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Spring - Summer 2017

Outdoor Adventure Courses

Registration Form (PDF)

Summer 2017 Outdoor Adventure Schedule (PDF)

Spring Hawk Migration Whitefish Point Bird Observatory - S4

Whitefish Point at the far northeastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is considered one of the premier birding hot spots in the United States. The Michigan and Canadian coastlines of Lake Superior form a natural corridor that concentrates and funnels migratory birds through the region. As many as 20,000 raptors and 24,000 water birds are seen at the Point each spring. The peak raptor flight occurs from the end of April through the second week of May, with daily totals typically surpassing several thousand birds. It’s also known as a site for the nocturnal migratory flight of northern owls, including saw-whets, barreds, boreals, long- eareds, short-eareds (and the occasional great gray). The loon migration is also exceptional in the first two weeks of May; thousands of loons pass by the Point every year. We leave Rhinelander on Friday morning, bird late that afternoon, bird all Saturday and Sunday morning, and return by dinner on Sunday. We will also visit the owl banding station one of the nights. Travel time is six hours by Nicolet van to Paradise, Michigan. Lodging and transportation are included in registration fee.

Sunday - Tuesday, May 7 - 9
Double Occupancy Class #O904.......$395
Single Occupancy Class #O905......$695

Mother’s Day Birding for Songbirds - S2

Mid-May marks the return of nearly all of our neotropical songbirds from their wintering grounds in Central and South America. They come back in full voice and brilliant color ready to establish new territories and breed. We’ll visit several sites in both forested and wetland areas of the Northern Highland State Forest between Rhinelander and Minocqua to find a diversity of birds. For beginning to moderately experienced birders, we’ll take time to learn how to identify birds by sight, ear, habitat, and behaviors.

Sunday, May 14
8 - 11 am
Lake Tomahawk
Class #O902.......$30

Mother’s Day Wildflower Identification and Ecology - S2

Ephemeral spring wildflowers come and go even more quickly than the spring itself. Enjoy an afternoon within this short window when spring beauties like bloodroots, trilliums, and Dutchmans’s breeches are at their peak. Site to be determined in the Minocqua area based on what is in bloom.

Sunday, May 14
1 - 3:30 pm
Class #O903.......$30

Birding Skills Three-day Workshop - S2

Learn how to visually identify the most common birds on a Northwoods trail by sight and sound over three days. During the morning sessions, we’ll slowly hike established trails in Oneida and Vilas counties to practice identification skills. On Friday afternoon, we will have an in-class presentation to further your understanding of our most common birds. Class location will vary on each of the three days. The afternoon location will be held at the Nicolet College - Lakeland Center in Minocqua.

John Bates/Mary Burns
Friday, June 2 | 1 - 3 pm
Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4
7:30 - 11 am

Introduction to Fly Fishing - S2

Beginner fly fishers will learn about terminology, equipment for different species and situations, flies and how to fish them, plus different fly fishing techniques and casts. If you wish, you can compare equipment across different levels of quality and price range. You will practice the basic forward cast, sidearm cast, wiggle cast, and roll cast. Although all equipment will be provided, if you have your own fly rod setup, please bring it to class. You may want to use it during the practice session. The instructor can give you feedback and pointers on its characteristics and use. Major emphasis in this class is on casting practice, with much of the other course content covered with handouts and online sources.

Bob Paine
Saturday, June 3 | 9 am - 1 pm
Rhinelander Area

Advanced Fly Fishing - S2

This is a great course for individuals who have mastered the basic forward cast to the extent of being able to consistently cast at least 30 feet. Instruction will cover the balanced equipment selection in much greater detail than the introductory course, including detailed coverage of different fly line tapers and other characteristics and their appropriate applications. You will be able to test various combinations of equipment components at different levels of quality and price ranges. This testing will include lines with the different tapers and from different manufacturers. You will also get one-on-one instruction on the following casts which increase the range of conditions in which you will be able to deliver flies: pile, reach, steeple, tuck, and curve casts, as well as the double-haul. Two-handed spey casting techniques – useful when you have limited back cast space – will be demonstrated, and students wishing to try the basic spey cast may do so. Although all equipment will be provided, if you have your own fly rod setup, please bring it to receive instructor feedback and pointers. Note: If you have never cast a fly rod before, please do not sign up for this class on the same day as the Introduction to Fly Fishing. If, however, you can cast reasonably well but think you need to brush up before taking this advanced class, you can take both this class and the Introduction to Fly Fishing on the same day.

Bob Paine
Saturday, June 3 | 2 - 5 pm
Rhinelander Area

Mountain and Trail Biking Basics - S3

If you have a mountain bike, but do not ride it on trails, logging or dirt roads, then this course is for you. Learn to shift, climb, go over obstacles, corner, navigate trails, and enjoy riding. We will ride basic trails with an opportunity to progress to more challenging terrain if desired. Learn proper bike fit, basic maintenance, skills, and drills in order to make riding more comfortable and enjoyable. You must bring your own mountain bike.

