Rolling on the River: Bikepacking the Root River State Trail

We‚Äôre back from a beginner Bikepacking trip on the Root River Trail in Southern MN! ūüéČ I had the privilege of planning and leading this trip trough Thrive Women's Outdoor Adventures in Hudson WI, and we had THE BEST TIME! Instant friendships, good local food, an impromptu hoedown and tractor pull‚Ķand a careful ride around … Continue reading Rolling on the River: Bikepacking the Root River State Trail

S24what?! First Bikepacking Trip, Route + Gear List

My original commuter ride: pre Pack Rat. I remember hearing the term "S24O" from a biking friend and mentor years ago. He described a Sub-24 hour overnight is a down n dirty quick overnight trip on a bike, where riders just strap stuff on their rigs wherever they can, and ride somewhere and back within … Continue reading S24what?! First Bikepacking Trip, Route + Gear List

5 Training Tips for Your Next Hiking or Backpacking Trip!

Spring is the time of year when everything returns to life (and gets real muddy). Even though I like to hike year round, I need a little reboot when the snow thaws. This post covers some of the ways I physically and mentally prepare myself for hiking and backpacking. Be sure you get the green … Continue reading 5 Training Tips for Your Next Hiking or Backpacking Trip!

Hiking Merit Badge 20 Miler | Minneapolis Parks

HIKE DETAILS LENGTH 20 milesDIFFICULTY mostly flat and paved, with dirt options and a few hillsDATE HIKED October 4, 2020MAIN FEATURES Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, Theodore Wirth Park, Chain of Lakes. Start location - 2601 Theodore Wirth Parkway:  Sunset Park Last week, some friends and I backpacked the 35ish mile Sioux Hustler Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It … Continue reading Hiking Merit Badge 20 Miler | Minneapolis Parks

Why I Pick Up Trash and Things I Learned as a Groundskeeper

‚ÄúDo the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.‚ÄĚ -Maya Angelou What started as a simple challenge of picking up trash while I hike has become a journey to know more, do more and take a hard look at my own habits.¬† Although there is progress, I will … Continue reading Why I Pick Up Trash and Things I Learned as a Groundskeeper

Roam if you want to… Women’s Winter Retreat at Roam Adventure Basecamp!

...Oh girl dancing down those [snowy] and [icy] trails Take it hip to hip, rocket through the wilderness... -Roam, The B-52's Back from a Winter retreat with Thrive Women's Outdoor Adventures! We got close to a foot of snow in parts of Northern Wisconsin, played in single digit temps and had the trails to ourselves. … Continue reading Roam if you want to… Women’s Winter Retreat at Roam Adventure Basecamp!

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

Crow Hassan Regional Park Group Hike

TRIP DETAILS LENGTH 17 miles of trails, we did 11.5 DIFFICULTY Easy, flat, sandy soil DATE  July 7, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Horse trails, sunny prairies, forest, lake and river views. I'm experimenting with posting from my phone (via backyard hammock) for the first time so we'll see how this goes. Today's hike started early at Crow Hassan Regional Park … Continue reading Crow Hassan Regional Park Group Hike

Stillwater Stair Challenge + The Stillwater Bridge

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3-8 miles DIFFICULTY 500 + Steep stairs with lots of flat paved sections in between. DATE  May 19, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Historic town of Stillwater with beautiful views of the St Croix River. My 26th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at 6am at the base of the Chilkoot Stairs on Main Street in … Continue reading Stillwater Stair Challenge + The Stillwater Bridge

Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy but very icy today (bring ice traction) DATE  March 24, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  53 ft Minnehaha Falls and Pike Island My 18th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.   One of Minneapolis' oldest and most popular parks features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river … Continue reading Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

Hiking From Minnesota to Wisconsin Across the St Croix River Bridge

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY  Easy DATE  March 4, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat multi-use trail, accessible to all levels.  Windy! There is only person I can go on an unplanned 10 mile hike with.   This person escalates everything into a full fledged adventure and swears that every bald eagle I see is actually a vulture or … Continue reading Hiking From Minnesota to Wisconsin Across the St Croix River Bridge

Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.5-3 miles DIFFICULTY Easy, with caution DATE  Jan 13, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail on a frozen river, use caution and traction devices. I have been taught to never trust a river, whether frozen or thawed...it is wild, dangerous and a tempting treat. I think there are more rivers in my future. Today‚Äôs adventure started at … Continue reading Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Jan 6, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail with views of the river and 9 mile creek. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1976 to provide habitat for a large number of migratory waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife species threatened by commercial and industrial development, and to provide environmental education, … Continue reading Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

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?‚ÄĚ … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review

Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 7 miles roundtrip DIFFICULTY Moderate DATE  December 9, 2017 MAIN FEATURES Highest Point in MN, Amazing views of the BWCA Wilderness, No wind, no rain Or winters cold can stop me, 'Cause you are my goal. There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to … Continue reading Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!

Fall Hiking at 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 at Interstate Park

Hiking Kinnickinnic & Willow River State Parks

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-8 miles (we did 4 miles in each park) DIFFICULTY Accessible for all abilities (Kinnickinnic), Hills!  (Willow River) DATE  May 13, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Views of the St Croix River and a Waterfall/Swimming Hole Together again...Las Hermanas del Pino!  Hikes # 20 & 21 of the year started at Kinninckinnic State Park, just 10-15 scenic miles off of Hwy … Continue reading Hiking Kinnickinnic & Willow River State Parks

Hiking Theodore Wirth Park: Quaking Bog

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5 miles DIFFICULTY Accessible for all abilities with a few hills DATE  April 23, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Quaking Bog and Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary Here's another local gem, Theodore Wirth Park's Quaking Bog and Eloise Butler Trail!  This section of the park also has a pretty rad single track bike trail and commuter/road bike paved … Continue reading Hiking Theodore Wirth Park: Quaking Bog

Hiking Clifton E. French Regional Park

TRIP¬†DETAILS¬† LENGTH¬†1-9 miles DIFFICULTY¬†Easy and accessible for all abilities DATE¬†¬†Many times MAIN FEATURES ¬†Medicine Lake, night time winter hiking, epic playground CLIFTON E. FRENCH REGIONAL PARK,¬†or "French Park"¬†is my go to park if I am limited on time and just want to get outside. ¬†We fell in love with it when the kids were little … Continue reading Hiking Clifton E. French Regional Park