Boating Safety & Lake Navigation

Minnesota state law requires all watercraft to have one US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device on board for each person. These must be easily accessible. Children under 10 years of age must wear a life jacket at all times when aboard.

Navigating Voyageurs’ lakes can be tricky! Please refer to the park’s website for detailed information, maps, and downloadable GPS data.

When swimming around or behind boats, make sure that engines and generators are turned off to avoid toxic carbon dioxide exposure.

Riding on the gunwale or bow of a boat is prohibited. When the boat is in motion, passengers should be seated.

Checklist of things to bring on your boat:

  • One readily accessible life preserver per person
  • Type IV throwable cushion
  • Navigation maps
  • Navigation lights at night
  • Whistle or horn
  • Anchor
  • Paddles or oars
  • Spare propeller
  • Flashlight and first aid kit

In emergencies dial 911. Please know that cell service may not always be available. Park rangers also monitor marine band 16 for emergencies during business hours.

If a thunderstorm happens while you are on your boat, head to a location behind islands and wait the storm out in a safe harbor.