Forest Service profiles wilderness visitors

BWCAW scene
BWCAW scene

Not everyone who visits Cook County heads for the woods. But as we edge into the peak visitor season, a profile of who will be heading into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness paints an interesting picture.
 
Back in 2007 the U.S. Forest Service and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute surveyed over 1,400 visitors during that season. A check of both sources did not find a more recent version of the data.
 
Generally the average overnight visitor is male, 45 years old with an undergraduate degree and a household income between $60,000 and $120,000. That profile is pretty much the same for day-trippers. Both overnighters and day-trippers fish when in the wilderness and both use outfitter services equally – about 39%.
 
Overnighter groups average four people and those in the woods for the day come in groups of three to four. The majority of visitors feel the wilderness is too crowded.
 
 


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