Val Foley
Wednesdays, June 7 – July 26 | 5 - 6 pm

Sea Kayak Strokes, Safety, and Rescues - S2, SK

Learn the basic skills needed to paddle a sea-touring kayak in calm waters and light waves. Emphasis will be on personal gear, safety, rescues for group and solo paddlers, wet exits, efficient strokes, braces, equipment, dress, and local hazards. Anyone who owns a kayak or plans to embark on extended paddling trips should take this course. Open to first-time paddlers.

Rae Grosman/Al Bessette
Saturday, June 24 | 1 - 5 pm
#O301.......$60 with kayak rental

Date Night and Brews Via Kayak or Paddlecraft - S2, C, SK, R

Join us for a relaxing paddle to the Minocqua Brewery for a tour and delectable meal while taking in a beautiful sunset. Fee includes dinner, but not beverages and tip. Dan Clausen/Dr. Dalia Krakowsky Clausen

Thursday, June 29 | 5 - 9 pm
#O303.......$65 with kayak rental

Looney Day Paddle - S2, C, SK, R

Paddle down the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage with loon expert and biologist Terry Daulton learning about loons from a researcher’s perspective. We will travel by kayak with Terry as she points out the various nests around the waterway and discusses loon behavior patterns and habitat. The Flambeau Flowage is known for the most nesting loon pairs of all the bodies of water within the state.

Terry Daulton/Dan Clausen/Al Bessette
Friday, June 30 | 9 am - 4 pm
#O305.......$75 with kayak rental

Paddle the Bear River: Three-Day Cultural and Natural History Exploration - S3, C, SK

The Bear River is a shallow, slow, meandering river that is wild and beautiful. While the Bear possesses no rapids, it coils and turns for about 18 miles until it flows into the Manitowish River and then into the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage. The Bear served as one of the main fur trade arteries for the French Voyageurs for several hundred years, and very likely served Native Americans for thousands of years prior to that. We’ll explore the cultural and natural history of the Bear starting from the Flambeau Chain of Lakes. There is no development along the river other than a few houses on one short stretch, thus the river almost certainly looks much like it has for hundreds of years. An Ojibwe elder will accompany us on one day to share the importance of the river to Native Americans. Class location will vary on each of the three days. We will start at or near the Pow-wow grounds in Lac du Flambeau.

John Bates/Mary Burns
Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23
9 am - 3 pm
#O313.......$150 with kayak rental

Fermented Paddler - S2, R, SK

Paddling in and around the islands on beautiful Lake Mohawksin in Tomahawk, we’ll work up an appetite and curiosity for sourdough pizza in the park. The makings for pizza will come out of our kayak hatches along with other goodies. Make great memories along the way plus take an extra fermented starter to try at home.

Martha Schouweiler/Rae Grosman
Tuesday, August 1 | 3 - 7 pm
#O309.......$65 with kayak rental

Treasure Hunt and Hike for Agates - S2

Join us on a treasure hunt for agates on 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 will 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 (cost not included.)

Gina Conkey
Friday, August 4 | 8 am - Noon
Saturday, August 5 | 8 am - 6 pm

Trailside Botany: Tree and Shrub Identification Three-Day Workshop - S2

Learn how to identify the most common trees and shrubs in the Northwoods and make a botanical collection so you can study them at home. Each day we’ll collect plants in the field, then return to the Lakeland Center to press them for later study. Class location will vary each of the three days, returning to the Lakeland Center each afternoon.

John Bates/Mary Burns
Friday, August 25 – Sunday, August 27
9 am - 2 pm

The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage - S3, SK

The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage consists of approximately 14,000 acres of water, 114 miles of mainland shoreline, 195 islands, and is arguably the richest and most remote waterbody for wildlife in the state. It hosts the highest breeding density of bald eagles, osprey, and loons in Wisconsin and is home to black terns, merlins, great blue herons, diverse waterfowl, and songbirds. Improve your navigational skills and paddling efficiency while exploring the backwaters and bays of a flowage that can be confusing to travel due to the undulating shoreline and numerous islands.

Dan Clausen/Al Bessette
Wednesday, August 30 | 9 am - 4 pm
#O501.......$75 with kayak rental

The Upper Wisconsin River Dance

The Wisconsin River offers 30 miles of extraordinary excursions conveniently available in five, 6-mile sections. The entire stretch is a wild, winding paddle with a deep channel and surprisingly good flow. All who paddle these sections rejoice in the scenery and wildlife. We will practice reading the river and using the current to help travel through the many sharp bends. We’ll also practice wake riding, back ferrying, drawing, and sweeping. Navigating this serpentine river is best experienced paddling a mid-length transitional kayak, solo canoe, or a tandem canoe with experienced partners and lightweight paddles. For those using canoes, we’ll practice sit-and-switch paddling. We will paddle one of the 12-mile sections at an active pace and plan to be on the water for up to 8 hours. Paddlers should have intermediate skills and sufficient endurance.

Dan Clausen/Al Bessette
Thursday, August 31 | 9 am - 4 pm
#O503.......$75 with kayak rental