hiking

Long time Eagle Scout and scoutmaster Todd McMahon (a.k.a. T-man) has hiked five hundred miles over the last three years. In the process, he’s trekked the Superior Hiking Trail from north to south, seeing eighty of its 93 backpack sites. With an eye out for the “coolest” sites, he offers veteran advice for an overnighter on the trail. McMahon prefers backpacking because camping by a road “just...
It was hot and sunny and still and quiet at Afton State Park last Sunday. People wandered the park alone or in small groups, largely along the St. Croix River. There were runners and anglers and backpackers and hikers. They were about the only thing moving, save the south wind brushing the trees on the river banks and the prairie grasses. We started by walking on the north side of the park, the...
The grass is cold and so are my toes. I’m carrying my shoes and socks, walking barefoot alongside two avid barefoot hikers at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Jim Guttmann has been hiking sans shoes for more than a decade. In 2003, he co-founded the Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota club, which organizes free spring, summer and fall monthly hikes. Shawn Hart, who goes barefoot for everything...
Off-the-beaten-path hikes perfect for a winter weekend day-trip from the Twin Cities. Snow, melt, rain, deep freeze -- not a recipe for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. But that's no reason to stay on the couch.Now is a good time to do some exploring on foot. The midday sun will warm the woods up a little, so put on a few layers and a sturdy pair of boots and take a walk. Here are two...
Our new contributing editor kicks off the New Year with a cold and inspiring hike at Afton State Park. Afton State Park naturalist Linda Radimecky New Year’s Day found me clomping down a snowy path at Afton State Park. There was a cold breeze blowing outside the visitor center, situated on the edge of restored prairie, and our group hustled along to the shelter of the wooded bluffs. We were there...
  Dr. Roberts Trail reveals forest secrets   by Dave Simpkins Minnesota’s forests have stories to tell. Rachael Nicoll, a member of Itasca State Parks Naturalist Corp, told a few of those stories to a group along the Dr. Roberts Nature Trail. The Naturalist Corp is a special project funded by the Legacy Fund, providing summer interns to lead tours and give presentation at state parks. “...
The prime trail clearing season is also the prime deer hunting season in Minnesota in November. Todd McMahon and Matt  Davis didn't take any changes while clearing the North Country Trail through the Chippewa National Forest in Northern Minnesota this November. McMahon wore blaze orange from head to toe, even his backpack loaded with trail clearing gear was orange. The NCT is the longest hiking...
“A trail eases our way, but it also narrows your focus,” Paul Gruchow.         The 64-mile Border Route Trail can be merciless with its steep grades, thick forests and rocky trails.     It can also be the most beautiful trail you’ll ever hike. Nestled between the Canadian border and the Gunflint Trail, it offers with majestic views of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with lots of plant and...
The grass is cold and so are my toes. I’m carrying my shoes and socks, walking barefoot alongside two avid barefoot hikers at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Jim Guttmann has been hiking sans shoes for more than a decade. In 2003, he co-founded the Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota club, which organizes free spring, summer and fall monthly hikes. Shawn Hart, who goes barefoot for...
We have known this for a long time and now it is official. Minnesota was named the “Best Trails State” in the nation by American Trails, a national trails group. Mark Holsten, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said this is the result of hard work of many different trail groups. "Active partnerships with all trail users and support groups are the cornerstone of...

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