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Birding Minnesota by Canoe By Rob Kesselring/Sue Plankis Outdoor Writers Excerpt from a birdwatching canoeist’s journal: “As we drifted down the Cannon River, a Cooper's Hawk glided over our canoe toward a stump in the middle of a boggy backwater. We see a pair of Eastern Kingbirds lift off to attack the hawk. The hawk landed on the stump and worked its way to a branch where there was a...
  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.
Classic Ski Weekend at Flathorn Gegoka By Rudi Hargesheimer, Outdoor Writer/Photographer I thought I had graduated to the perfection of the North Shore’s best cross-country ski trails long time ago. Beautiful ski trails are everywhere in the Arrowhead’s big snow belt with twelve feet wide, skate lane on the left, classic track on the right. Guaranteed grooming creates a fast and firm deck for...
Carrol Henderson: Watching Over Wildlife By Pamela Eyden, Outdoor Writer Carol Henderson’s success is measured in wildlife perserved. As supervisor of the Minnesota’s Nongame Wildlife Program he protects the birds and wildlife we love. Take trumpeter swans. These birds have a wingspan of about seven feet and are the largest water bird on earth. When Henderson wrote a conservation plan for them...
    Harmony–to be at peace with nature–is one reason people visit Minnesota state parks.                 Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park, unique among Minnesota parks having neither a body of water for recreation nor a registered historic site, has nearly 3,000 acres of beauty, all of its own.
   It was one of those perfect Minnesota spring days, lush green leaves on the trees, brilliant blue sky and a slight breeze cooling the 65-degree air.             According to lobbyist, Judy Erickson, the last day of the 2008 legislature was a perfect day to pass a last minute $20 million appropriation bill to establish Lake Vermilion State Park.
“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.
Joseph Nicollet rode in the middle of a trading canoe taking notes.             Lost in tall reeds, his Ojibwe guides couldn’t find the channel of the Mississippi River south of Leech Lake.  Pushing over the reeds lifted the bow high into the air, eliciting “wild shrieks of joy,” the explorer noted.
Teddy Schaefer and Peter Gustafson pulled up on their mountain bikes after pedaling through some of the 23-mile Cuyuna Country State Recreational Mountain Bike trail last fall. They proclaimed in unison, “awesome!” 

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