Hiking is nothing but walking with purpose

Making a wilderness hike safer and more fun for you and the family

Hiking is a great way to experience the woods and the wilderness of Cook County and the BWCA.
Mark Twain once referred to the game of golf as “A good walk ruined.”
Hiking the trails is making a good walk even better. And you don’t need a set of clubs and a dozen balls to finish the game.
Walking is a popular activity for improving health. It burns calories and improves the cardiovascular system. It’s the best way to recover fully from illness and surgery. And it gets you outside.
Hiking is nothing but walking with purpose.
There are lots of hiking trails near us on the Gunflint Trail and along Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior.
Here are some thoughts for making a wilderness hike safer and more fun for you and the family.

  • Do some research and pick the right trails. Know your level of fitness, ability, and endurance. There are trails of a mile or less, relatively flat, scenic, and perfect for beginners or those with young children. Others are several miles long and bring you to amazing vistas away from the crowds. (Link to Gunflint Trail dot com)
  • Make sure you bring the essentials.
  • Weather appropriate clothing. A calm, warm summer day can quickly change to windy, cold, and rainy.
  • The right footwear is important, and need not be expensive. Hiking boots are a plus, especially for the more challenging trails. Leave the wingtips and flip flops in the car. Your ankles, and legs, will thank you later.
  • Nutrition. Depending on how long you will be hiking, anything from an energizing snack for a short hike to enough food for the number of days you’ll be camping.
  • Water. Bring and drink lots of it. Stay hydrated.
  • A map and compass if your hike is a challenging one.
  • A first aid kit, insect repellant, and suntan lotion should be in your pack.
  • Tell someone where you’ll be going. If a family member is staying behind at the cabin, they should know where you’ll be and when to expect you back.
  • When possible, have a hiking buddy with you. Spending time with a friend or family member makes the hike more enjoyable and deepens your relationship.
  • Leave the earbuds at home. The music of the woods and the wisdom of the wilderness beat the heck out of any podcast you can think of.
  • Practice good trail etiquette. Leave no trace of your visit.
  • Hiking with your dog is a great experience. Pick up and pack out after it (or them). Respect other hikers and have the canine on a leash.
  • Trekking poles can help smooth out your walking rhythm, provide extra stability, and reduce the strain on your joints while tackling the rougher terrain. Pick the right trail. Start small and choose a trail that’s appropriate for your fitness level.
  • If you’re planning an intense, multi-day hike, start to prepare physically with enough time to be at your peak.
  • Don’t be anti-social. Greet fellow hikers that you meet on the trail. Chat them up a bit if it seems like they’d be interested in that. If they’re not, a hearty greeting in passing will suffice.

To have a great experience hiking off the Gunflint Trail, book a cabin at Rockwood Lodge for base camp and speak to our outfitters to plan your routes.
On your hike, maybe you’ll see a moose up close. Or even a wolf. No matter what, your vacation will be packed with good memories.