Schoolcraft State Park

Welcome to the final trip report from our visit to four North Central Minnesota State Parks! Today's hike takes us to Schoolcraft State Park, a small park along the Mississippi River that features a 300 year old Pine Tree! Im excited to get back to my goal of hiking all 67 of the Minnesota State Parks Hiking Club Trails, and this trip makes number 56! Enjoy!

Big Bog State Recreation Area

Welcome to day 3 of our trip to 4 North Central Minnesota State Parks! Today's hike takes us to Big Bog State Recreation Area, part of one of the largest undeveloped wilderness areas in the United States. The park features many species of rare and fascinating plants and feels like going to another world filled with tiny surprises. Enjoy!

McCarthy Beach State Park

Welcome to day 2 of our trip to 4 North Central Minnesota State Parks! We used our new camper as a relaxing home base for exploring neighboring parks and I'm excited to get back to my goal of hiking ALL of the Minnesota State Park Hiking Club Trails. Have you been to McCarthy Beach State Park? Be sure to hit subscribe or check back to see more paintings from the trail, and hear more about a 300 year old pine tree and a belching bog!

Hiking and Camping at Scenic State Park

We're back from a great trip to 4...count 'em, F O U R North Central Minnesota State Parks! We used our new camper as a relaxing home base for exploring neighboring parks and I'm excited to get back to my goal of hiking all of the Minnesota State Park Hiking Club Trails. Have you been to Scenic State Park? Be sure to hit subscribe or check back to see more paintings from the trail, and hear more about a 300 year old pine tree and a belching bog! Hope you are having a wonderful end of Summer and are looking forward to cooler temps and the colors of Fall.

Family Glamping at Lake Bemidji State Park

This post highlights our family trip to Lake Bemidji State Park and its Hiking Club Trail, Itasca State Park, the iconic Paul & Babe Statue and some musings on glamping in a sweet little camper we rented through Outdoorsy. Hope you enjoy! Glamping glamp·ing/ˈɡlampiNG/nouna form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those … Continue reading Family Glamping at Lake Bemidji State Park

SHT Trail-a-versary and Hiking Southern Minnesota Video!

Read about my one year trail-a-versary of completing the Superior Hiking Trail and more about hiking Southern Minnesota State Parks. New video on the Wandering Pine Youtube channel.

Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Continued from part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Parks! The prairie has a unique beauty and history that I am still learning more about. I'm also realizing the importance of knowing our history, in order to learn from it and avoid repeating it. So, if you are like me, and history … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Park

Garden Update! The garden is bursting and these late summer days are filled with working at home and in the yard. I'm writing this post on a family trip to another beautiful MN State Park, in a cute little rental camper, early in the morning while everyone is still asleep. No work or chores for … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Park

Beaver Creek Valley and Great Bluffs State Park

Trip report from a quick overnight to Beaver Creek Valley and Great Bluffs State Park to enjoy scenic Southern Minnesota and Hike the Hiking Club Trails.

Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out

"GO OUTSIDE WITH THE REST OF THE WILD ANIMALS!!" -Mom Time to Hike! Last month at our "Unpacking Your Hiking Hesitations"  Clinic at Midwest Mountaineering, Ruth and I were asked a question: “How do you make time for hiking?” I responded almost automatically: “you make time for the things you love”.  But the minute those words … Continue reading Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out

‘What is’ vs. ‘What if’… Self Care at Glendalough State Park

"When you focus on the 'what ifs', you're almost manifesting the thing you are most worried about. By focusing on the 'what is', you are focusing on the good that is occurring in that present moment'-Sharlene Jones Episode 121: She Explores The last couple of weeks have been difficult. Life stuff...hurting for others, internalizing, etc...I … Continue reading ‘What is’ vs. ‘What if’… Self Care at Glendalough State Park

Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

Just back from a trip to Maplewood State Park!   We originally planned a large Women Who Hike Minnesota group event focusing on Leave No Trace Principles and cleaning up the trails with our reusable green "Dirt Bags" the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics generously provided.  As the landscape thaws each spring, there's trash … Continue reading Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 mile Hiking Club Trail DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Dec 28, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Wooded loop through rolling hills, views of a Wildlife Pond You may remember my post from Moose Lake State Park last 4th of July.   Back then the park was bursting with happy campers and families celebrating their 4th of July traditions a the … Continue reading ‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

2018 Year in Review!

On January 1st 2017, I started this blog, as a place to write about my outdoor adventures, learning experiences, failures and encourage others to get outside at any skill level. That first year, I challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, “Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review!

Solo Hiking in West Central MN | Lake Carlos, Glacial Lakes, and Monson Lake State Parks

The last month or so has felt like a shifting of gears....a combination of the seasons changing, and my body aging.   It happens every Autumn.  November is the longest month of the year... and I feel it setting in.   Instead of fighting this slowing down like I usually do, I'm trying to appreciate the transition … Continue reading Solo Hiking in West Central MN | Lake Carlos, Glacial Lakes, and Monson Lake State Parks

Moose Lake State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 mile hiking club trail (can be increased to 6) DIFFICULTY Easy with rolling hills DATE  July 4, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Sunny meadows, tall pine forests, swimming beach My morning started with cajoling my teenagers to come outside and play.   It was too hot, they were too tired and they had friends to see.   … Continue reading Moose Lake State Park

Part 2: The Mystery of …Forestville | Mystery Caves!

Welcome to part 2 of the Lake Louise/Forestville/Mystery Cave post!  Here's part 1 in case you missed it! Perhaps no Minnesota State Park offers a greater variety of attractions than does Forestville /Mystery Cave State Park. The park is rich in both historical and natural resources including the 1853- 1910 townsite of Forestville, meandering blue- … Continue reading Part 2: The Mystery of …Forestville | Mystery Caves!

Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

LAKE LOUISE STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 1.3 mile hiking club trail DIFFICULTY Easy and flat DATE  June 22, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Iowa River and Lake Louise-blood thirsty mosquitoes     I left work a little early on Friday to hike my 37th Minnesota Hiking Club trail and get a head start on meeting the Scouts at Forestville Mystery … Continue reading Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

Field Trip to Winona, MN | Part 2: Carley State Park!

CARLEY STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 miles DIFFICULTY Moderate hills with water crossing DATE  May 14, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  River crossing, Virginia Bluebells in May After our visit to Enlightened Equipment to squeeze all of the quilts and meet the wonderful people who make them, followed by a hefty hike in Whitewater State Park, we decided to visit … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Part 2: Carley State Park!

Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

Most of my hikes in May started early with the sunrise.   When people ask me how I have time to hike, I tell them, you make time for the things you love to do...this means going to bed early and getting up before the sun sometimes.   Setting goals for myself such as the … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park