From State Parks to the Superior National Forest, public lands make up a large portion of Minnesota's northwoods. People travel from near and far to visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the waterfalls of north shore of Lake Superior, to hike, paddle, camp, hunt and fish, ski and snowmobile. By getting involved with stewardship activities, either through participating in a volunteer project or making a donation, you can help ensure that these public lands are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.


Your donation allows us to continue to offer volunteer opportunities that benefit forest health and promote recreation in northeastern Minnesota.


The Northwoods Volunteer Connection partners with the USFS Superior National Forest and other local organizations to offer variety of volunteer opportunities.

Northwoods Volunteer Connection - Volunteer Opportunities


2018 Summer Volunteer Projects

Volunteer Stewardship Projects range from a few hours to 5 days and focus on improving recreational and natural resources in the Superior National Forest and BWCAW.


Help the Forest Service monitor visitor use in the BWCAW. Volunteers are needed on specific dates and locations May through September.

Adopt-An-Entry POint

Entry points are the gateways to the BWCAW. Individuals or businesses can "adopt" these resources to ensure they remain open for use. 


Special Projects

Campground Photography Project

Looking for an excuse to explore the Superior National Forest? The Forest Service is looking for volunteers to help collect photos of all campsites at their fee campgrounds for the new website (launching in October).  Five to six photos of each campsite need to be taken. These photos will give campers a better idea of what the sites are like when booking online. Contact us for more information.

Do you have a group that is interested in completing a service project in the area? Fill out a Group Interest Form and we will work with you to find a project that aligns with your interests.



Superior Hiking trail Volunteer Projects

September 19 - 22  @ Crow Creek (North)

Join SHTA volunteer crew leader Steph Hoff to build and finish a short reroute of the SHT at a new bridge over Crow Creek near Grand Marais! Volunteers will work Wednesday, September 19 through Saturday, September 22 on trail building.

At least 12 volunteers are needed for each day. Volunteers can sign up for all four days or whichever day works for you. Work duties will include hauling large lumber in, building new trail, light carpentry, and finish work.

Bring lunch and water, gloves if you have them, and anything else you need for a day on the trail: bug spray, sunblock, etc. Tools will be provided.

Meet at Kadunce River Wayside at 9am, head up to the worksite (less than one mile), and return no later than 4pm.

A group campsite will be provided for volunteers Tuesday through Saturday nights, if needed.

To sign up, email SHTA trail development director Jo Swanson at


Volunteering on the Powwow Trail

August 31st - September 3rd

Join the Friends of BWCA Trails for volunteer clearing projects on the Powwow Trail. This rugged wilderness trail was heavily impacted by wildfire. The Friends of BWCA Trails is dedicated to clearing and re-opening sections for visitor use.


Banadad "Paddling In and Camp"

Thursday, September 20 - Sunday, September 23

Join the Banadad Trail Association for a multi-day project in the BWCAW. These efforts will help clear the trail for the winter ski season. The trip schedule is as follows...

Thursday - Volunteers arrive at the Poplar Creek B&B.
Friday morning - Put-in at One Island Lake and portage to Rush Lake and paddle to the Banadad Trail Bridge (SW end of Rush Lake).
Friday and Saturday - Camp on the Banadad Trail, clearing the trail during the day.
Sunday morning - Retrace route back to the put-in.

For more information contact Andy at


MPCA Citizen Water Monitoring

The MPCA’s Citizen Water Monitoring Programs provide a unique opportunity for people across the state to monitor the water quality of their favorite lake or stream with no prior experience needed – just a love of water. Volunteers can even return to the same lake or stream and monitor it year after year, summer after summer.  Citizen water monitors provide a level of consistency in data collection that is unsurpassed, and the depth of knowledge they gain through the program is incredibly valuable to lake and stream management initiatives at the state and local level.

Furthermore, citizens don’t just collect data, they help state and local groups achieve results. Citizen-collected data help identify and restore polluted waters across the state. They also kick start local initiatives like shoreline restoration or stormwater cleanup projects.  In Minnesota, citizen-collected water quality data is both empowering and effective.

With 69,000 miles of rivers and over 12,000 lakes, Minnesota needs more volunteer monitors across the state to help track the health of our waters. No prior experience or training is required, and MPCA provides all the necessary equipment and training free of charge.

Visit the Citizen Water Monitoring Program website for more details and to sign up!