The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness comprises the world's largest network of wilderness waterways, spanning the Minnesota-Canada border with more than a million acres of glacier-carved streams and lakes. Here, more than 1,000 canoe routes wind past steep granite cliffs and ancient forests. The natural setting is so idyllic that National Geographic listed it as one of the world's top 50 destinations to visit in a lifetime. At Nelson's Resort, you can embark on your own guided boating or fishing trip in the Boundary Waters via Crane Lake, located just steps from the resort's rustic log cabins.
Nelson’s Resort was founded in 1931 by John and Millie Nelson as an elegant retreat in Minnesota’s Northwoods. Today, the third generation of Nelsons runs the resort and maintains the 27 individual log cabins spread across the property. After a day of canoeing, fishing, or hiking, retire to a one- or two-bedroom abode. Most are made from pine logs and equipped with outdoor decks and lake views. Some cabins are outfitted with a kitchen, so you can prepare your daily catch for dinner. The resort will also freeze and wrap your fish on request.
You can also fuel up at the restaurant, where chefs prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. On select days, you can enjoy live piano music in the wood-trimmed dining room lit by tabletop lanterns. Dinner specialties include grilled lavender pork chops and lemon chicken fettuccine seasoned with fresh herbs and vegetables harvested from the resort's garden.
Highlights of Crane Lake, Minnesota
Outdoor exploring Canoe or hike to Vermillion Falls to watch the rushing waters spill over granite bluffs or paddle northward to Namakan Narrows to see Native American pictographs etched into the rocks.
Catch of the day This is prime locale for fishing, with countless lakes and rivers filled with walleye, northern pike, and lake trout.
Day trip: About 60 miles away, you’ll find shelves of ancient bedrock amid towering evergreen forests and colorful wildflowers at Voyageurs National Park. Keep an eye out for resident wildlife, including black bears, timber wolves, and snowshoe hares.
Northern lights: At night, look skyward to see thousands of brilliant stars and the occasional green glow of the aurora borealis.
Love to travel? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for travel tips, inspiration, and photos from around the world.