Voyageurs National Park is located in the US state of Minnesota. This extends over an area of 539 km². About 235,000 people come here every year. The park was established on April 8, 1975. See a2zdirectory for tourist attractions in Minnesota.
Naming of the Voyageurs National Park
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the waterways were used by French-Canadian canoeists. They carried skins and other goods. In French, Voyageurs meant professional canoeist. Since this area was strongly influenced by these travelers, the park was called Voyageurs National Park.
Even today, many canoeists and anglers come here to pursue their hobby on the lake and island world.
History of the Voyageurs National Park
According to scientists, the first humans lived in what is now the Voyageurs National Park around 8,000 years ago. They were mainly hunters and gatherers. In 1500 the Sioux came to the area and replaced the first inhabitants.
Later the first whites, especially canoeists, came to the area. They were tough fellows and sailed the waterways for around 180 years. They defied wind and weather and brought the goods to their destination via Rainy Lake.
Their canoes were 8 to 11 meters long and made of birch bark. They transported furs and other goods from the heart of Canada to the east coast. At the portages, the drivers had to carry their canoes, including the goods on board, from one body of water to the other. This was necessary to avoid difficult spots like waterfalls and rapids. The canoes were only replaced by steamboats towards the end of the 19th century.
The need for fur decreased and the demand for wood increased. After a short time, the forest in today’s Voyageurs National Park was as good as cleared. In 1910 there was hardly a tree left. As in all parts of the USA, the gold rush was rampant here around 1890. There were also professional fishermen, and tourism was a major problem for the area. Beach houses shot up like mushrooms.
The national park was launched in 1971. At that time, most of the lakeside properties were privately owned. The park does not have a campsite today because there is no more space available.
Animals and plants in the Voyageurs National Park
In the Voyageurs National Park, the variety of birds is particularly impressive. They are not only well represented in numbers, but also in a wide variety of species and subspecies.
Classic water birds breed here alongside ground breeders and interesting songbirds. A total of 150 species of birds live here. Including the bald eagle, osprey, blue heron, cormorants and of course seagulls.
The mammals have mostly withdrawn to the less busy part of the island. Some black bears and white-tailed deer live here. Wolves and lynx have also found a home here, of course also many beavers and river otters, which find plenty of food in the waters.
After almost complete deforestation in previous years, the forest was reforested and so the forest is now quite lush again.
By the way, particularly beautiful water lilies and wild rice thrive here. Many other aquatic and flowering plants are also represented here and make a colorful spectacle during the flowering period.