BWCA How far do you travel to the BW? Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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      How far do you travel to the BW?     

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09/13/2022 10:57AM  
It's been a while since this question has been asked and there are enough new people on this board to ask the question again.

So how far do you travel to get to the BWCAW? At one point I think there was a couple that traveled from Israel to paddle the quiet waters of the BW.

For me it's just over 1200 miles round trip from my house to Ely. Hopefully retirement will shrink that number drastically.
 
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Schmally
member (5)member
 
09/13/2022 11:41AM  
Leaving in about 45 minutes, 460 miles to Ely!


 
09/13/2022 01:52PM  
Most of our Canoe Country trips are Quetico-based. If we enter the park from the south, it's a 1250-mile commute to Ely. If we enter from the north, it's a 1400-mile commute to Atikokan. These mileages are one-way, and it's worth every minute of the drive! We're in western North Carolina about 45 minutes south of Asheville.

TZ
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
09/13/2022 02:00PM  
TrailZen: "Most of our Canoe Country trips are Quetico-based. "
Our's, too. It's about 600 miles one way from our house in eastern Wisconsin to Atikokan.

On the occasions where we've gone to the BW, it's between 450 and 475 miles, depending on Ely or the Gunflint Trail as our destination.
 
trashbag
distinguished member (146)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 02:04PM  
798 miles. around 14 hour drive
 
09/13/2022 02:35PM  
Around 630 miles….
 
09/13/2022 03:22PM  
About 1200 miles one way
 
DMan5501
member (45)member
 
09/13/2022 03:55PM  
1902 miles one way.... BUT I stay in Duluth for the summer...
 
ryebread26
distinguished member (267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 04:41PM  
10.5 hrs one way. 667 miles
 
moosedoggie
distinguished member (178)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 04:46PM  
Right at 1100 miles to Ely.
 
09/13/2022 05:18PM  
460 to Ely, 470 to GM
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1883)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 05:22PM  
1,207 miles one way. About 18.5 hrs. of actual drive time.
 
KawnipiKid
distinguished member (103)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 05:25PM  
426 to Ely and 436 to Grand Marais, one way.

 
cyclones30
distinguished member(4070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/13/2022 05:33PM  
8-9 hours of drive time.....I don't measure in miles :)

 
09/13/2022 05:49PM  
cyclones30: "8-9 hours of drive time.....I don't measure in miles :) "
Funny the various measurement systems folks use for travel. A college friend listed trip length by the beer needed (yeah, I know, that doesn't say much about some of my college friends!). Another by the coffee stops required. Another by refueling stops. Whatever works...

TZ
 
sedges
distinguished member(879)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 07:49PM  
My last four trips have been from the end of the Gunflint Trail or Tuscarora Outfitters. About right at 1500 miles from our home in GA. A little out of the way to stay with friends in Indianapolis and also some extra miles to avoid Chicago.

If I am traveling solo, as in the last three trips, I can't do it in less than three days and still feel good on the first day paddling. It is safer, too. Its an age thing. I can actually enjoy the drive if I take three days. Traveling with my partner we have done it straight through in 22 hours, but we were young then and a bit wilder! It is amazing we never got a speeding ticket on that trip.

Still wild, but in a different way:)
 
Duckman
distinguished member(504)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 07:55PM  
1006 miles from my door to Sawbill.

15.5 hours non stop drive, a bit more time if I detour to my brother’s house for a canoe.
 
HowardSprague
distinguished member(3272)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 08:00PM  
600 miles to Ely. About 9 - 9-1/2 hours to get there (younger foolisher days, 8-1/2) about 10-11 hours to get home. :)
 
StLouisPaddler
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
09/13/2022 08:30PM  
Round trip is 1600 miles; 512,000 rods.
 
09/13/2022 09:09PM  
598 miles to the Trail Center.
 
OldTripper
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 10:21PM  
According to Google maps, 1,412 miles, one way.
Sure do miss living up there.
 
Ahahn366
member (27)member
 
09/13/2022 11:08PM  
163 mi, to Ely about four beers / hours with a nice stop at the big pines. I could cut some distance if I paddled north across lake Superior......but that would take more beers.
 
