ELY, Minn. (FOX 9) - The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness reopened for both day and overnight use Monday under Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay Safe MN order, which allows camping at remote and dispersed campsites.
The U.S. Forest Service had closed the Superior National Forest, which includes the BWCAW, for several weeks to support the governor’s previous stay-at-home order and encourage people to recreate close to home and avoid nonessential travel to slow the spread of COVID-19. The BWCAW reopened for day use earlier this month, but overnight use remained restricted.
Camping was banned completely under the stay-at-home order. Walz let the order expire Monday, replacing it with the Stay Safe MN order, which loosens restrictions. The new order allows campers from the same household to set up in remote and dispersed campsites, like those in the BWCAW.
“We are happy to be fully allowing visitors into the BWCAW,” Forest Supervisors Connie Cummins said in a statement. “We ask that visitors continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing wherever they choose to visit.”
The Superior National Forest will continue to use temporary modifications to the permit pick-up requirements for all BWCAW quota permits.
Visitors are asked to stay as local as possible when choosing a site to visit and to pack out everything they bring, especially trash.