Surfing the Lake Superior, Stewardship in Quetico Superior Wilderness Region

The Winter Issue of Wilderness News is in the mail and now online.
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What’s Inside:

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Cover Story:

Surf’s Up On Lake Superior

By Alissa Johnson

A new group of outdoor enthusiasts is becoming a force for good on the North Shore—one that might be surprising to fans of traditional wilderness travel. Surfing is a growing presence in northern Minnesota, and surfers have become a voice for everything from beach cleanups to mindful beach development. Here, Wilderness News takes a closer look at this relatively new way to enjoy the pristine nature of Minnesota’s North Shore.

Surfing in Minnesota? At 31,700 square miles, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, and while it can be known for cold, windy days, non-surfers might be surprised to learn that under the right conditions it can produce waves 8 to 12 feet tall. That doesn’t exactly make it a surfing mecca—the average water temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit and often colder—but it does make the lake attractive to surfers who relocated to Minnesota and a growing number who are learning to surf on Lake Superior. The key to surfing northern Minnesota is to understand that the surf is variable. Surfer Ryan Patin explained that the swell typically forms in the middle of the night, and conditions can change in a day.  Read More >


Wilderness Portrait: Tim Heinle

Camp Kooch-i-ching Director and Alumnus

Tim Heinle is in his early 70s, but he still has vivid memories of his first trip to Camp Kooch-i-ching on Rainy Lake. He spent eight weeks there when he was ten years old and

went on his first canoe trip. It rained about five out of the six nights he spent on trail, and it seemed like his sleeping bag was always wet. His counselor told him that he didn’t paddle hard enough, and Tim’s canoe always lagged behind.  Read More >


The Camping and Education Foundation

Home to Camp Kooch-i-ching and Ogiche Daa Kwe 

In 2005, Camp Ogiche Daa Kwe opened its doors for its first official session: 14 counselors-in-training and 10 staff welcomed 24 campers. It was an historic moment, five years in the making and in some ways, the culmination of a vision more than fifty years old. Ogiche Daa Kwe is a girls-only camp drawing its name from the Ojibwe word for strong-spirited woman. It’s the sister camp to Camp Kooch-i-ching, a boys’ program based on more than 85 years of wilderness and canoeing tradition. By opening Ogiche Daa Kwe, the Camping and Education Foundation realized the vision of its founding fathers—to serve both girls and boys. Read More >


Meet Dyke Williams

Quetico Superior Foundation Board Member Profile Read More >


The Listening Corner:

Meet Aaron Brown Iron Range author, college instructor, and radio show host

In a Nutshell: Aaron Brown could easily be dubbed the Garrison Keillor of the north. He possesses a keen eye for the attributes that make Minnesotans Minnesotan—specifically, Iron Rangers. His writing aptly portrays the people and politics of the Iron Range with sensitivity and humor, even as he fights for a new vision of its future. He believes that with the right choices, Rangers can beat their mining rap and provide a stable economy for people who love northern Minnesota’s outdoors. Read More >




Poem: Moon Walk by Larry Christianson

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