The first couple of weeks in August tend to be a very popular time to canoe camp in the Boundary Waters. Is it because of the never-ending sunlight, lack of bugs, bountiful blueberries or starry night skies? Whatever the reason August is a great time to visit the BWCA.
The days are a bit shorter in August but are still plenty long for paddling the lakes of the Boundary Waters. The lake water is at its warmest for swimming and air temperatures are warm too. The average high temperature is 76.1 degrees, average low 52.4 degrees; perfect conditions for sleeping outside of the tent beneath the stars.
Hang in a hammock between two trees and make yourself cozy. There’s no need for a screen because the bugs are basically non-existent in the BWCA in August. While hanging in the hammock keep an eye on the sky for the Perseid Meteor Shower. Perseid meteors can often be seen as early as July 23, when one meteor every hour or so could be visible. It is possible to see up to five per hour at the beginning of August and when they peak around the 12th of August you could see as many as 50-80 per hour. After the peak the number slowly declines but they offer sky watchers a real treat for the first half of the month. There’s no better place to watch the Perseid meteor shower than in the dark skies of the BWCA.
The light of the moon reflecting off of the lake is another beautiful sight. The month of August is known in Ojibway as the Blueberry Moon. Sometimes blueberries will ripen before August but we’ll almost always have blueberries in the Boundary Waters to pick in August. Along with the blueberries are raspberries, thimbleberries, bunchberries, cranberries and rose hips to pick and enjoy. There’s even some flowers still blooming and they are primarily purple towards the end of the season. Purple Knapweed, Purple Loosestrife and Fireweed are seen in August as are Black-Eyed Susans, Goldenrod and water lilies.
The fishing in the Boundary Waters during August is good. While lake trout go deep the smallmouth bass and northern pike are ready and willing to bite. Walleye can be a little difficult to find but once you find them you’ll catch lots of them.
As if the above reasons weren’t enough to want to visit the Boundary Waters there are other things happening in August such as Monarchs emerging from cocoons, mushrooms ripening, wild rice getting ready to harvest and hummingbirds preparing to migrate. August is indeed a wonderful time to be in the BWCA.