Running Rapids and Chasing Waterfalls

This week we have two hiking trips and four paddling trips spanning from the end of the Gunflint Trail all the way to the Tofte, MN area off the north shore of Lake Superior. Some groups are in search of the biggest fish while others are looking for waterfalls to sit under and rapids to run. This undercurrent of adventure-seeking reminds us of a Sigurd Olson quote:

“As long as there are young men with the light of adventure in their eyes or a touch of wilderness in their souls, rapids will be run.”

Sigurd F. Olson

The first trip left on Monday and the fourth trip left this morning (Wednesday). Everybody will return on Friday afternoon to share their tales from the trails but we won’t leave you hanging that long! Keep reading to discover which adventures our Birchwood boys have set out for this week.

Clearwater Adventure – 5-Day Trip

This trip is led by Birchwood counselors, Kumu aka Robert (left) and Nacho aka Jack (right) with Senior Leadership Camper, Hugh (third from left).

These ambitious outdoorsmen are headed for Clearwater Lake where they will begin a 5-day paddle through a large loop of lakes on the eastern edge of the BWCAW. Not only do they have some big portages in-store, they also have some of the most beautiful and lesser-traveled lakes in all the Boundary Waters ahead of them! We can’t wait to hear all about it when they return on Friday!

Follow them on their adventure: (Birchwood 1)

Sawbill Paddling – 4-Day Trip

These goofballs made me promise to post their “blooper” photo too.

This trip is led by co-counselors Flash aka Dan (back row, third from left) and Buggs aka Nicolás (back row, second from right) with Senior Leadership Camper, Lorenzo (second from left).

There’s no doubt this group will have a fun time paddling together! They’ll enter into the BWCA at Sawbill Lake on the north shore of Superior with the stretch goal of paddling all the way to Poplar Lake! Can they do it? We believe in them!

Follow them on their adventure here:  (Birchwood 2)

Kekekabic Waterfall Hike – 4-Day Trip

This trip is led by co-counselors Teddy aka Camilo (back left) and The Duke aka Wyatt (back center) with Senior Leadership Camper, Charlie (right).

This trip is embarking on an adventure that few Birchwood campers have before! They are headed out on the Kekekabic Hiking Trail, which is a short drive down the Gunflint Trail from Camp. This trail stretches all the way to Ely, MN. While this crew isn’t aiming to through-hike, they are intending to discover the waterfalls that lie in wait on the Kek!

Follow them on their adventure here:  (Birchwood 3)

Granite River Rapids – 3-Day Trip

This group is guided by Ghost aka Ian (back left) and Gatsby aka Dylan (back row to the right of Ghost) with Senior Leadership Camper, Luke (back row to the right of Gatsby).

Instead of exploring uncharted territory, these young men are in for an extra special trip that Birchwood has loved since 1968 – the Granite River Trip! This year, the water level is quite high so the rapids should be extra fun! These gents have also packed a fish finder so we’re hoping they’ll come back to camp with some great fish stories.

Follow them on their journey here: (Birchwood 7)

Superior Hiking Trail – 3-Day Trip

This group is guided by Wiki aka John (back row, second from left) and Casio aka Jacob (back row, third from left) with Senior Leadership Campers, Donovan (middle row, second from left) and Brooks (middle row, third from right).

This adventurous group of campers chose to hike the beautiful Superior Hiking Trail along Lake Superior! This trip begins at the popular Pincushion Mountain. They will no doubt encounter expansive vistas overlooking the Northland and get to dip their toes in the icy waters of Superior.

Follow them on their journey here: (Birchwood 4)

Seagull Lake Paddlers – 3-Day Trip

This group is guided by Danté aka Harlan (far left) and Voldy aka Noah (back row, right) with Senior Leadership Camper, Cheebie aka Nathan (back row, center).

A classic Birchwood trip, these paddlers will get to experience the big and beautiful Seagull Lake! They’ll get to experience a little bit of a lot – like fishing, hiking, paddling, star gazing, and base camping. This is the perfect BWCA sampler trip!

Follow them on their journey here: (Birchwood 5)

As our campers set their sights on adventure, let us wish them calm waters and clear trails! May the path of the paddle and the way of the trail lead them to self-discovery and shared purpose! In every walk or paddle with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.

Happy Trails,

Ashley, Director

  1. Don says:

    Looks likes some very exciting adventures for all groups. Sunny skies, clear and safe paths for all campers!

  2. Susan Kerfoot says:

    Dear Grant,
    Glad to hear you have gone down the Granite River again. Catch some bass for us and enjoy the rapids.

    Love, Grandma and Grandpa Kerfoot

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