Gaidin53
distinguished member (430)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/13/2022 11:22PM  
4 hours 249 miles one way. I love in the Minneapolis area. Wish I didn’t though and could live up north or in a smaller town.

Ryan
 
moray
distinguished member (258)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 07:06AM  
Southern California to Ely…2014 miles. I have driven this route 2 times a year for the past 5 years. This year I flew for both my trips.
 
Outdoorsfan69
distinguished member (102)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 07:10AM  
One way it is about 8 - 9 hours, according to google maps, 614.7 miles.
 
09/14/2022 07:27AM  
652 roundtrip miles. Enjoy every inch....!
 
09/14/2022 08:46AM  
The trip up 1,000 miles on the button our house to Seagull Outfitters on the Gunflint.

The trip back home, seems like 6,000 miles.

 
Fishman53
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
 
09/14/2022 08:53AM  
Takes around 15.5 hours - 1,075 miles for our travel to BW. Fortunately we have friends in the Minneapolis area we stay with on the drive up and back which helps break up the trip.
 
KarlK
member (9)member
 
09/14/2022 08:56AM  
I am about 250 miles away, Ely would be a bit closer. The distances some of you are travelling is impressive, and it shows the impact of wilderness designation.
There is no real substitute for canoe country.
 
Doc_of_the_bay
member (35)member
 
09/14/2022 09:20AM  
~1400 miles one- way from North Georgia, via our daughter's house in southern MN
 
IndyCanoe
distinguished member (151)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 09:24AM  
About 1500 miles round trip for us from the Indianapolis area
 
cmanimal
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
 
09/14/2022 09:29AM  
StLouisPaddler: "Round trip is 1600 miles; 512,000 rods. "

That is an awesome paddles response. My RT is 206080 rods, paltry by comparison. 644 miles, 6.5 hrs. there and about 8 back.
 
greywolf33
distinguished member (181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 09:51AM  
It is 262 miles from my garage to the nearest BWCA entry point.
 
09/14/2022 09:57AM  
StLouisPaddler: "Round trip is 1600 miles; 512,000 rods. "

Is that single or double portaging?
 
09/14/2022 10:46AM  
515 miles each way......
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14249)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/14/2022 11:07AM  
212 miles, central Minnesota
 
GregSC
member (28)member
 
09/14/2022 11:32AM  

1297 miles Ely for me. I fly.
 
tomo
distinguished member (170)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 12:14PM  
I am spoiled living in Duluth.
 
TreeBear
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 12:52PM  
tomo: "I am spoiled living in Duluth. "

I'm spoileder (?) finally making the move to Ely this year. Closest BW access is 10-15 miles.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2656)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 12:54PM  
15 minutes to Mudro.
30 Minutes to Moose Lake.
 
andym
distinguished member(5155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/14/2022 01:00PM  
Google maps says 2076 road miles to Ely, one way. But we fly to MSP and rent a car.

There may have been others but our niece and her husband came from Israel to do a trip with us. But it was part of a longer trip to visit family around the US. Same for one of her brothers.
 
09/14/2022 01:49PM  
about 568 miles each way. 10 hours of anticipation each direction. For the upcoming trip on the way there, and the next trip on the way home :)
 
EddyTurn
distinguished member (227)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 03:58PM  
1400 miles one way, and I'm not coming back as long as Canada keeps its border open. I'm spoiled living in New Jersey.
 
jcavenagh
distinguished member(4522)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/14/2022 04:10PM  
566 miles from my house to VNO in Ely.
Probably 10-11 hours including breaks.
(Oh yeah, bfurlow lives almost exactly 2 miles south of me.)
 
StLouisPaddler
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
09/14/2022 04:24PM  
Big Tent: "StLouisPaddler: "Round trip is 1600 miles; 512,000 rods. "
Is that single or double portaging?"

