We welcome your first timer questions! Call or email us…we want to hear from you!

Sunrise over a beautifully mirror like lake.
If you’ve never experienced a first-rate outfitted trip, as a BWCA first timer, you may have questions about what to expect. Our Seagull Canoe Outfitters’ step-by-step guide below will help answer your questions.

Choose a Canoe Trip Route

At Seagull Canoe Outfitters, we will work with you before your trip to help determine the best route, trip length, and dates of travel. As your outfitter, we take care of securing all necessary permits and reservations (the only exception is the Remote Area Border Crossing permit, which you must apply for, in advance, by mail, if you plan to enter Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park through Saganaga).

A person carries a canoe overhead.

Most canoeists arrive the night before their entry day, in order to get a fresh start the morning their wilderness adventure starts! Our paddlers lodge provides overnight accommodations for many of our guests before and after their paddling days. And our clean, modern shower house is a welcome sight to many paddlers after a long trip! (Note: Our clean shower house is just one reason why you should choose Seagull Canoe Outfitters as your outfitter. Learn more reasons to choose us.)

Basic Canoe Trip Training

Yes. When you are ready to leave, we’ll instruct you in the things you need to know for back-country travel, including:

  • Confirming your route plan and specific route information
  • Camp cooking and sanitation
  • Water purification, using and cleaning the filters
  • Paddling and portaging instructions, if needed
  • Fishing tips
  • How to pitch your tent and erect a kitchen fly
  • BWCA Permits and Quetico Permits

BWCA Training Videos & Documentation from the US Forest Service and Other Sources

After you are comfortable with the details of your trip, we provide our Complete Outfitting guests with our custom food and gear packs. These have everything you will need in the wilderness, from delicious food and state-of-the-art cooking gear, to modern tents and clean sleeping bags. Our canoes are the finest available, and include lightweight Kevlar or economical aluminum to suit the style of your trip. The photo at the left shows a Kevlar canoe waiting to go for a paddle on the calm water.

A launch service trailer is loaded and ready for Saganaga Lake.Our head-start launch service takes you to points on Seagull or Saganaga lakes, enabling you to quickly get deeper into the canoe country without paddling these two large entry lakes. In the photo at right, we are taking canoeists, their gear and their canoes to Saganaga Lake; once there, we’ll give them a tow boat ride to American Point., which is the farthest point motors are allowed on Saganaga. See the map on our Launch Service page for more details.

Once you’re on your way, you’ll be able to navigate through the many lakes and channels using the maps and specific information we’ve provided as part of our service. Most canoeists do at least some portaging, which involves paddling to a trail that leads to another lake, carrying the gear and canoes across the trail, then paddling into the next lake. This is the way to get deep into the canoe country so you have the wilderness to yourself!Three blueberries on a bush commonly found in the Boundary Waters and Quetico.

Along the way, you’ll see many beautiful sights, discover camping areas you’ll soon consider your very own, and be enthralled with the natural beauty of these magnificent wilderness areas. At the end of your trip, there will be a hot shower waiting for you at our base camp.

If you have questions about a trip to the BWCA or Quetico, please visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page. Read our Canoe Trip Tips page. And to get your very own questions answered, drop in on our Facebook Page for customized responses by those that have done it before.


Book Your Boundary Waters Canoe Trip

If you’re ready to book your trip and you’d like some guidance on route selection, particularly if this is your first trip, please fill out our Routing Assistance form, and send it along with your reservation. This will give us information we need to recommend the perfect route for you! (Note: this form is for use only by guests who are outfitting through Seagull Outfitters. Sorry, but we can’t provide routing assistance for self-outfitted trips.) Check out different the different BWCA entry points.

Dear Debbie and Staff,
Just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for everything you did to make our two canoe trips this summer great successes. Your knowledge of the area allows us to make the best use of the precious days that we spend in the Boundary Waters/Quetico area. The ”side trip” lake that you put us on during our August trip actually produced three beautiful lake trout from just 25 feet of water in the middle of the summer. Great call!
As always, the equipment was flawless. During the four years that we’ve been using Seagull Canoe Outfitters, we’ve grown to appreciate the way you continue to update your camping gear and canoes. It really has made our trips so much more enjoyable and easier.
Ann and Ron Watson, Deerfield IL