Canoeing in the wilderness of Minnesota's Boundary Waters

This Sept. 16, 2017 photo shows a visitor to Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness getting ready to put the 16.5-foot canoe back in the water after carrying it overhead across a portage to Parent Lake. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans and fur traders carved these trails through the forests connecting the more than one thousand lakes in the area. (Giovanna Dell'Orto via AP)

Trading in cellphones and civilization for a canoeing and camping trip in the wilderness of Minnesota's Boundary Waters

BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA WILDERNESS, Minn. — You won't find gourmet food or 600-thread count sheets in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

But you will find luxury of a different sort on paddling and camping trips: the luxury that comes with escaping cellphones and civilization and indulging in glacier-carved lakes, starry skies and the call of the loon.

That contrast is the essence of the wilderness experience in Minnesota's Boundary Waters. The physical effort required to explore its off-the-grid remoteness — including carrying a canoe solo on slippery, rocky trails — makes every worry evaporate like steam off woolen socks strung over a campfire.

Covering over one million acres along the Minnesota-Canada border, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protects towering evergreen forests and more than 1,000 lakes that are usually ice-free from May into October.

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