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Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

Motorized Usage

Motorized usage in the Boundary Waters is very limited and only allowed on certain lakes with permits.  Here is a list of lakes where motors are allowed to some degree.  Be sure to also read the rules and regulations.

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 (no motors generally west of Three Mile Island)

  • Sections of Island River within the BWCAW.

 

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

  • Newton

  • Moose

  • Newfound

  • Sucker

  • Snowbank

  • East Bearskin

  • South Farm

  • Trout

 

LAKES WITH NO HORSEPOWER LIMITS

  • Little Vermilion

  • Loon

  • Lac La Croix (not beyond the south end of Snow Bay in the U.S.A.)

  • Loon River.

Useful Links for the Boundary Waters
Permit Issuing Stations Rules and Regulations
Restrictions Entry Points (Motorized & Paddle)
Remote Border Crossing Permits Quetico Permits

BWCA Map Links

BWCA Lake Finder Online Maps Maps for Sale
Cross Country Ski  Trail Maps  
Hiking Trail Maps  
Minnesota Travel Direction Map Ely Area BWCA Map