Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I go to Laketrails?

Laketrails provides you with the opportunity to live in the wilderness, make new friends and do many things you don’t usually, or can’t do at home. Things like canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, swimming, water carnivals, and hikes to historic gold mines or logging camps are all part of the Laketrails experience.

What else will I do at Laketrails?

The heart of our program is a five-to-six day wilderness canoe trip. You have the opportunity to choose what type of trip you wish to take, and become instrumental in planning and carrying out the trip.

What Should I Bring?

Camp provides all food and all camping gear except a sleeping bag. Generally, camp is a great place to bring old clothes because they will get dirty. Check out our guidelines

I’ve camped with my family and car camped before–will this help?

Sure, but at Laketrails we camp in the roadless wilderness far from civilization. You’ll learn how to move through the lake and woods with minimal impact, and how to camp and carry all the gear needed to survive several days in the back country.

I’ve never camped before, is that a problem?

Not at all, we spend the first day of your stay at the Base Camp reviewing the canoeing and camping skills you will need. On the trip, you will be with other kids near your age and two experienced Laketrails Guides who are typically college-aged students. Both in camp and “on trail” everybody helps each other out.

Can Anyone Come to Laketrails?

Laketrails was founded in 1952 to provide a true wilderness adventure for teens. Laketrails campers must be at least age 13 or out of the seventh grade to attend Camp. We also offer a session for Middle School youth who have completed grades 6 through 8.

What to Bring

Clothing and Equipment
Trips are hard on clothing and equipment. Portage trails are uneven, weather can change abruptly, and campers will be very active. Consider each item carefully as you pack. Is it durable? What would happen if it were torn, lost, or damaged? For the canoe trip, campers’ personal gear and sleeping bags are packed together in waterproof packs supplied by the camp.

All personal belongings should be plainly marked with first and last name for identification. Items you do not take with you on your canoe trip can be left in your luggage at Base Camp. Cabin storage is limited. As a general rule of thumb, bring old clothes. If you are going to invest in something, rainwear is the most important part of the wardrobe, when you need it. It is also a good idea to pack a clean, dry set of clothes that you will wear for the bus ride home and not be wearing during your stay at camp.

Do Bring

  • Sleeping bag
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • Underwear for 1 week
  • 3 shirts
  • Socks for 1 week
  • 1 or 2 sweatshirts
  • Warm jacket
  • 2 piece durable raingear
  • 2 pair shoes (at least 1 pair sturdy tennis shoes)
  • Brimmed cap or hat
  • Swim suit
  • 1 towel
  • Toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, personal hygiene products)
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Insect repellent (no more than 30% D.E.E.T.)
  • Sunscreen (minimum SPF 15)
  • Metal or sturdy plastic refillable water bottle
  • Lip balm (minimum SPF 15)
  • Sunglasses

Don’t Bring

  • Electronic devices of any kind (including electronic toys, games, CD players, TV’s, I-Pods, phones, etc.). They are a distraction from the experience, and their use is not allowed at camp. You may use these items on the bus ride, but they must be turned in to the camp store (the Duck’s Nest) for safekeeping when you arrive. You’ll get them back for the bus ride home.
  • Excessive cash. The camp store has items ranging from $1 to $55.00. You will also want some money for lunch on the bus rides to camp and back home. We do ask campers to deposit all cash in the camp store. If deposited, we will be responsible for it; otherwise we are not responsible for lost or stolen cash.
  • Weapons, fireworks, firecrackers and other hazardous materials are prohibited at camp and are also prohibited at Canadian customs.
  • Alcohol/drugs and tobacco products are prohibited. Any of these items or other inappropriate or hazardous items brought to camp will be confiscated.
  • All personal sports equipment is not allowed unless there has been prior approval by the Camp Director.

snacks, foodPlease do not bring extra food, candy, or snacks to camp. Camp will provide plenty of nutritious, tasty food for meals. Food brought from home could lead to unwelcome guests (i.e. mice, bears, etc.) in the cabins!
Optional Items:
book, camera, pencil, camping gear

  • Notebook/pen or pencil for “journaling”
  • Camera
  • Fishing gear (rod & reel, artificial lures, etc.)
  • Rugged Sandals (no flip-flops)
Download PDFwhat to bring to camp, camping gear, downloadDownload our What to Bring to Camp PDF!


It all starts on a bus. Due to our outstanding—yet remote—location, Laketrails provides a bus to transport young people from as far away as the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to our site. While the ride can be long—6-8 hours in some cases—it’s a chance to meet fellow campers as you travel across Minnesota to the literal “end of the road” at the Northwest Angle.

Upon arrival at Young’s Bay campers are met by Laketrails Staff and our small flotilla of boats, ready to transport folks out to the island. The boat ride is approximately 6 miles and can take anywhere from 15-25 minutes, depending on wind and weather conditions. The 18-foot boats allow campers the thrill of being on the water and to catch their first views of the islands as they complete their day’s journey to Laketrails.

Bus Return Schedule:

Roseau 10:15 a.m.
Thief River Falls 11:30 a.m.
Erskine 12:00 p.m.
Detroit Lakes 2:15 p.m.
Little Falls 4:00 p.m.
St. Cloud 5:00 p.m.
Rogers 6:00 p.m.

Session Dates and Rates

Session Dates and Rates

2024 Laketrails Schedule:

Laketrails runs wilderness trips from June thru August.
You can either register for Laketrails Base Camp online by clicking the register links below, or by downloading and filling out the appropriate pdf forms located below.

Memorial Day Work Weekend* May 24-27 Register
Session 1 (FULL)  June 16-24 Register
Session 2 June 25-July 3 Register
Session 3 July 5-13 Register
Session 4 (FULL) July 15-23 Register
Session 5 (Middle School) July 25-Aug 2 Register
Session 6 Aug 5-13 Register

* Memorial Day Work Weekend is a chance for Laketrails friends, both old and new, to spend time at camp helping to get the island ready for the summer. Join in the camaraderie while lending a hand to your favorite wilderness youth camp. Bring a pair of work gloves and comfortable clothing. You can even bring a friend! First-timers are also welcome! There are no fees for the weekend, but please register early so that meals can be planned.

Download Forms and Information

Session Fees (Includes bus transportation):

Sessions 1 and 3 – 6 …………$800 per session
Session 2 ………………………….$600

Deposit Information

All Sessions require a non-refundable $150.00 deposit to secure your reservation.

  • Early Enrollment Discount
    Register and pay in full before February 28, and deduct $50 from your fee.
  • Sibling Discount
    If you have more than one child coming to Laketrails this summer, the first pays the regular fee. After that, deduct $50 from your fee for the second, third, or fourth child. (If you have more than four – give us a call!)


Age Requirements:

Sessions 1-4 and Session 6 are open to all teens, age 13-18. Session 5 is for Middle School youth only (those who have completed grades 6-8).


Our wish is that no one will be prevented from coming to Laketrails because of the cost. Our campership program provides both partial and full financial support based on need for those wishing to attend Laketrails. Copies of the policy and application form are available here. (link to Campership Policy & Application)

Special Sessions:

  • Middle School Session
    To better meet the needs of younger campers, Laketrails offers a session for youth currently in grades 6, 7, or 8. The program format is similar to our other sessions, but enrollment is limited to youth in these grades.