UpNorthica’s Gift Guide: Recommended Reads



Give the gift of a great outdoors book! MORE >

UpNorthica Reads: Canoe Trip: North to Athabasca


Canadian rivers are locked in ice most of the year. During the summer they offer a brief window for paddling. MORE >

UpNorthica Reads: Hiking the North Shore


Thinking of heading to the North Shore this summer? Here’s a guide to some of the best hiking to be found. MORE >

Review: The New Boundary Waters and Quetico Fishing Guide


The cool days of May usher in the fishing season in the Boundary Waters.  Are you ready? MORE >

Three Good Reads for Winter Campers


We recently unearthed some helpful books for winter campers.  And since ‘preparedness’ is the key word for winter camping, we felt these might make nice additions to our library. Read on; they may demand a spot in yours too.


UpNorthica Reads: A Place In the Woods


We’re inspired by people who uproot themselves from the normal cadence of life to carve out their own livelihood in the woods.  Lucky!

Helen Hoover, and her husband, Adrian left their busy Chicago lives to live in a cabin off the Gunflint Trail.  In A Place in the Woods, Helen chronicles their first year of surviving in the woods with a clarity that causes you to feel like you’re at her table, hot homemade bread in hand.


UpNorthica Reads: Trapping the Boundary Waters

We just wrapped up an engaging story from author, Charles Ira Cook Jr., and his year long excursion into the Boundary Waters.

A complete novice, he sets out in the spring of 1919 to explore and trap with his boyhood friend.  Parts of the region are not even well mapped.  Undaunted, they take off from the town of Winton and explore up through Prairie Portage and east of Knife Lake.  Not long after, his friend gets homesick and leaves.  Charlie then set out on his own, sometimes aided by other trappers and traders.  He was familiar with hunting, however it is pretty remarkable how he embraced living and surviving for a year in the woods.  He wisely aligns himself with others more familiar with bush craft than he.


UpNorthica Reads: Paddle North

We recently received our long anticipated copy of Paddle North: Canoeing through the Boundary Waters-Quetico Wilderness, by photographer Layne Kennedy and essayist Greg Breining. These two intrepid paddlers spent countless hours bringing together a captivating, modern assemblage of photos and essays of the north.

Each chapter highlights key elements of the region such as the history and lure of canoe travel as well as the characteristics that make the Boundary Waters-Quetico areas stand alone, while being similar enough to share cooperative border.  Kennedy’s unique perspective of breathtaking beauty combined with elements of camping so familiar to us all, makes the book feel like it could have been our own journey. Breining follows up his informative and descriptive essays with short facts that will make the next campfire stimulating.

The book provides interest to both the novice and the seasoned traveler.

Buy here.

A Taste of the Gunflint Trail

Good smells are coming from the trail, but it’s not from the campsite on Poplar Lake.

Saturday, September 11, eat your way along the Gunflint Trail as local businesses team up with the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center to whip up tempting recipes from A Taste of the Gunflint Trail cookbook.

The event will benefit the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center .  With a suggested donation of a $1 per tasting,  you can feel good about helping the museum construct a nature trail boardwalk.

Along the way, join a guided hike with naturalist Steve Robertsen as you explore the new Centennial Trail.

At the end of the trail, there is a ice cream and pie social at Chik-Wauk in case you need to fill in the cracks.     While there, hike some of their scenic trails or enjoy chatting with local book authors at a book signing.

So toss in the flannel jacket, kids, and camera, it’s going to be a delicious drive.

Event goes from 11am – 5pm.

A Good Excuse to Read (& Re-Read) The Singing Wilderness

One of the oldest naturalist writings on the Boundary Waters, is still one of the best. Sigurd Olson’s collection of essays The Singing Wilderness belongs on your shelf if you’re reading this post; but if you haven’t read it, now’s the perfect time.

MN Read, the book club of Twin Cities publication Secrets of the City, has chosen Olson’s classic for its next book. You’ve got about a month to read it, but once you start, you’ll be done in about 2.31 days.

Here’s a brief exerpt to whet your appetite:

There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace. The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfactions. When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known.

Details here. Via Friends of the Boundary Waters.