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Migration Mysteries: Birds, Wolves, & North Country Settlers

Program Number: 5745RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/8/2014 - 6/13/2014; 6/12/2016 - 6/17/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/9/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Sandstone, Minnesota
Price starting at: $595.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; Natural History
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian; Low Fat    

Experience life in the magnificent North Woods as we examine seasonal bird populations; the region’s top predator, the gray wolf; and trace human stories and experiences from the original Ojibwe Indian settlers through French-Canadian voyageurs, and big-pine lumberjacks.


• Witness the wonders of migratory events that stretch back through the mists of time: loons, eagles, and ospreys in June and hawks in August/September. Learn about life cycles, habitats, and special adaptations.
• At the Wildlife Science Center, observe a captive pack of wolves and their special adaptations and behaviors including communication styles. Deepen your knowledge and understanding of this legendary, beautiful predator whose howl sends shivers up the spine.
• Take field trips to museums and the Northwest Fur Post as we explore north country history through the eyes of the Ojibwe and subsequent exploration and exploits of French-Canadian voyageurs — colorful adventurers who journeyed by canoe to trade with Indians for furs — and the environmental and societal impacts of big-pine logging days of the 1800s.

Activity Particulars

Walking the equivalent of a couple blocks.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


June will focus on migrating songbirds, loons, eagles and ospreys.


This fall program includes a visit to Duluth`s famous Hawk Ridge- one of the premier migratory raptor locations.

Coordinated by Audubon Center of the North Woods.


Located in central Minnesota, this area was once home to the Ojibwe tribe, as well as Swedish and Danish immigrants. Local wildlife flourishes in the surrounding forests and nearby Kettle River and Grindstone Lake, also home to the Audubon Center.

Rustic lodge style rooms with single beds and private baths on a 535-acre wildlife sanctuary.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jeff Tyson

Jeff Tyson oversees all animal care and wildlife educational programs at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. A graduate of Bemidji State University in Minnesota, Jeff’s responsibilities include seven non-releasable raptors, two corvids, a North American Porcupine, native fish, snakes and amphibians.
Mike Link

Mike Link has dedicated his career to environmental education, and served as the founding director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods for 38 years. During that time, he not only developed a successful residential environmental learning center, but aided in the success of many other environmental education endeavors — including starting over 15 Charter Schools that emphasized environmental education. He was an integral part of the teams that created degree programs in outdoor and environmental education at both Northland College and Hamline University. He continues to teach numerous courses for Hamline’s Master’s Degree in natural science. Mike has also been involved in many organizations, and helped to create the Minnesota Naturalist Association (MNA) in the early 1970’s. He is the author of over 1,000 newspaper and magazine articles, in addition to publishing more than a dozen books.
Asya Simons

Asya Simons is a caring and experienced naturalist for the Audubon Center of the North Woods. She specializes in animal care and wildlife programs.
Adel Huemiller

Adel Huemiller is at her best when she’s out in nature sharing her extensive knowledge of local ecology. Adel is a naturalist by training, with a history in biology and geology. She’s frequently works with youth groups, but she’s more than happy to teach any age group. Adel specializes in wolf ecology and their mysterious migration patterns.
Meals and Lodgings
   Audubon Center of the North Woods
  Sandstone 5 nights
 Audubon Center of the North Woods
Type: Campus/Dorm
  Description: Private rooms with air-conditioning, and private bath. View of forest and lake from windows.
  Contact info: 54165 Audubon Drive
Sandstone, MN 55795 USA
phone: 888-404-7743
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Bedding, pillows, towels and wash cloths will be provided. Hair dryers are not provided. Personal soaps and shampoos not provided.
  Facility amenities: Lounge and laundry facilities
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Check out time: 9:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 p.m. on Campus. You will be staying at Audubon Center of the North Woods that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch at 1 p.m.. You will be staying at Audubon Center of the North Woods the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free and we do have electrical hook-ups and enough space for RV's. All vehicles are accessible during the week.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sandstone
  Nearest city or town:  Sandstone
  Nearest highway: I35
  Nearest airport:  Minneapolis/St.Paul
  From End of Program
  Location: Sandstone
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

MSP/St. Paul


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Skyline Shuttle
phone: 888-354-2677
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1.5 hours 




75 miles


The Skyline Shuttle (, 888-354-2677) departs from Terminal 1 and 2 of the MSP/St. Paul Airport and has a stop at Tobie's in Hinckley, MN. Audubon Center staff will pick up and drop off individuals from here. It is a 10 minute ride from Tobie's to the Audubon Center.




From Bus Terminal




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Audubon Center of the North Woods
phone: 320-245-2648


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


15 minutes 




12 miles


Once participants arrive at the Tobie's station in Hinckley, Audubon Center staff will then pick up participants free of charge and drive them the remaining 15 minutes to the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Please call the Audubon Center to let us know what time your shuttle will arrive at Tobie's.

