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In The News

News worthy accolades and press releases such as the CBS Early Show, Outside Traveler Magazine, Experience Life Magazine (Lifetime Fitness), Good Housekeeping have featured the fine outfitting services of River Point Outfitting Co. in Ely, Minnesota.

Paddle the Quiet Side®

River Point is proud to have been “In the News” and included in the following publications:

Midwest Living Magazine

“Who’s on your list? Adventurers, romantics, sports lovers? No matter what personality types you’re shopping for, experiences make the best presents of all. We’ve tracked down great getaways tied up in neat packages in all price ranges. They’re great for giving throughout the year.”


Into the wilderness

AS I DIPPED MY PADDLE into Lake One and our canoe lifted free of the sand, the unnerving realization sank in that I was headed into the unforgiving ruggedness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, and my partner, my 12-year-old daughter, already had stopped paddling to look for fish. My sister and her son were paddling like contestants on The Amazing Race. My wife and my other daughter had stopped to fix their hats. Nature, I hoped, would be kind to us.

Fortunately, we had help. Ely-based River Point Resort outfitters designed this “Taste of the North Wood” two-day, one-night trip to ensure novices like us have a good first experience here. The staff gave us canoe lessions, packed our gear and food and drove us to the launch point. They salved our fears about bears and getting lost, although they did suggest we stick to Lake One, avoiding portages and the more remote tangle of lakes.

The advice was good. Even though we had a map and compass, the shorelines massed with pine trees and boulders created a disorienting flow of islands, points and inlets. Finding a campsite (marked only by a metal grate) was not easy. Eventually, we found one about three miles from where we put in (five miles, adding wrong turns and circles). We gathered wood, started a fire, pitched tents on hard ground and boiled lake water to cook chicken, mashed potatoes and even lemon pie (which was delicous). Our muscles ached, we were dirty, there was only lake water to drink, and there was nowhere soft to sit, yet a singular contentment settled over the camp. This wilderness was our wilderness, it seemed, reachable only through self-reliance (and a good outfitter). The following morning, we sat on sun-baked rocks at the edge of the gently lapping lake, watching the stillness and listening to the sound of peace.

There was no rush to leave. We felt as if we had discovered a new world. We had, in fact, discovered two: the wilderness around us, and one within.”

– Greg Philby, “Trip guide”


The National Forest Service requires permits to enter the Boundary Waters; limit nine people per permit. River Point Resort & Outfitting Company will customize your travel package, depending on your skill level and your choice of options, such as menu items, sizes and types of canoes and tents, sleeping bags, etc.

Refer to “Taste of the North Woods” package for more information about enhancing your River Point Resort stay with an overnight BWCA canoe trip.

Outside Traveler Magazine

On Safari:  ANIMAL MAGNETISM, Irresistible wildlife-viewing trips, closer to home


“You’ll forget cabin fever—and cabins together—when you paddle through Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. On a six-day canoe-camping trip with your own wildlife guide [from River Point Outfitting Co.], you’ll see timber wolves teach their pups the call of the wild, and observe black bears, red foxes, and if you’re lucky, bald eagles. Kick off the trip with a stop at the International Wolf Center in Ely, to take a howling class.”  -Sally Schumaier

CBS Early Show


“If you’re tired of dragging your kids to theme parks every summer vacation, maybe it’s time for a travel adventure. Mike Roberts, senior editor for Outside Traveler Magazine visits The Early Show to talk about the wild vacation ideas that are sure to excite everybody in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters [with River Point Outfitting Co.] that are sure to excite everybody in your family”…

…”Trips incorporate the adventure of paddling with swimming, hiking, fishing, sightseeing, photography, and just plain relaxing. Hundreds of lakes dot this vast wilderness, so many that some are yet to be named. There will also be opportunities to view moose, loons, beaver, otter, bald eagles, and a multitude of other birds”…

…”Trips are for beginners through intermediate levels, so it is perfect for families and can be customized to fit your dates and ability levels. Included in a completely outfitted package, with all gear and canoes, are showers before and after the trip, Trip Routing & Orientation Session [if not a guided trip], transport to and from the entry point, all the food, maps…”

Experience Life Magazine (Lifetime Fitness)

“If peace and quiet have been in short supply, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness may be the getaway your body and soul crave [with a canoe trip outfitted by River Point Outfitting Co.]. . .”

