Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes is home to a variety of wild places, including pristine areas that exist within the Twin Cities Metro Area. Allow your adventurous spirit to explore close to home. Get a taste of camping by cooking wonderful meals, hiking trails, and paddling clear waters. Spend your evenings tucked around the campfire talking with new friends, playing games, and sharing stories.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Begin the trip with a hike among the pines
Meet at Minnesota's William O'Brien State Park in the early afternoon. After a group orientation, set up camp, and get to know your surroundings as you embark on trails that wind by the St. Croix River, Lake Alice and majestic 100-year old pine trees. Settle into your campsite among towering white pines and spruce trees while enjoying a campfire.
Day 2: Learn how to paddle on Lake Alice
Rise to the aroma of coffee and breakfast before enjoying a paddle on Lake Alice and an afternoon of fishing or swimming. Be on the lookout for bald eagles that grace the trees and sky. Enjoy dinner and group games followed by a fire under the stars.
Day 3: Enjoy one last morning paddle or hike and say farewell to your trip mates
Take a mid-morning paddle or hike. Look for wintergreen and wildflowers. Eat one last lunch together before packing for the trip home. The trip officially ends in the early afternoon.
Dates & Fees
What to Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: Much of the time is spent at camp or participating in other nearby activities which may include canoeing, swimming, fishing or hiking.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will be base-camping at a group campsite. The site is large, flat and accessible. An average day’s activities may consist of hiking, canoeing and exploring the immediate area. Outings typically range between 2 and 5 hours, depending on weather conditions.
WEATHER: Temperatures in the summer months range from 45 F to 85 F. Rainfall can vary, but you should expect at least one day of rain.
LODGING/BATHROOM FACILITIES: This is a camping trip. At night you will sleep in a comfortable tent. Typically, there are 3 to 4 people per tent (although other arrangements can be made). We recommend that you bring your own personal sleeping bag and camprest foam core inflatable mattress (a limited number of sleeping bags and mattresses are available for individuals who need them). Bathroom facilities consist of an outhouse. We make every effort to ensure privacy and cleanliness.
MEALS: The food we bring is plentiful, nutritious, and geared for families. You can expect meals like burritos, pasta, and chicken stir-fry for dinner; sandwiches, fruit, and trail mix for lunch; pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast and plenty of good coffee! If you have special dietary restrictions, be sure to list them on your registration.
GROUP SIZE: The group size ranges from 4 to 15 participants, plus 1 or more Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities. Our trips are cooperative in nature. WI staff will assist you in whatever areas you need, however most people pitch in where they can. Part of the adventure involves learning about daily camp activities.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: No previous experience is needed to complete this trip.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: If you are new to outdoor activities, you need not spend a lot of money on gear. Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group gear and equipment. You will be assigned the same gear for the duration of your trip and it will be sanitized between trips. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.
COVID VACCINATION AND HEALTH PRE-SCREENING: All participants (and our staff) are required to be fully vaccinated (including the booster) at least 2 weeks prior to the trip start date.
In addition, upon your arrival, we will perform a health screening that will include confirming that you have no COVID-19 related symptoms (for example: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat) or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 related symptoms within the last 2 weeks. We will also take each group member’s temperature daily. If COVID-19 related symptoms develop during the trip experience, you are responsible for your quarantine and transportation needs that adhere to CDC guidelines. Please ensure that you have an emergency contact on file that would be able to assist.
SAFETY WHILE ON TRAIL: All participants and staff will wear properly fitting masks when social distancing is not possible (i.e. riding in the van, loading/unloading boats, cooking, etc.) or when requested by a WI staff member. As of Jan 15, 2022, KN95s or N95s are required for staff and participants. Cloth masks, buffs, bandanas, and scarves are not accepted face coverings. Thorough hand washing and/or gloves and masks will be worn during meal preparation.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Campground - TBD at 2:00 PM (local time)
End: Campground - TBD at 1:00 PM (local time)
This trip will begin at 2:00 PM and end at 1:00 PM at the same location. This trip's starting and ending locations will be determined based on group mix and available permits. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip. Booking a Flight? We recommend flying in to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport the night before your trip, and flying out no earlier than 5:30 PM on the last day of the trip.
Do you have any additional health restrictions on trail?
In addition to following CDC guidelines, we work with a team of community and health experts to help guide our safety measures on and off the trail. Find a complete list of steps we are taking to provide you the safest experience here: https://www.wildernessinquiry.org/covid19/