What is Paddle Planner.com?

About Us

I have been canoeing since my dad took me on my first Quetico trip when I was 12. I can still remember almost every detail of that trip 20 years later. Since then I have been on over 30 canoe trips. When I am not on the water, I am dreaming of the next time I can be!
I married into the canoeing passion. Before my wedding, I was required to go on a canoe trip with my future husband and his family. Paddling on pristine lakes, catching fish, seeing wildlife, and challenging myself physically is my ideal vacation!
I got hooked on canoeing during a Boy Scout excursion in the BWCA, then returned for more trips there and in Quetico with my brother and friends. My wife passed the "newly married paddling test" and is still a great wilderness partner 30 years later. Along the way there were adventures on the water with our sons. I hope Paddle Planner helps others create great memories of their own.

Ben created MNCanoeing.com, the predecessor to Paddle Planner, in 2011. At first the website focused solely on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). Then other areas and elements were added. In the meantime, Jay discovered the website and used it to plan a solo canoe trip. He was so impressed that he contacted Ben with a "thank you" and suggestions for making the website even more visible and effective. Ben and Jay hit it off as "brainstorming buddies" and began kicking more ideas around, including a new name and development goals. Auralee jumped in and created our wonderful logo and other icons on the site. In addition to being the graphic designer, Auralee also serves as a sounding board, writes trips reports, and puts up with Ben's obsession of rating campsites. Now we are pushing off together as "Partners in the Voyage," to quote the old Wenonah slogan. We are excited about the future of Paddle Planner and, most importantly, helping others make the most of their paddling experiences in the great outdoors.

The Areas

Boundary Waters Canoe Area
NE Minnesota
1,090,000 acres
250,000 visitors per year
Quetico Provincial Park
NW Ontario
1,180,000 acres
20,000 visitors per year
Voyageurs National Park
NE Minnesota
218,000 acres
180,000 visitors per year
Algonquin Provincial Park
Southern Ontario
1,890,000 acres
800,000 visitors per year
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Northern Wisconsin
70,000 acres
150,000 visitors per year
Everglades National Park
Southern Florida
1,500,000 acres
1,000,000 visitors per year
Sylvania Wilderness Area
NW Michigan
18,300 acres
25,000 visitors per year
Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
NW Ontario
1,100,000 acres
1,000 visitors per year
Whiteshell Provincial Park
Eastern Manitoba
675,000 acres
Nopiming Provincial Park
Eastern Manitoba
355,000 acres
Manigotagan River Provincial Park
Eastern Manitoba
28-mile corridor
Atikaki Provincial Park
Eastern Manitoba
985,000 acres
Yellowstone National Park
NW Wyoming
2,200,000 acres
3,400,000 visitors per year

The Tools

BWCA & Quetico Route Finder Example
Route Finder Example

BWCA & Quetico Portage Elevation Graph Example
Portage Elevation Graph Example
  • Interactive Paddling Maps with Route Finder - There are interactive maps for the BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and Woodland Caribou. The most unique feature of the interactive maps is the RouteFinder, which is a paddling route time and distance calculator. Get estimated travel distances and times from just about any point to any other!
  • Campsite Ratings - Members have contributed many campsite ratings to help you decide on a route. The ratings are in both the campsite database and on the interactive map. Many people have also taken photos of the campsites so you can see what they look like before you travel there!
  • Portage Information - Members have contributed comments and photos to prepare you to tackle those tough portages. A great feature in the paid versions of the site are the portage elevation graphs, which gives you an idea of how steep sections of the portage are.
  • Detailed Lake Information - Trip reports, campsites, portages, and fish species information for most of the lakes in the areas. For the paid versions, some lakes also have contour and depth information.
  • Entry Points - Find trip reports, outfitters, look up available permits, and view photos of the entry points.
  • Outfitters - Find information on outfitters servicing the Boundary Waters, Quetico, Sylvania, and Woodland Caribou, including what services they offer, where they are located, and how to get in contact with them.
  • Trip reports, photos, forum, wiki, and much more!