“There’s a real need in our crazy, busy world to find harmony in nature.”

“It’s early morning. A cool mist hangs over a northern Minnesota lake as a lone canoeist dips into the deep waters, broadcasting ripples across the glassy surface. only the call of a loon and the splash of a diving beaver break the silence. The nearest town is miles away–and the discontents of civilization farther still”…”This is no dream. The scene plays out almost daily during summers in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Located just south of the U.S.-Canadian border in the northeastern corner of Minnesota, the Boundary Waters are swaddled in the rugged woodlands of the Superior National Forest.

Its million-plus acres are home to moose, bears, bald eagles, otters, mink and plenty of other wildlife. And with more that a thousand lakes and streams, plus a network of canoe routes totaling roughly 1,5000 miles in length, this watery paradise draws a special kind of visitor. Here, nine-to-fivers find a world where the sun sets the schedule. Immersed in the emptiness of the great outdoors, a person can find the sort of solitude that helps restore connections–to oneself, others, and the natural world.”

…”Chicago businessman, Steve Pfister, and his family have returned to River Point for the past 15 years,leaving behind the hectic pace of city life…Steve believes that rustic destinations like the Boundary Waters offer visitors a sense of peace that they can nolonger find in their own backyards.”

“There’s a real need in our crazy, busy world to find harmony in nature,” says Jane Koschak [owner of River Point Resort & Outfitting Co]. “The primary reason people come here is to renew, rejuvenate and reconnect. Here, they can find a space for equilibrium, where they are empowered to connect with their inner selves and be contemplative. There’s time to think, to talk-time just to be. People often develop an emotional connection to this area. “The experience of genuine personal power in the wilderness is profound–and profoundly peaceful. In the Boundary Waters, everything moves at a slower pace. Your plans are ever-changing and completely weather dependent, ” Pfister says. “It’s wonderful to have a day that isn’t dictated by your pager.” Debra Bokur

Travel | The Courier-Journal Louisville, Kentucky


Trip to Minnesota’s North Woods created memories at every bend.

“In the last hour of our wilderness odyssey in the fabled Minnesota North Woods, the rhythmic splashing of pristine lake water was the only sound as each paddle stroke bumped our canoe forward against wind-rippled current. Ahead through the hovering mist, morning sun speared through high gaps between spruce and cedar on a small rocky island, one of many in the glacier-carved ancient lake. It was a mid-summer morning, and my 14 year-old son, Ben, and I had been out on our own four days.”

Until recently, I had never heard of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness,; now I will never forget it.” …”In much of the federally preserved land, including where Ben and I spent three nights and four days, there are no motorized vehicles, directional signs, cell phone access or electricity…”

The National Geographic Society called it one of the top 50 “greatest places to see,” and each year 200,000 visitors comply.”

“Ben laughed and said he couldn’t wait to tell his mom how I flinched when I jerked a leech off my finger while trying to place it on a fish hook, or the time I had to carry a canoe on my shoulders across a peninsula the second time to retrieve my favorite hat. He couldn’t wait to show his scraped side from when he tumbled down a ledge the night I took us for an “adventure” through a densely vegetated island and –he claims–we were desperately lost.

“The outfitter we choose [River Point Outfitting Co.] provided everything, including food. We packed minimal clothes, and a few necessities, including insect repellent. We had fishing poles, camera, sketch pads, journal, and two books–a collection of Jack London tales and Homer’s Odyssey. That’s it.”

…”An orientation by a sincere young man [staffperson at River Point] occurred upon our arrival. My attention heightened when he told me there would be no signs in the wilderness–only a map and a compass.” “Always know where you are on the map,” he said, looking up seriously and pausing to let it sink in. After a 30-minute drive to our entry point, he showed me how to jerk the 18-foot long canoe onto my shoulders for portaging from one lake to the next. A portage can be anywhere from 50yards to half a mile. While that may seem daunting, I saw several families with small children and grandparents.”

