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Motorized Areas Within the BWCA

While the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is world renowned for its canoeing, there are a handful of beautiful lakes within the BWCA that allow motor usage.  BWCA permits are still required on these lakes.  Also popular is houseboating in the neighboring Voyageurs National Park, Crane Lake, and further west at Lake of the Woods.

MOTOR-POWERED WATERCRAFT REGULATIONS

No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including pontoon boats, sailboats, sailboards) is allowed. All other lakes or portions of lakes within the BWCAW are paddle-only. Motors may not be used or be in possession on any paddle-only lake. Motor-powered watercraft are permitted only on following designated lakes:

LAKES WITH A 10 HORSEPOWER LIMIT
On these lakes, the possession of one additional motor no greater than 6 horsepower is permitted, as long as motors in use do not exceed 10 horsepower.

Clearwater North Fowl
South Fowl Seagull (East of 3 Mile Island)
Portions of Island River  

 

LAKES WITH A 25 HORSEPOWER LIMIT
On these lakes or portions of these lakes, the possession of one additional motor no greater than 10 horsepower is permitted, as long as motors in use do not exceed 25 horsepower.

Basswood (except that portion north of Jackfish Bay and Washington Island)
Saganaga (except that portion west of American Point).
Fall Moose Newton Newfound
East Bearskin Sucker South Farm Snowbank
Trout      

 

LAKES WITH NO HORSEPOWER LIMITS

Little Vermilion Loon Loon River  
Lac La Croix (not beyond the south end of Snow Bay in the U.S.A.)


PORTAGE WHEELS
Mechanical assistance is only permitted over the following: International Boundary, Four-Mile Portage, Fall-Newton-Pipestone and Back Bay Portages into Basswood Lake, Prairie Portage, Vermilion-Trout Lake Portage.

OPINION
How do you feel about motor and non-motor designations in the BWCA?  Share your thoughts with others on our bulletin board.

 

 

Links:

Motorized Entry Points BWCA Motor Permits
Fishing

 

 
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