Lol. That’s single portaging with an assist from Henry Ford.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/14/2022 04:26PM  
From Perham MN:
235 mi to Insula in Ely
325 mi to Poplar Haus on the Gunflint
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1122)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 04:58PM  
schweady: "From Perham MN:
235 mi to Insula in Ely
325 mi to Poplar Haus on the Gunflint
"


We are 302 miles to the Poplar Haus on the Gunflint, but Trail Center is an even 300!
:^)

Interestingly, the MapQuest app on my phone has it the other way around.

Mike
 
09/14/2022 05:28PM  
4 hours from our home in Seward in Minneapolis. Best case. We have been known to leave after work and put in at 8 PM.
 
WHendrix
distinguished member(583)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 05:35PM  
214 miles, 4 hrs & 20 min., 4 pipes
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(4070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/14/2022 05:51PM  
Mapquest is still around?? Who knew
 
RunningFox
distinguished member (188)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 07:39PM  
455 miles from Fond du Lac WI to Ely. Roads have greatly improved in my life time. And rolling at 70 mph vs. 55 makes the trip more tolerable. Disappointed I only made it there once this year.
 
eshold
 
09/14/2022 07:54PM  
It's 2 hours / 114 miles from my house in Duluth to Ely. My proximity to the BWCA is one of my favorite parts of living here. It makes it so much easier to do multiple trips per year.
 
Paddle4Hike
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
09/14/2022 09:23PM  
1375 miles one way from home near Raleigh, NC. When I can, I will start or end a trip from/to my work location, Louisville, KY and reduce drive to 950 miles.
Just paddled out tonite from an 11 day solo. Worth every mile to enjoy this amazing place!!
 
Boppasteveg
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/14/2022 09:53PM  
It is 332 miles from my home in Burnsville, Minnesota to Seagull Outfitters.
 
MHS67
distinguished member(1411)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2022 01:14AM  
According to Google maps it's 2167 miles to Grand Marias from our place in Calif. I have always driven, by the time I visit some folks in Wis. and head back home I'm right at 6000 miles.
 
09/15/2022 10:59AM  
I live in Siloam Springs Arkansas. It usually takes me two days to get to the North Shore and then I usually like to mess around there for half a day or more before going into the woods. About half the time I don’t actually go into the park. I often prefer someplace like the timber freer area.
 
walleyejunky
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
09/15/2022 02:57PM  
We come from Mid-Michigan. It's an 11 hour trip and 670 miles one way. We use to drive all night but we would be dead tired paddling and portaging our first day. Now we normally stop for a night in the Upper Peninsula somewhere and then we are in Ely around 2pm the day before we enter the BWCA. Gives us time to get everything in order before we head out. It's a vacation at this point in my life so no need to kill myself like I did in my younger days!!!
 
Speckled
distinguished member(567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2022 03:04PM  
Closest EP is 46 miles from our cabin and 68 miles from our home.
 
09/15/2022 04:39PM  
100 miles to Ely... double that to get up on the Gunflint Trail.
 
09/15/2022 06:16PM  
1,521 miles 1 way from southwest of Houston, TX. Long drive, but worth every mile!
 
LarryS48
distinguished member (248)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2022 06:58PM  
About 1200 miles to Atikokan. Longer if I want to drive along Superior.
 
BonzSF
distinguished member (117)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2022 10:56PM  
2,041.1 from SF Bay Area. That's why I fly. It only took 13 hours last time. It is also why it's only one trip a year for me. I do make it as long as possible. Started with 7 days as a newbie. Then 10 last trip. Maybe 14 next time?
I'll certainly keep coming back for days like this
 
burrow1
distinguished member (192)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2022 09:55AM  
About 470 to Trail Center from just south of Beaver Dam, WI and a stop in Eau Claire, WI to pick up my son and daughter in law.
 
520eek
distinguished member(1347)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2022 09:22PM  
I'm in Tucson....seem really far away when I am looking at cactus...
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(1308)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2022 09:26PM  
635 to Sawbill Entry.

686 to Tuscarora Lodge (Our latest bunkhouse for the night before.)

Our actual travel is further because we stop the first night at our son's home west of Eau Claire. Then finish the drive the next day.

