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Paddling opportunities in 10-person 'North Canoes' on tap in Moorhead, East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls

Using its “Canoemobile,” Wilderness Inquiry is bringing six, 10-passenger “North Canoes,” which will be at Zavoral Park in East Grand Forks from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, and from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at LaFave Park in Thief River Falls.

North Canoe.jpg
Six 10-person "North Canoes" will be available for public paddling opportunities Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at Zavoral Park in East Grand Forks and Thursday, Oct. 6, at LaFave Park in Thief River Falls. The canoes are part of Wilderness Inquiry's Canoemobile "floating classroom" and outdoor education program, which is coming to sites across the Red River Basin under a partnership with the International Water Institute.
Contributed/Asher Kingery, International Water Institute
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GRAND FORKS – The Fargo-based International Water Institute is partnering with Wilderness Inquiry, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that specializes in providing wilderness adventures and education, to offer paddling trips next week throughout the Red River Basin.

Using its “Canoemobile,” Wilderness Inquiry is bringing six, 10-passenger “North Canoes,” which will be at M.B. Johnson Park in Moorhead on Tuesday, Oct. 4, Zavoral Park in East Grand Forks on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and LaFave Park in Thief River Falls on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7.

Wilderness Inquiry describes the Canoemobile as a “floating classroom” and outdoor education program that crosses the country – “from San Francisco to the Bronx” – to bring students out on their local waterways. Since 2010, the Canoemobile has provided more than 150,000 participants across the country with hands-on water recreation and the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive outside.

“Young people learn about water safety, science, local history, culture and career paths in the outdoors from the seat of a 10-person canoe,” Wilderness Inquiry said.

Students from area schools will participate in Canoemobile activities from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the public is invited to try their hand at paddling local rivers throughout the remainder of the day at all three sites.


“Both afternoons and evenings, we’d love to get people out on the water,” said Asher Kingery, project specialist for the International Water Institute.


Groups, companies or organizations are welcome to join in for some team-building time on the water. Those who attend should plan on about 30 minutes of paddling, Kingery says. All equipment, including personal flotation devices, will be provided.

“We’re looking to get as many people as we can,” he said.

The Canoemobile will connect with more than 400 students during its visit to the Red River Basin. Fifth-graders from East Grand Forks Sacred Heart will be on the Red Lake River on Oct. 5, Kingery says, and students from Warren-Alvarado-Oslo and Marshall County Central schools, who participate in the International Water Institute’s “River of Dreams” program, will paddle earlier Oct. 6 in Thief River Falls.

For more information on the Canoemobile and the upcoming paddling opportunities, contact Kingery at (701) 331-9259.

More information on Wilderness Inquiry is available at wildernessinquiry.org.

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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