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

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Exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and 5 LNT Tips During the Government Shutdown

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH Long Meadow Lake Trail 3.5 miles one way DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  January 4, 2019 MAIN FEATURES  11 miles of flat, multi-use trails in this section, birdwatching I head back to work tomorrow but have had a chance to squeeze in 4 hikes to jump-start my 52 Hike Challenge this year and the best part is that … Continue reading Exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and 5 LNT Tips During the Government Shutdown

Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with a little ice DATE  March 17, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Historic Fort Snelling and Pike Island My 16th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Fort Snelling State Park.   It is a park that I have been to many times during all 4 seasons and can easily be modified … Continue reading Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

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

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

Glacier National Park | St Mary, Virginia Falls, Garden Wall and Final Trip Thoughts

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3 mi + 2 mi DIFFICULTY Easy, with a few blazing hot hills on the way out of the falls. DATE  July 6, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Two hikes in one day!  The trail to the falls follows the path of a recent forest fire, 3 miles out and back.  Several great spots for lunch and enjoying … Continue reading Glacier National Park | St Mary, Virginia Falls, Garden Wall and Final Trip Thoughts

Glacier National Park | Many Glacier

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5-10 mi DIFFICULTY Easy and flat to Grinnell Lake, then hilly on the loop back. DATE  July 5, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  The trail follows the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine and Grinnell Lake with views of 5 Glaciers from the Many Glacier Hotel area. No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Many Glacier

Glacier National Park | Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake and Paradise Point.

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5-6 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation up to Avalanche Lake DATE  July 4, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Trail winds through towering Cedars and evergreen forest along waterfalls and rushing river to turquoise blue Avalanche Lake.  Be sure to walk to the end of the trail for the best view. Woke up before everyone again and ordered … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake and Paradise Point.

Glacier National Park | Whitewater Rafting

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH about 3 hours (I lost track) DIFFICULTY Easy with an awesome guide like "SOCCER MIKE"! DATE  July 3, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Amazing views of Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Woke up at 4:45am, made the hostel coffee and headed out to Brownie's front porch to enjoy the sunrise.  I get the feeling that I am … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Whitewater Rafting

Glacier National Park | Logan Pass & Hidden Lake Trail

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-5 mi DIFFICULTY Easy to overlook without snow, but extremely steep down to the lake.  Moderate to Difficult with snow. DATE  July 2, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Panoramic views across mountains, glacial lakes and snow fields, mountain goats. One of the benefits of adventuring with Scouts is that the Senior Patrol Leader and ASPL decide each night what time … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Logan Pass & Hidden Lake Trail

Glacier National Park | Scenic Point

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 7.9 mi (longer if you start at the visitor center) DIFFICULTY Moderate to Difficult DATE  July 1, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Beargrass, wide mountain views, Hoary Marmot and Sheep My day started at 5am.  Made a pot of coffee and relaxed on the Brownie's Hostel porch with a mountain view for a good hour or so.  Today's … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Scenic Point

Glacier National Park – Day 1 & 2: Amtrak & Brownies

Welcome to the first post from last week's trip to Glacier National Park!  Last year, 18 of us went to Isle Royale, this year another group of 18 Scouts and adults to East Glacier for our Boy Scout Troop's 2017 High Adventure Trip.  We planned the trip 9 months out and held almost all of … Continue reading Glacier National Park – Day 1 & 2: Amtrak & Brownies

Glacier National Park Part 1: Remembering our first trip.

“Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God’s wild blessings will search you and soak you as if your were a sponge, and the big days will go uncounted. If you are business-tangled, and so burdened with duty that only tweeks can be got out of the heavy laden year, then go … Continue reading Glacier National Park Part 1: Remembering our first trip.

Isle Royale part 3: Prepping and Packing!

Here's the 3rd installment of our backpacking trip to Isle Royale National Park!  This post will focus a little more on planning and packing for our backpacking adventure! Know your facts about where you can and can't stay: Group camping:  Like most NPS Backpacking sites, there are regulations on how many people can stay in a … Continue reading Isle Royale part 3: Prepping and Packing!

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?

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

Grand Marais!

The snow has melted and it's supposed to hit 60 degrees this weekend, so we headed up to Grand Marais in hopes of hiking a few more Hiking Club trails and dusting off our snowshoes.  We ran around the Grand Marais Harbor yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the town.  Ben Franklin, the fish taco at Hughie's … Continue reading Grand Marais!

St Croix National Scenic Riverway

TRIP DETAILS LENGTH 26.6 miles DIFFICULTY easy until Stillwater, motorized boats DATE  September 18-19, 2016 MAIN FEATURES  St Croix National Scenic Waterway, Interstate Park, Osceola Landing, William O'Brien State Park Took my first overnight kayaking trip down the St Croix River this weekend and camped one night in the National Park sites. We have small recreational kayaks, so those lightweight … Continue reading St Croix National Scenic Riverway