The park consists of 218,000 acres about a third of which is covered by water. There are four major lakes in the park Rainy Lake, which has 36,418 acres in the park, Namakan Lake, which has 12,323 acres in the park, Sand Point Lake, which has 5,179 acres in the park and Kabetogama which has all 25,760 acres in the park. Besides the four big lakes there are also numerous inland lakes that are scattered around the park.
The park has three different visitors centers. The Rainy Lake visitors center is located about 11 miles east of International Falls, MN on the shore of Black Bay. It is the only one of the three visitors centers that is open year round. Kabetogama Lake Visitors Center is located right off of Peterson Bay on Kabetogama Lake. This visitors center is closed during the winter months, which are quite long in northern Minnesota. The Ash River Visitors Center, pictured above, is located on the east end of Kabetogama Lake. This visitors center is housed in the historic Meadwood Lodge, which was once a log cabin lodge on the lake. Ash river is also not open during the winter.
Voyageurs was established, "to preserve for the inspiration and enjoyment of future generations, the outstanding scenery, geological conditions, and waterway system which constituted part of the historic route of the Voyageurs who contributed significantly to the opening of the Northwestern United States."
My reason for visiting Voyageur National Park was to participate in a dragonfly survey hosted by the Minnesota Odonata Survey Project. Although it was a long drive to go chase dragons, about six hours each way, I decided to drive up the day before and stay over night so that I could spend a little bit of time in this wonderful park.
On the survey we added several new species to the county list. I also added a couple of new dragons to my own personal life list including two new emeralds, the forcipate and the Williamson's. The two dragons pictured here are a horned clubtail and a saffron-winged meadowhawk.
There were also other insects to photograph including bees, and butterflies like this black swallowtail.
There were also quite a few birds around the park but unfortunately I did not have enough time to do much birding. I did manage to get a couple of shots of this red-eyed vireo that was hanging around the Kabetogama Lake Visitors Center.