Family Groups

Looking for an unforgettable family adventure? Come on a Wilderness Wind trip to the Boundary Waters, where your family can experience beauty, grow in faith and friendship, learn new skills, and create lasting memories.

Wilderness Wind trips typically begin with an orientation day at Pine Ridge (base camp). Groups practice their canoeing skills, pack for the trip, and prepare their spirit through a time of worship and contemplation. For the first-timers, Wilderness Wind guides will help care for the logistics, teaching wilderness skills and provide wilderness safety expertise. For the families with camping and/or canoe experience, advanced options are available. All trips have additional environmental education and/or spiritual components you can select according to your family’s interests.


The duration of each trip is determined by the interest of the group. Though the typical trip is five or six days, we have worked with trips from three to ten days in length.

WW’s most common routes range from 20 to 50 miles, which includes portages. A group of beginning canoeists may average 1 1/2 miles per hour the first day and steadily increase speed and efficiency as the trip progresses. Experienced groups can go 4 to 6 miles per hour. Portages, the land trails where the group will carry their packs and canoes, range in length from 20 feet to more than a mile. As much as we can, we tailor the trip to your group’s interests and will discuss with each group whether they want a lay-over day, what their interests and expectations are and how much of the day they want to paddle.

how young or old can I be?

Wilderness Wind has accommodated “kids” ages 4 through 82 on successful canoe trips. However, much depends on the parents’ attitude and the child’s personality. Everyone should come well-equipped with a willing spirit and a readiness to learn. The adult/child ratio should also allow that each non-paddler (usually kids under age 12) be paired with two adults.

The nature of a wilderness canoe trip will require flexibility, as situations do not always happen as one would expect. Understanding the risks and planning for them are essential in any trip with folks of any age, but even more so with young children. For older adults, it is important to recognize that some lifting and maneuvering on uneven terrain is likely.


Wilderness and typical don’t usually go together; nonetheless, there are routines during a day of paddling. Waking, sometimes with the sun, is followed by breakfast, breaking camp (getting bear-bags down and packing uptents and personal belongings) and individual quiet time.The traveling part of the day begins with discussion about the day’s route. Depending on the desired paddling distance and the weather, we may have lunch at our next campsite or continue paddling after lunch. Once a suitable campsite is located, we set up camp and gather fire wood.

Evenings involve time to relax, community meal preparation and conversation. Some groups enjoy one or two “lay-over days” in the course of their trip. Leaving the campsite set up while going on a day trip can create a different rhythm and experience.


Wilderness Wind trip leaders are trained within the Boundary Waters. They know the history, geography and some of the ecosystems you will be paddling through. Trip leaders teach the required skills and facilitate the kind of experience the group chooses.WW trip leaders will lead group discussions that promote wilderness discovery and care as well as spiritual development. Their priority is to offer you a safe and fulfilling experience that addresses your interests (relationally, spiritually, physically) within this ever-changing wilderness setting. Still unsure? Click to read more about the benefits of a guide.

Fees include all gear and accommodations during the wilderness trip as well as lodging and meals at Wilderness Wind camp during Orientation Day (one day prior to trip). Click for the complete list of what’s included in the trip fee.    For a full pricing chart, visit Canoe Trip Rates.
  • As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions!