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 for a camping experience William O’Brien State Park.
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 family 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. Those who use WI's van transportation will return to Minneapolis in the late afternoon.
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 10 to 20 participants, plus Wilderness Inquiry staff. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities.
CAMP CHORES: 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.
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 necessary canoeing and camping equipment. All you need to provide is your personal gear, such as clothing and a sleeping bag. A detailed equipment list will be sent to you upon confirmation of your participation. If you need to borrow personal gear, that can usually be arranged.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: No previous experience is needed to complete this trip.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: William O'Brien State Park at 2:00 PM (local time)
End: William O'Brien State Park at 1:00 PM (local time)
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
We require a nonrefundable deposit of 10% of the trip fee or $100, whichever is smaller. So, for example, if the trip fee is $250, the deposit would be $25. If the trip fee is $3995, the deposit would be $100.
If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!