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Voyageurs National Park to launch new tour boat

The Ne-zho-dain, based at the Kabetogama Visitors Center, will take visitors to Kettle Falls, Ellsworth Rock Garden and the Namakan Narrows.

KABETOGAMA, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired in May of 2021. 

Visitors to Voyageurs National Park this summer will get a new spin on their outdoor adventure: a brand new tour boat. 

Park officials announced Wednesday that the Ne-zho-dain will be based at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center to take people on excursions to Kettle Falls, Ellsworth Rock Garden, and the Namakan Narrows, among other destinations. 

The name of the boat was selected through a contest held in 2021. Ne-zho-dain translates to "Twin" or "Two Hearts" and is named after Chief Ne-zho-dain from the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. He is considered an important leader who resided in Kabetogama and was reported to be the last known Ojibwe survivor of the famous Battle with the Cut Foot Sioux. 

Credit: National Park Service
The new boat has bench seating, and is designed to handle full class-size tour groups.

Park Superintendent Bob DeGross says the 32-foot tour boat was purchased with funding from the 2020 Federal Lands Highway Category III - Alternative Transportation Program. It is big enough to accommodate full class-size school groups for field trips, and act as a shuttle to support community events.

An open house featuring the new tour boat will be set for some time in June of 2022, with tours to start mid-month. 

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