The Boundary Water’s Gets a New Look

     Don’t worry, it’s not the Boundary Waters itself, just the reservation website!

Forest Service announces new reservation system and

Beginning December 1, 2008 applications will be accepted for the 2009 lottery for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) permits.  The lottery provides the first opportunity for visitors to obtain a BWCAW permit for the coming season.  To be included in the lottery, applications submitted by mail must be received by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) on January 10, 2009.  This deadline has been set for the manual entry of applications received by mail. Applications can be submitted online at through January 15, 2009.  Mail-in lottery applications are available from any Superior National Forest office or
All applications submitted by these deadlines, regardless of the method sent, will be processed by the lottery.  Those who submit lottery applications online will be able to view results online January 20.   Applications received after the lottery deadlines will not be processed until January 20.  Faxed applications and payments made by check and money order will no longer be accepted to secure your reservation through the lottery.  

Beginning January 20, 2009, first-come first-served wilderness permit reservations can be made online at  Reservations may be made by phone beginning February 1, 2009 by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service toll free at (877) 550-6777.

New for 2009…
Recreation One-Stop is one of the E-Government initiatives in the President’s Management Agenda to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and customer service of national recreation programs.  ReserveAmerica will continue to provide our reservation services.  How Does This Affect You?
·        Any customer with a current member account on will need to create a new member account on – this is for the protection of your privacy and security. Your new account will only reflect new reservations you make on that website.
·        Visit after November 27, 2008 to create a new account.  Sign up with
your profile information and start your lottery application.  You may also search for your favorite outdoor recreation facilities and activities.

Enhancements under…
·        If successful in the lottery, you will be charged according to your group size make-up upon
submitting your application.  Credit/debit cards will be processed ONLY IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL and charges to them will appear as “Recreation Gov 888 448 1474.”
·        Group leaders will be able to adjust the group size and pay associated fees online up to two days prior to their entry date. A confirmation letter will be sent each time a change is made.  Any adjustments and fee differences thereafter will be handled at the permit issuing station.
·        A permit number will be provided instead of a lottery application number.  You will have one number for tracking purposes.
·        You will be able to cancel your reservation on-line.  The $12 reservation fee is non- refundable.
·        If a reservation is cancelled two or more days prior to the entry date, all user fees paid will be refunded. If cancelled within the 2-day window, 32.00 for 2 adults is retained and additional payments will be refunded.
·        The Forest Service will retain the entire payment if the group is a no show.  

Please visit for additional information and to submit your BWCAW permit application.  Applications submitted by mail should be sent to: BWCAW Reservation Center, P.O. Box 462, Ballston Spa, NY, 12020. A BWCAW Trip Planning Guide and the 2009 BWCAW Lottery Application are available on the Forest web site at, from any Superior National Forest Service office, or by calling (218) 626-4300.


The BWCAW lottery was established to fairly distribute available quotas for entry dates and entry points where demand exceeds availability.  For those who know their desired entry date and location well in advance, the lottery offers an early opportunity to make a reservation.  In the lottery process, permits are awarded through a computer-generated, random selection.