Join Wilderness Inquiry and other outdoor experts on virtual adventures to explore topics & destinations near and far. During each session you will gain a deeper understanding of outdoor spaces by learning about unique ecosystems, natural & cultural history, and how we can venture out to enjoy these spaces. This program is designed for an adult audience.
Can’t join at the scheduled time? No problem! Each session is recorded and sent to all registrants for on demand viewing.
Cost: $10 per person/per session
Have a group? Please contact Anne ([email protected] or 612-676-9423) to discuss group pricing.
May – Boats, Boats, Boats!
Canoe History: An Engineering Masterpiece – May 5th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Join author Mark Neuzil as he shares the history of canoes in North America, from their origins thousands of years ago to present-day craft. A common thread through its history is that the design of the canoe is virtually unchanged over all those years — it was a perfectly engineered piece of transportation technology long before white settlement. Dugouts, birch bark and wood-and-canvas canoes will be covered, along with post World War II synthetic materials with a focus on the canoe as a cultural artifact, both for work and pleasure.
Inside the Manufacturing of a Canoe – May 19th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
As you are paddling your canoe downriver or across a lake have you ever wondered “How’d they make that?” This virtual session will answer that question as we delve into the workshop of a Midwestern canoe manufacturer. Join us for a tour starting with the design process to the final layer of paint.
June – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Natural History of the BWCAW – June 9th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Situated along the Canadian border in northern Minnesota, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) encompasses over 1 million acres within the Superior National Forest. In this session learn about the unique mixture of forests, glacial lakes, and streams that are the cornerstone of this popular canoeing, hiking, and fishing destination.
A Year in the Wilderness with Dave and Amy Freeman – June 23rd, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
In September 2015, Dave and Amy Freeman embarked on a yearlong adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness along the Canadian border in northern Minnesota. During their 366 days in the Wilderness, they traveled more than 2,000 miles by canoe and dog team and visited more than 500 lakes and streams. Join us on this virtual presentation to learn why they went on this adventure and explore the pristine terrain that is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
July: Along the Great Lakes
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – July 14, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore lies in northwestern Wisconsin on the water of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. The area is an enticing mix of rolling hills, sandstone cliffs, sand beaches. This twenty-two island archipelago is covered with a beautiful mix of northern hardwood and boreal forest that are laced with streams, waterfalls, and wetlands. Join our outdoor leaders for a virtual on-the-water tour and learn more about the area from Park Rangers.
Indiana Dunes National Park – July 28, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
One of our newest National Parks, Indiana Dunes National Park was added to the park system in 2019. Hugging 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, the park is a birder’s paradise of dunes, wetlands, prairies, river and forests. Learn more about the 15,000 acre park from an educational specialist!
August: From Rainforest to Desert
Olympic National Park – August 4, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Experience the varying ecosystems that make up Olympic National Park. With nearly a millions acres of glacier-capped mountains, temperate rainforest, and wild coastline, this park is a diverse area to explore!. Join us to learn about this fascinating park with highlights such as its hot springs, tide pools, and rainforests.
Capitol Reef National Park – August 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Join author, photographer, and former park ranger, Stephen Trimble, as he brings us on a historical tour of Capitol Reef National Park. Located in Utah’s south-central desert, Capitol Reef National Park hosts some of the most spectacular geology in the world. It is also home to fascinating stories of native peoples, western trailblazers, and even connections to Butch Cassidy!
September: Cactus and Swamps
Big Bend National Park – September 8, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Join us from southwest Texas near the US/Mexico border to visit Big Bend National Park. Our tour will take us from the Chisos mountains to the Chihuahuan desert. Learn about canyons carved by the Rio Grande, steep limestone cliffs (home to ancient pictographs!) and the ever present wildlife including the elusive javelina.
Everglades National Park – September 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST
Alligators, manatees, and dolphins, oh my! Learn how the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. uses its varied ecosystems to provide habitat to the myriad of animals and more. Discover how mangroves, sawgrass marshes, pine flatwoods, and other ecosystems are intertwined as part of the freshwater flow from Lake Okeechobee. Join us for this jam-packed wildlife session with experts from the park!
Dates & Fees
What to Expect
MATERIALS NEEDED: Participants need internet service, a device that connects to the internet, and a Zoom account in order to participate.
RECOMMENDED PARTICIPATION LEVEL: This program is intended for adult participants, ages 18+.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I make a Zoom account?
Zoom is an online video platform that creates a virtual space for multiple users to gather with video and audio capabilities. Use this Quick Start User Guide to create an account and learn more. It is preferred each participant has a Zoom account, but not necessary. Please let us know if you are unable to create an account.
Do participants need a Zoom account?
Having a Zoom account is preferred, but not necessary. If you are unable to create a Zoom account, please let us know during registration.
Are children allowed to register?
The Mississippi River Virtual Adventures are designed for adults 18 years and older. Visit our Mississippi River Youth Explorers, which is perfect for kids.
What accommodations are available for participants with disabilities?
Please reach out to Anne ([email protected] or 612-676-9423) to discuss accommodation needs.