Outdoor skills workshop for women scheduled for Sept. 14-16

Women can hike to spectacular views of autumn colors and Lake Superior on the horizon during a three-day fall workshop that teaches a variety of outdoor skills through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

Getting to that view includes 330 feet of elevation gain on the Superior Hiking Trail – the kind of physical and mental challenge known well to Jo Swanson, trail development director for the Superior Hiking Trail Association and the keynote speaker for the fall workshop.

“One of my themes is empowerment – learning to overcome fears of adventuring in the outdoors,” Swanson said. “We live in a culture of fear and people react strongly when women go on outdoors adventures, especially when they go alone. The truth is that with planning and preparation, the outdoors can be a very safe place.”

The fall workshop is Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, in a new location this year at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn. Attendees will hear from Swanson and Minnesota state park naturalists. Session topics include Ojibwe heritage, Voyageurs, archery, canoeing, and the animals, plants and geology of the North Woods.

Linda Bylander, coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, said that along with the new location, the workshop offers a new selection of classes this year.

“Women who attend the fall workshop gain a whole range of experiences in a supportive environment,” Bylander said. “We chose dates when the fall colors should provide a beautiful backdrop.

The workshop is designed for women ages 18 and up but girls ages 14 to 17 are welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Visit mndnr.gov/bow for more information and to register.