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Planning a Boundary Waters trip? Summer reservations begin Wednesday

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For some canoeists, the planning is nearly as fun as the trip.

And those who spend the off season poring over maps of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness can make their move beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday. That's when 2015 visitors can begin reserving their dates and entry points at the website Recreation.gov.

Permits for a handful of the most popular entry points were awarded by lottery last week, but at 9 o'clock the whole calendar and map of the BWCA's 1.1 million acres will open up for online reservations on a first-come first-served basis.

Outfitters in the Ely area have been counting down the days.

Opening day for reservations can be a key time for groups of campers intent on claiming specific days or entry points, outfitter Steve Piragis tells the Associated Press. But he says those whose advance planning doesn't reach this far will have access to hundreds of permits this summer through the Web or from outfitters.

Find a list of entry points here.

Here's a rundown of Boundary Waters rules and regulations.

Not familiar with the BWCA?

It offers 1,500 miles of canoe routes. But it is a wilderness. No motors, no electricity, no telephone lines, and no roads to the interior, its website reminds us.

Its quarter-million visitors per year make it America's most popular wilderness area. Some of those visitors have left tips and suggestions on the BWCA blog.

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