your picnic shore lunch, as long as it is not occupied.

The #1 visitor destination within Voyageurs is the Ellsworth Rock Gardens. We highly recommend making this a top destination on your “must see” list while you visit Voyageurs. It features a nature walk among unique rock sculptures and flower beds. Pack a lunch and take advantage of their picnic shelter and tables (and a vault toilet if you need to make a pit stop). It also offers a lovely view of Lake Kabetogama at treetop level.

Happy Hour and breathtaking sunsets off the dock

There is a happy vibe of activity and lounging on our spacious lakeside dock. Bring your own beverage of choice, kick-back, relax and enjoy the view and other guests. Did we mention the inspiring sunsets? WOW!

Enjoy a campfire and toasting s’mores!

After another exciting day of exploring all that the national park has to offer, come back to your cozy lakeside cabin to recharge and have a campfire. More s’mores, anyone?

And before you call it a day, be sure to look up at the night sky. The stargazing here is spectacular and inspiring.

With all the comforts of home at your lakeside cabin and such close access to the scenic wilderness of Voyageurs, what are you waiting for?

Contact us today to help plan your Voyageurs National Park family vacation!