Canoeing and Hiking in Minnesota's Boundary Waters

Explore the wilderness of Minnesota by canoe and on hikes as you learn about the region’s flora, fauna and glacial history. Plus, enjoy an outdoor music performance in the town of Ely.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 4852RJ
7 days
Starts at
Special Offer
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At a Glance

In the exceptional beauty of Northern Minnesota’s sparkling lakes and majestic forests, dip your canoe paddle into the calm water of a pristine lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. On another day, lace up your hiking boots and explore glacier-sculpted trails winding between the lakes. On this outdoor adventure, identify plants and wildflowers unique to this northern region and, depending on the week, watch for pipsissewa and wild blueberry. Enjoy trailside lunches on foot and shore lunches by canoe.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking up to five miles a day over uneven terrain. Canoeing up to five hours a day.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experienced instructors teach safe canoeing and hiking techniques to small groups of beginner to advanced students.
  • Natural history presentations illuminate outdoor field trips, as does a visit to the International Wolf Center.
  • Enjoy an evening paddle amid the haunting call of the loon; another evening explore the quaint town of Ely and happen upon a live outdoor music performance.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Dave Benson
Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, David studied at Gustavus Adolphus College, Yale University and the University of Minnesota. A former naturalist at multiple Minnesota and Wisconsin state parks as well as Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, he has led thousands of birders, conducted training for the National Park Service and written three books including "Owls of the North: a Naturalist's Handbook" (2007) and "Woodpeckers of North America: A Naturalist's Handbook" (2014). He has also written many natural history articles.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Dave Benson
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Bill Tefft
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Suggested Reading List
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