…”Loon songs added to magic to our first night, then our days fell into routine as the outside world slipped away. On our last evening, as we were paddling back from a canoeing and portaging trip, I noticed Ben had ceased paddling and was gazing at the russet dusk sky that hung as backdrop to a silhouetted island ahead. It was a rock island, the size of a baseball stadium, with pines and spruce jutting up tall and jagged. A campfire glowed in front of a tent, and the entire island and campfire reflected into the smooth evening waters in dreamlike mirror image.”

“It’s like a T-shirt, Grandma would wear, Ben said.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s too beautiful to be real.”


“Choosing an outfitter:

After weeks of research, we picked River Point Resort & Outfitting Co. in Ely, Minnesota, near the Canadian border, and a few hours north of Duluth. River Point has been featured in several prominent outdoor magazines and offers a variety of packages depending on one’s desire on the scale from roughing it to relative comfort. I chose River Point after conversations with manager and co-owner, Jane Koschak, a retired teacher who peppered me with questions to find the best package for our experience level and expectations.

What you get for your money:

River Point provided everything we needed, including the canoe, tent, sleeping bags and mats, cooking utensils, a coffee pot, skillets and plates, cleaning supplies, fire-starting material, a tiny but effective propane cooking stove, rope tarp, water bottles, even a little duct tape. Perhaps, most important, our package provided all the food for the entire stay, including things like steak and bacon in a cold pack; we were never too hungry.

What you eat:

We chose our menu on the Internet three months in advance. On the first evening, we grilled filet steak over a fire we made from wood we found. My son, Ben, did all the fire making and cooking, including breakfast the next morning: fried eggs with sausage and toast. But we also had dessert most nights, like strawberry cheesecake, or apple crisp to go along with such  dishes as beef stroganoff or chicken and rice.

What you pay:

We paid a little extra for the “comfort plus” package, which included, among other things, fold-up camp chairs, which we also used on long canoe journeys, a water purification system, and the lighter weight kevlar canoe.

Where you camp:

There’s no such thing as a reserved site in the wilderness; first come, first serve. They aren’t marked with signs, but by red dots on a map hanging in a plastic map case in front of the canoe captain, who rides in back. Each [campsite] included a fire ring and grate, and a latrine, which is literally a toilet bowl seat propped up on a box on rocks in the woods; ours was on a hill about a minute’s walk from our site.”

…”About 7 each morning, I perched, with journal and pen, under dangling cedar eaves by the lake as the sun’s rays illuminated the steam from my coffee and cast pulsing shadows of ripples onto the caramel-colored lake bottom below…” Scott Wade


Paddle the Quiet Side® with River Point Outfitting Co.

Travel + Leisure Magazine

Make a Splash –

“A great way to quench that thirst” for the wilderness river travel experience, “Canoeing Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area [with] River Point Outfitting Co…covers 1200 miles of canoeing trails leading to centuries-old cliff painting and lakes where loon calls echo.”


Good Housekeeping Magazine

“Pack Your Bags, Best Vacation Bargains for Family Fun… Canoeing”

“Why try it? You’re craving a more sedate river vacation!”

“Where to stay? In Minnesota, paddle Birch Lake’s wilderness or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A three-day [River Point Outfitting Co.] canoe trip for a family of four, including meals, starts at $910.” (Refer to link for current rate.)


Men’s Journal Magazine

Ely named one of ten ‘Dream Towns’:

“You may feel out of place in Ely if you don’t have a 16-foot, scratched-to-hell Old Town canoe strapped to your roof rack. Unless you’re a fisherman, that is. Ely (pop. 3,724) is located 35 miles from the Ontario border at the gateway to the legendary Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a million-acre maze of lakes and boreal forest with 1,500 miles of canoe trails and endless runs of small-mouth bass, walleye and pike.”


Germany’s Lufthansa Magazine

“[For] spur-of-the-moment (canoe) trips…try River Point Resort & Outfitting Co.  The resort is located on Birch lake not far from Ely (Minnesota). The lake is not actually part of the national park (BWCA), but as it is directly linked to it, it is a good place to to set out…”


Midwest Living Magazine

Northern Havens –

“…For more remote retreats, including River Point Resort & Outfitting Co., all you see is woods and water.”



