Road Scholar® Programs at ACNW
See below to learn more about the various Road Scholar® programs offered here at ACNW (search our Calendar of Events for dates and specifics):
Get to know the North Woods as you observe wolves at the Wildlife Center, learn about migrating birds and enjoy expert lectures on the region’s Ojibwe Indians and pioneer settlers.
Walking the equivalent of a couple blocks.
June will focus on migrating songbirds, loons, eagles and ospreys. The fall program includes a visit to Duluth`s famous Hawk Ridge- one of the premier migratory raptor locations.
- Witness the wonders of migratory events that stretch back through the mists of time: loons, eagles, and ospreys in June and hawks in August/September. Learn about life cycles, habitats, and special adaptations.
- At the Wildlife Science Center, observe a captive pack of wolves and their special adaptations and behaviors including communication styles. Deepen your knowledge and understanding of this legendary, beautiful predator whose howl sends shivers up the spine.
- Take field trips to museums and the Northwest Fur Post as we explore north country history through the eyes of the Ojibwe and subsequent exploration and exploits of French-Canadian voyageurs — colorful adventurers who journeyed by canoe to trade with Indians for furs — and the environmental and societal impacts of big-pine logging days of the 1800s.
Features hikes along Lake Superior’s north shore (July), Upper Peninsula (June), and south shore (September) along the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan shorelines. Take in the beauty of Lake Superior’s coasts this week, exploring state parks, national monuments, sacred American Indian sites, and much more.
Led by noted experts Mike Link and Kate Crowley, enjoy a unique experience through daily walks and field trips along Lake Superior’s south shore. Learn about natural history, geology, plant and animal life, human impacts including logging, mining, commercial fishing, current challenges and cultural connections with the Ojibwe. Absorb a wealth of knowledge amid beautiful settings as we hike along Lake Superior’s shorelines.
- Learn from two of the most knowledgeable local experts on Lake Superior, authors of 25 books, accomplished educators, and senior instructors on their 5 year anniversary walk around the lake.
- Encounter beach flats, dunes, forests, islands, mountains, parks, wilderness areas and more along either the Minnesota shoreline on the dates that explore Lake Superior’s northern shores or the Wisconsin and Michigan shorelines on the dates that explore Lake Superior’s southern shores.
- Meet and talk with local residents in small towns and communities along the way.
Multiple field trips or walks per day, up to 6 miles; much of the terrain will be unpaved trails in state parks and natural areas with rocks, roots, uneven surfaces.
The Mississippi River Valley in Minnesota is the largest of North America’s major flyways. Join naturalists to witness warbler migrations, blooming wildflowers and bald eagles!
Spring in Minnesota’s Mississippi River Valley spells a time of dramatic changes. Flocks of warblers serenade from the treetops as they migrate north. Blooming wildflowers brighten the riverbanks with vibrant yellows and reds. And while waterfowl take to the river, bald eagles soar majestically overhead. Explore a portion of the upper Mississippi River and discover gorgeous city and state parks and fascinating National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Learn about the habitats of the Upper Mississippi River with seasoned naturalists as you explore the best of the Mississippi in spring.
- Explore Frontenac State Park, known as a famous warbler migration site and a premier birding destination.
- Learn firsthand about bald eagles at the world-class National Eagle Center and search for waterfowl at Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge.
- Discover the spectacular Minnehaha Falls, inspiration for Longfellow’s epic poem “Hiawatha,” and St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfalls on the mighty Mississippi
Walking on paved, gravel, or crushed limestone trails and paved trails up to 2 miles a day in state and city parks. One boat trip on the Mississippi.
Learn the stories of Sigurd Olson and Ernest Oberholzter, icons of US conservation efforts. Explore their legacies as you canoe, hike and boat in Minnesota’s famed boundary waters.
Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) and Ernest Oberholtzer (1884-1977) were two of America’s most influential conservationists, beloved nature writers and North Country icons. Join renowned author, musician and wilderness guide Douglas Wood as we examine their legacies, as well as Minnesota’s boundary waters. Discover the beauty of Minnesota’s North Shore, Burntside Lake, Voyageurs National Park and visit the International Wolf Center and North American Bear Center. As you paddle and hike, learn about the region’s geology, forests, plants and animals, and round out learning experiences with readings from
Led by celebrated author, musician, wilderness guide and personal friend, Douglas Wood, visit Sigurd Olson’s home, writing shack and cabin in the woods on Burntside Lake known as Listening Point, as well as Ernest Oberholtzer’s home on Mallard Island on Rainy Lake near Voyageurs National Park.
- During walks and day paddles, get close up looks at the flora and fauna of pine forests, waterfalls and lakes
- Enjoy a day-long boat trip down Rainy Lake to historic Kettle Falls Hotel on the U.S./Canada border, a hotel only accessible by boat or plane.
Participants need the ability to walk 2-3 miles a day and be able to go out for a 1-2 hour canoe paddle on flat water.