2017 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. In 2017, I also challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, "Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review

First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH N/A DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 20, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Remote camping On Friday, after a week of the “me too” movement, reading discouraging responses to the Boy Scout announcement allowing girls in the program, this Outside Magazine article about women alone in the woods, and years of ‘helpful' unsolicited … Continue reading First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

Fall Hiking in Interstate Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 8, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Glacial Potholes, River Bluffs, St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Climbing Interstate Park is on the Western terminus of the 1,200 mile long Ice Age Trail. It gets it name from being located on both the shores of WI and MN, joined by the St … Continue reading Fall Hiking in Interstate Park

Afton State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 6.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy to Moderate (hills) DATE  Sept 30, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Training Hills, Prairies, Bluffs & the St Croix River I was a little surprised to see that I have not reviewed Afton State Park yet!  It's my go to park when I want some hills and variety of terrain without driving very far … Continue reading Afton State Park

Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 8 miles (6.2 mile Hiking Club) DIFFICULTY Easy wide trails. DATE  Sept 10, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Wildflowers, Pelicans, 16 miles of trail and sleeping on an island. This summer started out full of hiking in preparation for our trip to Glacier National Park and ended with weeks of biking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding.  It's been … Continue reading Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review

Minneopa and Flandrau State Parks

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles (3 hikes in two parks) DIFFICULTY Easy wide trails. DATE  June 10, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Bison, Minneopa Waterfall, Prairie views Today's post is a DOUBLE FEATURE and marks hike #25 of my 52 hike challenge, almost half-way there!  I wasn't able to join the scouts camping this weekend, so I met them down at … Continue reading Minneopa and Flandrau State Parks

CureSearch Ultimate Hike – Superior Hiking Trail

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.       … Continue reading CureSearch Ultimate Hike – Superior Hiking Trail

Isle Royale Part 2: Training Hikes

As promised, here is the follow up post to Part 1 with a few helpful tips on how we prepared physically for our trip! Here's a .pdf of our hikes with miles and weights if you want to print it  Isle Royale Hike.  These trails are all gems on their own, but considering our large group, our trail selections … Continue reading Isle Royale Part 2: Training Hikes

Backpacking in Isle Royale National Park: Part 1

I’m pretty stoked to finally get to share about our backpacking trip last year to Isle Royale National Park! There a ton of resources out there to help you plan your trip, but my perspective is of a thrifty Scout Leader that went with a large group of youth backpacking for a week. The trip went … Continue reading Backpacking in Isle Royale National Park: Part 1

What do 4,313 iPhone photos, 1,368 emails, the DNR and NPS have in common?

Who cares, let's go outside!  I'm supposed to be working on my 40 bags in 40 days decluttering project tonight by going through my iPhone photos and exploding inbox.  I'm terrible with cleaning up my phone...so, here I am procrastinating. As I look over at my empty backpack, hanging there, in the corner, staring at me...and I'm trying to sort though photos...I have to just give … Continue reading What do 4,313 iPhone photos, 1,368 emails, the DNR and NPS have in common?

Crow Wing State Park

  TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.3 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  May 27, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  Historic frontier town, Mississippi River, St. Francis Xavier Chapel Part 2 of our two for one Hiking Club Trail adventure took us from Charles A. Lindbergh State Park to Crow Wing State Park!  Hiking Club Trail #21 & 22...only 46 trails to go! Crow Wing is a … Continue reading Crow Wing State Park

52 Hike Challenge

Challenge accepted!  Just signed up for the 2017 52 Hike Challenge. If you are looking for a reason to get out more this year, get in shape or just brag about hiking 52 hikes...check it out! Lets go!  #52hikechallenge2017 #hike7 THE 52 HIKE CHALLENGE IS A GLOBAL MOVEMENT INSPIRING YOU TO TAKE A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO DISCOVER … Continue reading 52 Hike Challenge

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  May 27, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  Pink Trilliums and Historic Lindbergh landing site Woke up this Friday of Memorial Day weekend, got the kids off to school, made a huge to-do list for myself and then decided to BURN IT DOWN (metaphorically, of course) and grab another Hiking Club Trail.  Woke up a … Continue reading Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Sakatah Lake State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy, a few rolling hills DATE  February 12, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Ice, ice baby.  Biking and paddling in the Summer. Sakatah State Park is an 842 acre wilderness area on the shore of Sakatah Lake.  The Hiking Club trail and other trails in the park are fairly short, but you will have access to … Continue reading Sakatah Lake State Park

Cascade River State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3.5 miles DIFFICULTY Moderate-steep incline up to Lookout Mountain DATE  February 17, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Lookout Mountain, SHT, Cascade Falls After our morning trek to Judge CR Magney State Park, we headed south to Cascade River State Park.  This park is just south of Grand Marais and has a great view of Lake Superior the whole way.  This … Continue reading Cascade River State Park

Judge CR Magney State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3 miles DIFFICULTY Moderate-Hilly, with steep overlooks DATE  February 17, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Devil's Kettle, Brule River This weekend we took a trip to Grand Marais to enjoy two more Hiking Club Trails in the snow, see frozen waterfalls and log some more miles on the Superior Hiking Trail! Judge CR Magney State Park was about a 20 … Continue reading Judge CR Magney State Park

Savanna Portage State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy to moderate DATE  April 23, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  Historic Savanna Portage passageway Today's hike took us up to McGregor MN, Savanna Portage State Park! We grabbed the pup and headed up North to hit Hiking Club trail #20!  As we got closer to the park, we were struck at how quickly the … Continue reading Savanna Portage State Park

Father Hennepin State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 miles DIFFICULTY Super easy DATE  March 28, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  Very accessible trails, shoreline trail, great for young families Today we were able to hike not one, but TWO Hiking Club Trails in one day. We started at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, hiked their 3.2 mile Hiking Club trail and climbed the tower. Packed up, … Continue reading Father Hennepin State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3.2 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with a couple of hills DATE  March 28, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  9,000 years of human history, 100 ft fire tower Our 2nd and 3rd Hiking Club trails of 2016 were Mille Lacs Kathio and Father Hennepin State Parks.  We drove about 1.5 hours north of Minneapolis to Mille Lacs Kathio and Father Hennepin … Continue reading Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Rice Lake State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4.2 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  January 30, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  Snow Fleas! Our first Hiking Club Trail of 2016 was a short trip down to Rice Lake State Park.  Only an hour or so south of the city, it was a nice start to the year.  It’s a smaller park with a fairly short trail but an … Continue reading Rice Lake State Park