Guide Series Part II: Accepting Defeat on the Vermilion River….Twice!

Labor Day for most people is a time spent relaxing with friends and family, usually centered around a barbecue. So it may seem an odd time for two brothers to set out on a river trip that would span almost 50 miles in 2 days. However, in my mind it seemed somehow appropriate to celebrate the hard work of the American laborer by setting off on a trip that would be sure to provide ample physical and mental pain. [...]

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Swiftwater Adventures: Guide owned and operated

If you’re going on a high adventure trip, you want to know that you can trust and depend on your guides. That’s why at Swiftwater, we feel it’s so important that our owners are also guides. In fact, one of them is on every trip that we run. This allows us to provide the most fun, most informative, and safest experience possible. You see, guiding whitewater isn’t a commodity that can be bought. It must be earned through years [...]

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Teamswiftwater: Whitewater Paddling Adventures

Whitewater rafting on the St. Louis River near Duluth, Minnesota is our passion and our bread and butter. We love the St. Louis River and its whiskey colored water, its beautiful rocky shorelines, tall pines and amazing rapids. We also love to take our skills and our friends on adventures elsewhere too. This is what Teamswiftwater is about: skilled paddlers and those with a penchant for adventure chasing whitewater across the Lake Superior watershed and beyond! There are two divisions [...]

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Kayak, Canoe, and Paddle Board Rental on Thomson Reservoir

Those of you that have whitewater rafted the upper St. Louis River with us probably remember paddling on the Thomson reservoir to end the rafting trip.  Rafters paddle across the narrower north-south expanse exploring only a fraction of the 470 acre manmade lake. There is much left to see and explore as the reservoir expands quite a ways to the east and west featuring half a dozen rocky, boreal forest covered islands and miles of shoreline. In addition to [...]

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Lester River Race 2018

I don’t think I have ever been involved in or heard of an event that’s date is determined so last minute (maybe the Eddie Aiku Big wave surf competition) than the Lester River Race. What can I say: Mother Nature doesn’t cater to us. So every spring we watch the weather, looking at the extended forecast on a daily basis. Debates and theories run rampant on when the river is going to break open or what pattern of weather [...]

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The Magnificent Joys of Being a Novice

It’s hard to imagine that “winter” is coming to an end. Since Christmas day we’ve been in a deep-freeze around here for more days than not. But today, the sun is shining and it’s starting to warm up! As we hearty Northeastern Minnesotan’s start to thaw out I challenge you all to one last hoorah before the Spring Equinox. Will it be a XC ski? Broomball, curling or ice skating? Maybe you’ll fat bike a frozen river… Try Out a New Sport Wait, [...]

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Winter Adventures: Land of Plenty

It was the best kind of problem, the kind where any decision is a good one, but one outcome might be slightly better than the others. How is that a problem you ask? Sounds like a good thing, right? And what if I told you that this dilemma was in January here in the frozen northland, and the decision was what to do ‘OUTSIDE!’ That’s right: a dilemma of too many winter activities! What an embarrassment of riches! That [...]

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Thanks for a Fantastic 2017 Season!

Wow, what a season 2017 was! First off thanks to all of you: you being our customers, guides, employees and friends. We took a few thousand people whitewater rafting on the St. Louis River, gave dozens of kayak lessons, and rented out recreational kayaks and stand up paddle boards on the beautiful Thomson Reservoir (just down the block from our new office and kayak center). We were busy but we had tons of fun too! Summer Fun! The summer of 2017 [...]

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Cliff’s Favorite Fall Color Adventures

September and October are my two favorite months to be in northeastern Minnesota. Good bye pesky skeeters and flies, hello warm days and cool nights, and the colors all make these two months the best! The following are a few of my favorite fall color adventures I would like to share with you. These adventures are not listed in detail, or as a guide, but more as a suggestion for which you can further investigate and make your own [...]

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Falling into Autumn: Waterfalling That Is!

One of the nice things about September for Swiftwater guides is after Labor Day weekend, when the rafting season on the St. Louis River begins winding down, although we run trips into October, we have more time for personal adventure. The fall of 2017 didn’t disappoint as far as whitewater adventure was concerned. Recent rains had brought one of my favorite north shore (Minnesota’s shoreline of Lake Superior) streams to runnable levels. The Beaver River has branches that join just [...]

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