Canoe Registration for paddling the Boundary Waters

canoeing the bwca There was a time when any canoe being paddled in the Boundary Waters needed to be registered. That has changed for non-residents of Minnesota.

If you’re a Minnesotan who owns a canoe you probably know you need to register your watercraft. Sooner is usually better so you aren’t stuck doing it last minute on the day you want to use it. I say the same thing about purchasing my cross-country ski license each winter. There are even ski licenses you can purchase that are good for three years, just like a watercraft registration.  I’ve found saying and doing are two separate things.

Non-residents of Minnesota in the past had to either have their watercraft registered in their state of residence or register it in Minnesota. That law changed in 2017 so unless you are planning to use your canoe in Minnesota for over 90 days you don’t need to have it registered. BWCA portage

Prior to this change we encouraged our guests who were paddling to the Quetico Park with their out of state canoe to just get a tow boat ride through the BWCA to avoid the registration complication. Now they can paddle across Saganaga in their own canoe without having it registered.  I’d still take the tow boat ride! Find our more about our tow boat service on Saganaga Lake on our website.


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