 
09/17/2022 12:28PM  
Amazing how many people travel over 1000 miles to visit the BW.
 
blutofish1
distinguished member(1829)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/18/2022 08:39AM  
1500 miles round trip from central Indiana to Ely.
 
09/18/2022 07:22PM  
1558 miles one way to Seagull. With over 50 trips to the BW I have driven over 160000 miles since 1988.
 
SunrisePaddler
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
09/18/2022 09:38PM  
250 to Ely, 300 to mid-Gunflint Trail. Consider myself very fortunate to have such a relatively short distance to travel as compared to some of you. Truly impressed with the distances some of you travel to enjoy canoe country. Interesting thread.

 
09/19/2022 01:30PM  
1,300 to Ely
1,450 to Atikokan
one way
 
Barca
member (17)member
 
09/19/2022 04:49PM  
Just over 1000 miles from central Ohio, one way. Assuming you go across the Mackinaw Bridge and through the UP of Michigan (so much better than Chicago).

Last trip was to WCPP which was 1300 miles one way to Red Lake (never mind the 2.5 hours after that on a dirt/rock "road")... and I thought I grew up in the country... Worth it though, solitude is so much better than BWCA/Quetico.
 
canoemama3
member (19)member
 
09/19/2022 09:13PM  
About 250-300 miles one way depending on entry point. It was about 5 hours there this summer, last year was a little over 6. We’re central MN, so not really far compared to some on here! Fun to see how far people travel!
 
09/20/2022 12:07PM  
1441 miles from here to Ely. The google map has it at 22 hours and 8 minutes currently. Too far for as many trips as I'd like to make. The worst part of the trip is getting to the north side of Houston.
 
09/20/2022 03:50PM  
About 2,000 miles. 2021 was my last trip. I drive alone or with others.
 
09/20/2022 07:56PM  
4 hours. Close enough I've been lucky to sneak in a few last minute quick trips. love that so many come from so far again and again. The place really gets in your blood.
 
PeaceFrog
distinguished member (335)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/22/2022 11:33AM  
16 hours one way from south central Ohio. Worth every minute. Flying up next week. Will be a good comparison
 
MississippiDan
member (45)member
 
09/30/2022 08:56PM  
Another 1,000 miler here. My August trip from southern Missouri to the Kaswishiwi Lake entry point was just a little over 1,000 miles. Seven days in the BWCA made it totally worth it!
 
3Ball
distinguished member(782)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/30/2022 09:27PM  
270 miles to the cabin, then 0 steps from the dock.
 
Sparkeh
member (12)member
 
10/01/2022 07:07AM  
Drove from Vermont the last 2 years. We stay out there 10 nights to make the drive worth it.
 
johno
distinguished member (172)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/05/2022 03:04PM  
According to Google Maps it is 2,245 miles from my house in San Diego to Grand Marais.

I store all of my gear and canoes at my sister's place near Stevens Point, WI. I visit family and friends in WI and IL, and then do three one week trips in the BWCA and Quetico. The round trip is usually a little over 6,000 miles.

For the past 5 years I've done this trip in both the spring and fall. It's great being semi-retired!!
 
10/11/2022 08:34AM  
About 65 miles.
 
10/11/2022 09:44AM  
Two hours, more or less
 
SirFartsalot
 
10/11/2022 11:32AM  
Approximately 1200 miles uno way.
 
papalambeau
distinguished member (229)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/13/2022 10:49AM  
7.5 - 8 hours from home (Neenah, Wi) to Ely. Depends how long we're at Norske Nook in Rice Lake for pie!
 
10/17/2022 04:38PM  
24 hours to Kiporbys house then like 8 hours to Ely.
I know it's a long ways
SunCatcher
 
10/17/2022 04:50PM  
From Duluth so its about 2 hours I think. Depends what part I am headed to I suppose.
 
Basspro69
distinguished member(14092)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/27/2022 11:43PM  
265 to Grand Marais a little over 4 hours
 
Swampturtle
distinguished member(588)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2022 09:53AM  
1406 miles 1 way to Ely, about 22 hours of driving. We stop half way around O’Hare in Chicago for dinner & a hotel room for the night before we head North.
 
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