Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Posts

The Fiercest Fires in Minnesota History

This new Twin Cities Public Television documentary explores the state’s worst natural disasters. Host Mary Lahammer, along with historian Hy Berman, meteorologist Paul Douglas, and climatologist Mark Seeley tell the story of the deadly blazes that have taken more than a thousand lives in Minnesota.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978

This 10-minute documentary on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978 was produced by Sam Fulton and Mark Rogalski for National History Day on the theme of “Debate & Diplomacy.” The process paper and bibliography is at

Minnesota Historia: The Root Beer Lady

Dorothy Molter was the last permanent resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She sold candy bars and homemade soft drinks to paddlers for decades. But there’s so much more to her story than root beer.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

The Slice: Stairway Portage in the Boundary Waters

Stairway Portage is an 80-rod trail from Duncan Lake to Rose Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It intersects with the Border Route Trail and offers views of Rose Lake and Canada.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Greetings from Superior National Forest

This collection of old postcards depicts scenes from the Superior National Forest, 3.9-million acres of woods and waters in northeastern Minnesota’s “Arrowhead Country.”

Into the Dad Zone: An Epic Skate in the BWCA

Like a lot of folks who love the outdoors I try as hard as possible to get my kid to love being outside as well. To create that connection is like walking the razor’s edge. You push too much and they hate it. You push too little and they get consumed by electronics, friends and all the other noise going on in their young lives.

I would say my actions fall on pushing the outdoors too much. I personally have come to the conclusion that I have one life to live and I am sure as hell going to live it as much as I can.

There is no question, I am happiest outside having an adventure. That has been one consistent theme in my life since I was a kid. That theme is a core part of my being and one aspect of my life I want to give to my child, it’s my legacy … and well, it’s all the legacy I have to give!

So when free time presents itself, outside is where I will be. If my wife is working and I have the kid for that time period, then we are going outside. It’s just a matter of how and where. Usually those two answers are dictated by weather, season and what the conditions will allow us to do. There is always something special to any time and season, if we are aware enough to recognize it.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in NYT: BWCAW “unfathomably beautiful”

Actors Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are featured in the New York Times series “20 Odd Questions” today, promoting their new movie Downhill. When asked to name the “most underrated destination in America,” Louis-Dreyfus gave a nod to Quetico-Superior country, responding:

“The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. I went canoeing and I loved it. It is just unfathomably beautiful.”

Only Three and a Half

I felt homesick. Lonesome for Ms. LaCount and the soft comforts of our home. Gloomy in my stomach and behind my eyes because of some absence or presence I couldn’t discern. I’d expected all that. I also felt like I might barf every time I looked at or just thought about food. That was unexpected.

It was Wednesday, August 14 of this year. On Sunday the 11th I’d paddled away from Crane Lake, MN, headed east toward Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness entry point #12 on Little Vermilion Lake. I planned to reach Lake Superior by way of the Grand Portage on Saturday the 17th or maybe the day after that.

The anticipated homesickness had come on full-force during the second day. I didn’t enjoy the sensation, but I knew I could deal with it, and I did, by reminding myself of how lucky I was to be in that place doing what I was doing and just continuing to move forward. The unanticipated pukiness had imposed itself midway through the first day. It got worse any time I tried to choke down a mouthful or two of sustenance and it was, partially because of the mental state a relative lack of food helped create, a tougher problem to solve.

Silent hero of Boundary Waters blowdown subject of new movie

Official title of "Sultan of Scrape" courtesy of Sultan of Scrape

The heroic story of a man who led one of Minnesota’s largest disaster rescue efforts will be told in a motion picture planned for release in 2019.

Selective Focus: #BWCA

Minnesota wild rice, Adam, and his red canoe

Meet Adam Maxwell. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs. It took one Boundary Waters trip to hook him. Harvesting wild rice started out as a hobby; now it’s part of his daily life.

Video by Old Saw Media
Music: “Fight the Sea” by Josh Woodward

Boundary Waters 2015

Video by Jeremy Schendel.

Painting in the BWCA

Duluth artist Ken Marunowski describes the process of making a wilderness landscape painting.

The Boundary Waters

Two videos by Alex Horner — shot Sept. 24, 2010 — with music by Duluth’s Steve Horner.