Driving Directions
  From the South (Minneapolis/St.Paul) Take Interstate 35 north to the Sandstone exit 191 (approx. 90 miles). Exit and turn left to cross over freeway bridge on Highway 61, going west for 3 miles. Turn right at Co.Rd. 27 (Audubon Sign at the turn) and travel west for another 3 miles until you come to Co. Rd. 17 (also known as Fox Rd. and another Audubon sign). Turn right. Just 250 feet farther on your left is the entrance to the Audubon Center. Go through two stone pillars and follow the unpaved road 1 mile until you reach the large parking lot and main building.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Audubon Center/Check-In/Walking Tour/Welcome and Orientation
(Sunday, June 8)
 Afternoon: After arriving and checking into your room, there will be a walking tour of the property covering our facilities including Historic Schwyzer Lodge and our Wildlife Barn. We will also walk over to our viewing platform of beautiful Grindstone Lake. Distance covered is about two city blocks.
 Dinner: Dinner is served buffet style by our experienced and professional kitchen staff in the Blandin Dining Hall. This spacious building has stained glass windows, local art, a stone fireplace, and a view of Grindstone Lake.
 Evening: We will gather for introductions to one another, the Center and for a review of the week's schedule.
Accommodations: Audubon Center of the North Woods
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Ojibwe History/Mille Lacs American Indian Museum/Live Birds of Prey Program
(Monday, June 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Center dining hall - just 80 feet from lodging to dining hall
 Morning: Presentation on Ojibwe American Indians. The Ojibwe have called Minnesota home for centuries. Discover how these people have thrived living with nature and understanding the secrets and beauty of the natural world around them.
 Lunch: Lunch is served in the dining hall
 Afternoon: Field trip to Mille Lacs Indian Museum to learn about Ojibwe Indian history. The Ojibwe have called this area home for nearly 400 years. This afternoon we will learn about their culture, its past and the present.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the dining hall
 Evening: Program on bird of prey natural history - with live educational raptors present. Our wildlife staff will lead an engaging program with a number of our raptors which could include hawks, falcons, owls, and eagle. Learn about how these magnificent creatures hunt, their adaptations and how they thrive in the North Country.
Accommodations: Audubon Center of the North Woods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wolf Ecology and Human Interactions/Local Fire Catastrophe of 1894/Hawk Ridge Natural History
(Tuesday, June 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining hall
 Morning: Presentation on wolves. No other animal evokes such strong emotions as the wolf. This morning we will look at this fascinating animal, its adaptations, behaviors and lifestyle, while also looking at the human interaction with this species, from long held myths, to current management and research techniques.
 Lunch: Lunch is served in the dining hall.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Hinckley Fire Museum to learn about the Great Hinckley Fire. There have been 3 recorded firestorms in history- the bombings at Dresden, Germany, the atomic bomb of Hiroshima, Japan and the Hinckley Fire. Learn about the conditions of the time that led to this catastrophic fire and the effects it had and still has on the area.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the dining hall
 Evening: Lecture about the natural history of Hawk Ridge, to prepare for field trip. Hawk Ridge is one of the largest migration routes for raptors in North America. During this evening we will learn what makes Hawk Ridge so enticing for raptors, and what species we can expect to see there in the coming day.
Accommodations: Audubon Center of the North Woods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Loons, Ospreys and Eagles/Loon and Osprey Presentations/Boat tour to view loons, eagles and ospreys
(Wednesday, June 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining hall.
 Morning: Morning program on loons with hands-on learning materials
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch
 Afternoon: Pontoon Lake Tour of loon, eagle and osprey hot spot. Up close viewing of loons and nesting sites of ospreys and eagles is common
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the dining hall.
 Evening: Program on Ospreys- the fish hawk and one of the most unique raptors of Minnesota
Accommodations: Audubon Center of the North Woods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Wildlife Science Center/North West Voyageurs Fur Post/Loggers History
(Thursday, June 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining hall.
 Morning: Field trip Wildlife Science Center to observe behavior of captive pack of wolves. The Wildlife Science Center has been conducting research and education programs on wolves for nearly 30 years. During this day you will get firsthand experience of wolf behavior, traits and adaptations, led by the Wildlife Science Center staff.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch
 Afternoon: Field trip to North West Fur Post to learn about Voyaguer History. Perhaps the most colorful characters to ever call this area home were the Voyageurs. During the fur trade of the 1600-1800s these jovial, tough, and musical lads paddled furs and trade goods thousands of miles every summer. Learn about their incredible lives at this engaging recreated Fur Post.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in our dining hall.
 Evening: Presentation on old-time MN Loggers. This is the land of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Find out about the men who fell 200 foot white pines, fbalanced on logs down rapids, sawed trees at -50 F, ate more than you can imagine, and slept on piles of straw through the frigid winters.
Accommodations: Audubon Center of the North Woods
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Summation of week/Departure
(Friday, June 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in our dining hall.
 Morning: Lecture to pull together the week and closing ceremony
 Lunch: Lunch in our dining hall.
 Afternoon: End of program and depature after lunch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation

Author: L. David Mech and Luigi Boitani

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition

Author: Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer

The Voyageur

Author: Grace Lee Nute

Ojibwe Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look in All Directions

Author: Thomas Peacock and Marlene Wisuri

Northern Pine County (Images of America Series)

Author: Earl J. Foster and Amy Troolin

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