Nature Notes from the Northwoods


Grab a map and zoom in on the eastern Minnesota/Canada border.  There is a pristine region called the BWCA Wilderness.  (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) This remote area of over 1 million acres is loaded with 1,100 + glacial carved lakes. The placid lakes are connected by short portages through the woods and gentle streams where river otters play and beavers build dams.  The protected region allows no powered boats and is peppered with hundreds of remote campsites only accessible by canoe or kayak.  It is an area ideal for week(s) long canoe/camping trips that recreate the travels of our nation’s early explorers and the French Voyageurs. Here we can be detached from modern conveniences and experience our connection to the natural world.


This folk song celebrates the Minnesota Northwoods. It is one of many songs we sing while paddling.  It was performed beautifully by our LC 5 music students last spring   …  🎼”Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver, where still the mighty moose wanders at will. Blue lake and rocky shore I will return once more …”🎼.

My family has returned to a unique YMCA family wilderness camp here for 17 years, Camp du Nord.

Here are a few photos of this special area where wild wolf packs can be heard howling at night.  Loons call.  Black bears beat you to the best berries, bald eagles fly by and the glow of the Northern Lights competes with the peaceful beauty of the Milky Way at night.

No technology in the BWCAW … This belated blog comes to you as I leave through the town of Ely, MN.

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