Border Route Trail

The Border Route Trail is a 65-mile long hiking trail that crosses the Superior National Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in the far northeast corner of Minnesota and follows the international border between Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. It connects with the Superior Hiking Trail on its eastern terminus and with the Kekekabic Trail on its western end at the Gunflint Trail (Cook Cty. Road 12). The closest towns are Grand Marais (beginning of Gunflint Trail, County Rd 12) and Hovland (beginning of Arrowhead Trail, County Road 16). In addition to the eastern and western termini, the Border Route Trail can be accessed through several spur and connecting trails, allowing for hiking trips ranging from short day-hikes to multiday backpacking expeditions. On the website (, you will find information for planning your hiking trip on the Border Route Trail: BWCA Wilderness regulations, outfitters, trail heads and announcements of upcoming trail clearing events on the Border Route Trail.

The trail was planned and built in the early 1970's by the Minnesota Rovers Outing Club with the help of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the US Forest Service. It was the first long-distance, wilderness backpacking and hiking trail in Minnesota planned and constructed by volunteers. The Border Route Trail Association was incorporated in 2004 to coordinate the maintenance and increase public awareness of the trail. The trail continues to exist by the efforts of volunteers and our valued partner relationships.


Latitude: 48.090305 Longitude: -90.82435 Elevation: 1635 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Matthew Davis

Trail Distance

65 miles

Accessibility Notes

The Border Route Trail is an often steep, natural soil footpath 18" wide with frequent roots and rocks.


An end to end dead fall and brushing maintenance sweep of the BRT to clear 12/15 and 06/16 storm damage was completed in early October, 2016. Enjoy!!

Ed Solstad, BRTA Non-Wilderness Maint Coordinator, 11/25/2016

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