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.


What to Bring and What Not to Bring

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....


So, how does this Laketrails experience actually “play out?” It all starts on a bus (Yes, a bus! – look below for the schedule) of all places. 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. Campers first Laketrails experience is of the joys (and sorrows) of a 6-8 hour bus ride to the “end of the road.”
They also meet new friends on the bus, and begin what for some may become life-long friendships. When they arrive at Young’s Bay where the road ends, campers are greeted by a flotilla of boats skippered by Laketrails’ Guides. Several of these are smaller (18-foot) craft which will allow them to experience the thrill of spray in their faces as they make the final passage to the Base Camp on Oak Island.

Bus Departure Schedule:

Rogers Super 8 Motel at Exit 207, Hwys 101 & 94 7:00 am
St. Cloud SuperAmerica on Hwy 10, just south of cloverleaf 8:00 am
Little Falls McDonald’s junction Hwy 10 and 27 8:45 am
Detroit Lakes McDonald’s on Hwy 10 11:00 am
Thief River Falls Arby’s on Hwy 1 1:30 pm
Roseau Doug’s grocery on Hwy 11 3:00 pm
Northwest Angle Young’s Bay Resort 5:00 pm

Bus Return Schedule

Roseau 10:15 a.m.
Thief River Falls 11:30 a.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 Schedule and Rates

Session Dates and Rates

Online registration links will be available once the US/Canadian border opens.
Until then, we encourage registration by using our pdf form. Laketrails apologizes
for the inconvenience and sincerely hopes this is a temporary issue. If the border
does not open in time for camp, please be assured that refunds will be issued.

2021 Laketrails Schedule:

Camp sessions will be limited to 25-30 campers in 2021. Once a session is full, campers will be placed on a waiting list. Please contact the camp office at 800-450-6460 with questions.

Memorial Day Work Weekend* TBD
Session 1 – CLOSED June 20-28 Register
Session 2 – CLOSED June 30-July 8 Register
Session 3 – CLOSED July 9-17 Register
Session 4 – CLOSED July 19-27 Register
Session 5 – CLOSED July 29-Aug. 6 Register
Session 6 – CLOSED Aug. 8-16 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 ………………$780 per session

Session 2 ……………………………….$570

Deposit Information

All Sessions require a non-refundable $100.00 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.