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Outdoor Adventure Series in full swing

Canoe paddle entering water on a lake

The Outdoor Adventure Series is commemorating Nicolet's 50th anniversary with a special series that peers into the past 50 years of natural resources history in the Northwoods.

“The natural resources of the Northwoods have undergone a tremendous evolution over the past 50 years,” said Jodi Fox, Continuing Education specialist at Nicolet.

The final session, described below, will take place Aug. 10 with first a talk and then a trek from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

- 50 Years of Lakes and Rivers Conservation: The Benefits of Environmental Regulation to Everyone, Industry Included. Bob Martini, retired Rivers Coordinator for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will describe the condition of the water resource 50 years ago and show how the problems were resolved with responsible regulation. We will then travel to key sites on the Wisconsin River to see the restored water quality.

The talk is $12.50 and will take place in Northwoods Center 207. The following trek is also $12.50 and will take place along the Wisconsin River.

Other remaining Outdoor Adventure Series offerings include:

Hiking the Hidden Lakes Trail                                                                                       

Hidden Lakes Trail meanders 13 miles through the Nicolet National Forest just east of Eagle River. We’ll hike a beautiful 4-mile stretch from McKinley Lake to Franklin Lake. The rolling trail passes through the 1,548-acre Franklin and Butternut Lakes State Natural Area which features a number of small undeveloped lakes and several old-growth stands of forest. The area is also known for the 20 archaeological sites that are part of the Butternut-Franklin Lakes archaeological district.

John Bates/Mary Burns

Saturday, August 11        9:30 am – 1 pm

Eagle River Area



The Upper Wisconsin River Dance                                                         S3       RK, SK

The Wisconsin River near Conover passes through scenic countryside complete with rich, diverse forests and picturesque marshlands. There are no buildings along the stretch, noted for its numerous oxbow turns, giving it the feel of a wilderness river. There is one small rapid along this route that is easily portaged. While there will be no white-water paddling, participants should be comfortable paddling in moderate currents and maneuvering around rocks, especially if water is low.

Dan Clausen and Al Bessette

Thursday, August 30        9 am – 4 pm



$85 with kayak rental


Willow Flowage Picnic Paddle                                                                            S3       RK, SK

The Willow is one of our favorites, offering 6,400 acres of water with access to numerous islands and backwaters. Surrounded by swamps, bogs, and other watery lowlands, the Willow is isolated from roads and development. Its sense of remoteness, abundant wildlife, and scenic natural shoreline beckon the paddler. Bring a picnic lunch to eat along the way.

Dan Clausen and Al Bessette

Thursday, August 31        9 am – 4 pm



$85 with kayak rental


Adventures in Wild Rice Gathering                                                                                            S2   C

The Ojibwe call it Ma-no’min; it is also known as wild rice. This adventure will introduce you to gathering and processing this wonderful Northwoods resource. Our harvest methods will not differ much from those traditionally used so the bulk of time will be spent in our canoes gathering rice if the gather season is open. If the rice beds are not open, we will still explore them and hear about the traditional methods for gathering and harvesting rice.  Following our paddle, we'll enjoy a shore lunch that will include dishes made with wild rice and a discussion of different processing methods. Former Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Warden Fred Maulson will join us and provide the materials and instruction for you to make your own ricing sticks. Students will need to purchase a Wisconsin DNR wild rice harvesting permit ($8.25 per household as of 1/18) NOTE: Only Wisconsin residents may gather wild rice.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson
Saturday, September 8               9 am – 5 pm
Lac Du Flambeau Area
$99 with canoe rental


Finishing Wild Rice                                                                                                         S1  

Ma-no’min, called "wild rice" outside the Ojibwe culture, has played a central role in tribal life. It is used in ceremonies and as a major food source. Traditionally, its harvest promoted social interaction in late summer each year. Gathering Ma-no’min and preparing it for eating is a lengthy process with many steps. You’ll observe the four stages of finishing rice: drying, parching, hulling, and winnowing. Rice will be dried and ready to be finished so you can participate in the entire finishing process and learn first-hand how to finish your own rice. This class is an excellent addition to Adventures in Wild Rice Gathering and Processing. No previous experience required.

Rae Grosman/Fred Maulson

Saturday, September 15 5 pm – 8 pm

Minocqua Area



Treasure Hunt and Hike for Agates                                                                                                           S2

Join us on a treasure hunt for agates along Lake Superior. We will map out our adventure in a classroom on Friday to learn about the process and knowledge needed for agate hunting. On Saturday, we’ll venture to Little Girl’s Landing in search of agates, beach glass, driftwood, and more. Pack a lunch for the way. We will stop for dinner on our way home (cost not included.)

Gina Conkey

Friday, August 3  8 AM - 12 PM

Rhinelander, Nicolet White Pine Center 108 Classroom Session

Saturday, August 4           8 AM - 6 PM  Field Trip Session



Full Moon Paddle on Alequash                                                   S3       C, RK, SK

Prior to our ancestors refining agriculture and living with the cycles of the sun, we moved to lunar patterns.  Get reacquainted with these patterns on this evening paddle.  We’ll set out on shimmering, reflective waters, not for a physically demanding paddle, but rather to let the gentle strokes of the blade and the magnetism of the moon guide us like a consistent tide. 

Rae Grosman/Al Bessette

Wednesday, July 25         7 – 10 pm

Boulder Junction, Alequash Lake


$50 with kayak rental


Kayak Safety

A kayak safety class or equivalents experience is a prerequisite before participating in an advanced paddling adventure. For more information please call 715-365-4544.



Strenuosity Rating

Strenuosity Rating - The number after each course title lets you know how strenuous we rate each course.

S1 = Not strenuous, most likely a stationary experience.

S2 = Slightly strenuous, does not require prior physical conditioning

S3 = Some physically demanding aspects, requires some endurance

S4 = Challenging and requires a good physical condition

The Right Boat

Often our classes are designed for canoes or sea kayaks exclusively and sometimes either one will work just fine. On some trips, a shorter or recreational kayak would also be adequate. Please note the suggested boat abbreviations under each class description. If you still have questions, please feel free to ask.

Which boat is right for each class?

C = Canoes Only

SK = Sea Kayak (16-18 Foot)

RK = Recreational or Shorter Kayak (12-14 Foot)








     For a complete list of upcoming offerings, visit or call (715) 365-4544, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4544; TTY 1-800-947-3529 or 711 relay.