Thunder Point on Knife Lake

One of the most spectacular views in the BWCA is from the top of Thunder Point on Knife Lake. We day-tripped from our camp on Fraser Lake to it today. This photo is taken from the top of Thunder Point looking southwest toward the Isle of Pines. The Isle of Pines is the former home…


Speckled Alder Catkins

These are catkins on a speckled alder tree. The tiny flowers on the male catkins are shedding pollen that pollinates the female flowers. The male catkins are 5 to 10 centimenters long. While gathering firewood today around our camp on Ima Lake in the BWCA, I worked my way through a dense thicket of speckled…


Gear Review: BWCA Boots For Cool Weather

The safest way to get in and out of your canoe at a portage is to “wet foot” it. As you canoe up to a portage, turn your canoe parallel to the shore and step out of your canoe and into the shallow water before the canoe touches a rock. It is dangerous to try…


Launching a Six Day BWCA Canoe Trip

Today I launched a six day BWCA canoe trip with a dad and his two sons. We put in at crystal-clear Snowbank Lake. This photo shows David proudly watching his sons, Eric and Peter, paddle away from our lunch spot on Ahsub Lake.

Broad Leaf Aster and Charmin

Guest Blogger: Wilderness Guide Kate Ford. Spring is slowly creeping its way in. We are seeing lovely, warm, sun-filled days back to back with days of light snow or cold rain. Even with the wavering weather, May is providing the Boundary Waters with enough sun and warmth to coax our leaves out, as proven by…


False Morels – Deadly Portage Mushrooms

False morel mushrooms are sprouting up along BWCA portages and area hiking trails. I saw my first of the season a few days ago. Yesterday we saw about a dozen along the Bass Lake Trail near Ely. These false morels are deadly. Eaten raw they may lead to diarrhea and vomiting within a few hours.…


A Southern Belle’s Musings on the Boundary Waters

Editor’s note: Guest blogger Jessica Fuller provided this entry. Jessica is from North Carolina and ventured into the BWCA with Guide Kate Ford. In North Carolina, a dusting of snow means closed roads, cancelled classes and empty toilet paper aisles. In North Minnesota, it simply means it’s time for a trip to the Boundary Waters.…


Today’s paddling advice from Mike Hillman

Winds gusting to 35 mph and snow whipping in your face greeted canoers this morning. Mike Hillman, host of the polka show on WELY radio today, provided some advice to those canoers: “Put on every article of clothing you have, and go east.” I took this photo at about 11 AM today.


The North American Bear Center May Surprise You

One of the top fears of newcomers to the BWCA is bears. Specifically, peoples’ imagination can take a wild ride when visualizing bear encounters. However, the common fear of black bears is largely due to the media’s mischaracterization of our largely harmless black bears. If you’re one of those scared of a Boundary Waters trip…


Snowshoe Hares Know It’s Spring

This is one of two snowshoe hares I’ve seen this week. Both of them have recently changed color from a snow-white winter coat to their summer camouflage brown. They know it’s spring and they’re blending in with the brown and nibbling at the green.