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

Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

How do you describe the beauty of a place where heaven and earth join seamlessly?   Or the mind trap of telling yourself over and over again that this massive body is not the ocean or an endless sea?  Or the magnetic-siren-pull of her waters that make you want to jump in and crash like … Continue reading Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

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

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

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 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

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

Hiking 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 Hiking Minneopa and Flandrau State Parks

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! Our training locations were based the following: Sturdy trail, able to withstand a large group hiking on it Nearby for easy access Accessible to all levels since we would be focusing on distance and … 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 a 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 through photos...I have to just give myself a few … Continue reading What do 4,313 iPhone photos, 1,368 emails, the DNR and NPS have in common?

Hiking 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 park … Continue reading Hiking Crow Wing State Park

Hiking 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 Hiking Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Hiking 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 Hiking Sakatah Lake State Park