Piragis Northwoods Outfitters
Boundary Waters Canoe Trips
105 North Central Avenue
Ely, Minnesota 55731

Why we do what we do:

Where and What is the Quetico?

Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Quetico Permits for Canoe Trips
Piragis Northwoods Company

Quetico Permits for Quetico Canoe Trips

Quetico is a protected, pristine wilderness retreat of international acclaim west of Lake Superior on the Canada-U.S. border. The park’s tangled network of lakes once formed water routes travelled by Ojibway and fur traders. Now it is primarily the destination of experienced canoeists seeking solitude and rare glimpses of wildlife by cascading waterfalls, glassy lakes and endless forests. The park is accessible at four points by canoe.

The last of the glaciers receded from Quetico about 12,000 years ago, leaving a landscape dominated by exposed bedrock, rounded, smoothed or scratched, crushed into boulders or shattered to form imposing cliffs.

The visitor to Quetico will find a primeval wilderness of limitless forests, mirror-smooth lakes, and innumerable bogs, all supporting a rich variety of plants and animals. The northern forest is mainly black spruce, jack pine, trembling aspen and white birch, with sheltered pockets of more southern trees such as oak, elm, silver maple, yellow birch and basswood. The park also has magnificent stands of red and white pine. Red squirrels, chipmunks, beaver and mink are among the smaller mammals. Larger species such as wolf, bear and moose also live here, and in summer more than 90 species of birds nest in the park.

Quetico's many interconnecting waterways were the highway system upon which explorers sought the passage to the West. They were also a vital transportation route that supplied tons of fur pelts to the markets of Montreal and Europe in the mid-17th century. Today these waterways are a wilderness paradise for canoeists.

Quetico is primarily a wilderness canoeing park. There are 2,200 backcountry (interior) campsites, accessible by canoe, scattered around the park on over 600 lakes.

Visitors entering Quetico directly from the United States must obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit from Canada Immigration (or by mail from Canada Customs) before crossing.


Stretching 60 miles from east to west and 40 miles from north to south, Quetico is renowned for its rugged beauty - its towering rock cliffs, majestic waterfalls, virgin pine and spruce forests, picturesque rivers and lakes - and for the best wilderness canoeing in the world. Except for Dawson Trail, the park is accessible only by water. There are no roads, no logging and regulations help preserve its natural and remote splendour.

Hundreds of lakes and rivers are linked by portages averaging 400 m.

Some areas of the park are more easily travelled than others. Portages and campsites are not signed.

Fishing Licenses in Canada:

Fishing Licenses are no longer available at the Ranger Stations. Licences can now be obtained online at www.ontario.ca/outdoorscard. Licences can also be obtained over the phone by calling 1-800-288-1155 or in person at issuer locations.

Licensing Help Line 1-800-387-7011

To reserve your Quetico Permit please contact us.

Call Drew or Adam today at 1-800-223-6565 to discuss your trip and plan your route.

We carry Fisher, McKenzie and Voyageur Maps as well as a handy map of the entire Quetico. We also stock mapbooks and guide books. Please follow this link to our online Boundary Waters Catalog for the maps you need.

Drew Brockett or Adam Macht


Contact Drew Brockett or Adam Macht

Piragis Northwoods Company your complete online paddling source.

Piragis Northwoods Company
105 N. Central Avenue   Ely, Minnesota, 55731
Call (800)223-6565 for a free canoe consult

©copyright 2000 Piragis Northwoods Company