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Fall is a Great Time To Paddle in Northern Minnesota


Guest, Holli Busching, owner of Paddle Hoppers, shares this blog post about why Fall is a Great Time to Paddle in Northern Minnesota.

If there is anything better than summer paddling it has to be fall paddling. The temperatures  are mild, the bugs disappear, the leaves start changing and time starts to slow down a bit.
Fall for me means my annual canoe trip with my husband.  We study the maps, pick the location, pack up the gear and head out.  The anticipation of  5 days of wandering where we will, lakes, rivers, and trails.  We pull into the landing, unpack the truck, unload the canoe and load everything in.  It always amazes me how little stuff we need to enjoy this trip, I’m sure that’s part of the draw.  In fact that’s how I pack, no list, just a run through of what the day is going to have in store.

We put the canoe in the water, grab the paddles and life jackets, throw the two bags containing the gear in the canoe, check the bait, make sure we have the map and a bottle of water each and off we go.  If luck is with us there is no wind or it’s at our back if not we get ready for a little work as we paddle along looking for a home for the night.

Once we find a spot we like, we pull up and toss the packs out.  I take the first pack to the tent spot. In that pack I’ll find the tent, sleeping bags, mats, a flashlight, toilet paper, the satchel, our clothes, rain gear, a deck of cards and a good book.

Once the tent is up and things there are unpacked I head over to the fire pit area where there is probably a fire going by now and maybe supper is even on.  The food pack contains, a base camp water filter, the little stove and gas, silver wear, a filet knife, rope, a hand saw, matches, gloves, rope, duct tape, the coffee pot, mugs, tin foil, paper towels, and food.

There is also the small tackle box, packable rods and fishing reels which are now out and together as someone is usually trying his hand at catching a fish from camp.  As we settle in to camp, we watch the sun set, the stars come out and we look forward to a warm sleeping bag and that first mornings cup of coffee that will start tomorrows adventure.

Some great lakes with semi-primitive camping include Spider Lake, Trout Lake, Orange Lake, and Spruce Island Lake. There are some great campgrounds that offer minimal amenities and great paddling such as Clubhouse, Owen, and  Northstar.  Cut Foot Sioux Lake offers both campgrounds and primitive camp spots on the lake.

Contact me about fall guided group paddle excursions on the Mississippi River. Email: Phone: 218-326-5853. My store: Paddle Hoppers is a full service paddle company that also provides rentals.

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