River Point Resort: Superior Resort Vacations

A Cabin On The Edge (by Robert Beymer)

“If you love the Boundary Waters, but camping doesn’t have the same appeal, you’re in luck. You don’t have to sleep in a tent and bathe with cold water to enjoy the BWCA Wilderness. [River Point Resort] is located 8 ½ miles southeast of Ely via Highway 1 on a beautiful lakeside setting close to the Boundary Waters. You can explore the wilderness lakes and streams by day and return to a hot shower or soothing sauna before retiring for the night on a soft bed.

“Owned and operated by Steve and Jane Koschak, it is the only resort and canoe outfitting base at the north end of 20-mile-long Birch Lake. Thirteen housekeeping vacation homes and villas are spaced privately along the 4, 200 feet of scenic shoreline.

“The experienced staff at River Point Outfitting Co. can provide you with everything you’ll need for a trip into the wilderness. Two good day trips start with a shuttle to nearby entry points, and River Point will transport you there. At the Filson Creek parking lot, 7 ½ miles from the resort, enter the Boundary Waters on a 140-rod portage to the South Kawishiwi River. The seven-mile journey back to the resort is all downstream. But, don’t rush back; this is a lovely stretch of the river. Take time to explore the rocky, pine-covered shoreline from the portage to the first small rapids two miles upstream. You’ll see several fine campsites on rock outcroppings that could host your shore lunch. There are four short portages along the trip back to River Point. None is difficult and the longest measures only 62 rods…

“The other day trip starts at the Little Gabbro Lake entry point, 1.7 miles farther up the Spruce Road from Filson Creek…”


Boundary Waters Journal Magazine

“Location, location, location…River Point is located on Birch Lake at the bend where the South Kawishiwi River enters the lake…Much of 6000 acre Birch Lake is within the Superior National Forest, and the Kawishiwi River flows into the BWCAW…With easy access to fishing on the lake and a water highway into the wilderness, River Point seems a practical location…”

…Steve’s experience and knowledge of the wilderness extends to the entire BWCAW. Guests who want to take a trip can draw on Steve’s expertise and outfit their trip through the River Point Outfitting Co. Like their resort operation, the Koschaks emphasize personal attention to detail in their outfitting. Top of the line equipment is offered, ‘and we don’t give second rate equipment to nonprofits,’ Jane said. Canoe parties outfitted by River Point can stay overnight at the tent camp or bunkhouse and take part in the resort’s programs. We want trippers to have full use of the resort and programs, Jane said, to ‘become part of our River Point family rather than here’s your gear, goodbye.’ “


Minnesota Sportsman

Northern Minnesota’s Top Pike Lakes –

Birch Lake: “a serpentine body of water where the Kawishiwi and Birch Rivers meet. Trolling crankbaits and spinnerbaits, tossing the same lures to the weedbeds and fishing weedless spoons are all effective on the lake.”


Minneapolis Star and Tribune

Birch Lake listed as one of the top two walleye lakes in the state. Birch Lake, led the list of Minnesota’s “Deadly Dozen” walleye lakes. The annual listing of the the twelve top walleye lakes in the state is largely based on the DNR’s fish population surveys, done mostly through test netting.  Joe Geis, manager of the MN Dept. of Natural Resources’ Ely fisheries division, said he recommended Birch Lake for the list, which is put together annually by Star Tribune “Outdoors” editor Ron Schara.


Midwest Living Magazine

River Point Resort & Outfitting Co.: One of the premier “Editor’s Choice Getaway” selected from 12 midwest states by top staff travel writers.

“…On a wooded point, where the wild Kawishiwi River meets Birch Lake(about 120 miles north of Duluth), River Point’s only neighbors are evergreens along the long shoreline, which borders the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.”


Midwest Living Magazine

Easy-Does-It Family Adventures –

“Near Ely, River Point Resort also hosts Boundary Waters outings. A 3-day trip starts at $910 for a family of four, including gear and food..”  Learn more at Family Super Saver Package


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