Outdoor Recreation Opportunities for the Nature Enthusiast

Camping, fishing, hiking, paddling and golf. Its all about the great outdoors! It should come as no surprise that the residents of the North Woods are just as enamored with the woods and waters as the Visitors are. Many of us chose to move here to surround ourselves with the call of the loon, the whispering pines and the dance of Northern Lights. Those of us who revel in the abundance of natural beauty also enjoy sharing these treasures with others.

For visitors looking to experience the local flora and fauna there's nothing better than having the guidance of naturalists and outdoor recreation buffs. Many Visitors Centers will have a city/town information guide that should include a listing of groups and organizations. These groups are wonderful resources. Ask them for advice on where and when to go to enjoy your preferred activity. They may even invite you to participate in upcoming events as a guest! Listed below are a few of our local groups who enjoy getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. If you go, be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. You will need insect repellent, water, a hat and sunscreen. Visit our online calendar at www.northern-flights.com for a listing of upcoming events.
Contact 218-444-3022 if you need additional information.

Bemidji Birders Club

Intermediate & Advanced
The Bemidji Birders Club offers Spring Warbler Walks every Monday in May. Take an easy stroll along the Lake Bemidji shoreline. We will concentrate on the many warbler species returning from South and Central America. Other woodland and wetland species will be encountered. Meet at the Paul Bunyan Bike Trail Head parking lot at 9 AM. (next to Lincoln Elementary School) Participation is free and walks last about 2 hours. Group size will be limited for quality. Large groups may be split up.
Contact: Kelly Larson 218-444-3022

Intermediate & Advanced
The Bemidji Birders Club offers Birding Field Trips every Wednesday beginning April 12th through June 14th. Local hot spots as well as a few regional excursions are planned. April trips will focus on waterfowl, shore birds and grouse. May trips target neo-tropical migrants as they return to their breeding grounds. Trips typically begin at 8 AM and run until mid afternoon. Participants will carpool to locations. Participation is free but registration is required. Group size will be limited for quality. Please call to pre-register.
Contact: Kelly Larson 218-444-3022

Novice & Intermediate
Northern Flights Wild Bird Store offers Sunday Morning Bird Walks. Take an easy stroll along the Lake Bemidji shoreline or carpool to a nearby location. These walks are perfect for beginners and will cover the proper use of binoculars and field guides as well as where and when to find the birds! We will meet at Paul & Babe in the Visitors Center parking lot at 8 AM. Participation is free and walks last about 2 hours. Call ahead or just show up! (Group size will be limited for quality)
Contact: Kelly Larson 218-444-3022

Headwaters Canoe Club

Headwaters Canoe Club (HCC) offers weekly outings during the Spring & Summer months. Paddles are scheduled every Tuesday evening and start at 6 PM. Each trip is rated for difficulty. Be sure to arrive at the designated put-in site early enough to unload your gear and meet fellow paddlers. Several longer Saturday trips are also planned. All trips are hosted by HCC members. Put-in locations and directions should be confirmed a day before the trip. Non-members are invited to participate in Paddle Trips but we encourage you to join the club. Annual membership dues are $10.00 and include a 40 page printout of area trip descriptions and maps. It's a gold mine of paddling information you can't get anywhere else! This is definitely a fun group of people. Skill and interest levels range from leisure recreationlists to competitive paddlers to wilderness trekkers. Everyone is welcome!
Contact: Harvey Tjader, Club President 218-444-5477

If you do not have your own canoe or kayak you may rent one from the OPC (Outdoor Program Center) on the Bemidji State University campus. Call 218-755-2999 for rates and availability. The OPC is located at 1500 Birchmont Drive in Bemidji.

Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club

An informal group of avid mushroom hunters, this group can help get you started on a lifelong hobby of collecting for the table, scientific study or photographic exploration. Mushrooms, with their infinite forms and colors, are wonderful subjects for the camera. (and they seldom run away!)

The thought of eating wild mushrooms strikes fear and loathing into hearts of millions of Americans but a few intrepid souls draw back the dark curtain and dare to dispel the taboo. Those that do are rewarded with the bounty of natures harvest. You will find our group of culinary dissidents foraging along forest roads and trails with the first bloom of of the lilacs, about mid May. Morels are the main quarry in early Spring and the excitement of finding, and the pleasure of eating them is contagious!

Other fine edible species make their appearance as the Seasons progress. Each has it's epicurean distinctions, and fans. From Chanterelle to Oysters, Boletus to Sulphur Shelf, there are enough choices to keep us busy well into September! North Woods mushroom hunters are blessed with a variety of habitats and plenty of public land. If your ready for a taste of the wild side, tag along on one of their Forays. Bring a basket or paper bag with handles and a pocket knife. You won't be disappointed!
Contact: Kelly Larson 218-444-3022