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Northern Tier


Come to Northern Tier for a whole new level of adventure, up north! From incredible canoe journeys to wild winter wilderness camping, Northern Tier promises the Scouting adventure of a lifetime in the Great North Woods of northern Minnesota and Canada.



The Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases are a unique Scouting program that offer unparrelled wilderness programs found nowhere else. Since 1923, Northern Tier has been utilizing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, Minnesota to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience for scouts and scouters.


Official Northern Tier National High Adventure Base Site


A Brief Overview

The Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases are a collection of high adventure bases in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota, Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park, Manitoba's Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park and points beyond. It is the oldest of the three National High Adventure Bases.

Northern Tier offers wilderness canoe trips. There are no resorts or cabins along the trail, and aircraft and motorboats are restricted. A wilderness canoe trip in this area is not a fishing trip or a laid-back vacation. Just as the voyageurs who traveled through this area in the 1700s, modern day voyageurs are physically challenged as they travel through the woods by paddle and portage. Typical treks may cover 50 to 150 miles and take 6 to 10 days. With each crew is a highly skilled "Interpreter" (guide). As there are no pre-assigned routes, the Interpreter works with the crew to determine a custom trek through the region.

Participants must be at least 13 by September 1st of the year attending Northern Tier. Please note that Philmont and Sea Base remain at the minimum age of 14.

Planning Resources

The Cradle of Liberty Council High Adventure Committee has put together a number of planning resources for use by individuals and crews. If you need additional information, please contact the Committee Chairman, John Schultz, or the council office.

Planning a Successful High Adventure Trek

PDF presentation with details on the 'how' and 'why' of high adventure

Reservation Procedures

Northern Tier operates multiple distinct adventures during all seasons; refer to the official page's information here for details on reserving your spot

Medical Form


BSA now uses a standard form for all High Adventure and unit activities

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