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Canoeing (and more) with CANOE Club

George details his experiences with Carleton's CANOE Club!

George details his experiences with Carleton's CANOE Club!

When I was applying to colleges, I knew that being surrounded by nature was a must-have for me. Even though I grew up in New York City, about the polar opposite of being in nature, it was always something I cherished growing up. One thing that stood out to me about Carleton was its ease of access to nature, and it’s something I’ve definitely taken advantage of!

Carleton’s location in southeast Minnesota gives you access to tons of amazing hikes, lakes, and rocks to climb within only an hour or so. And if you wanna go on a longer weekend trip, the boundary waters are around four to five hours away and are home to some of the most beautiful nature in the Midwest.

For those who don’t know, CANOE is short for The Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts and is Carleton’s outdoor club. Every week they plan and lead various day trips ranging from hiking, canoeing, kayaking, caving, and more. Within the first seven weeks, I was able to go on two CANOE trips: a climbing trip in Sandstone, MN, and a three-day weekend canoeing trip in the Boundary Waters.

WEEK 5 – Canoeing in the Boundary Waters

three people smiling in a canoe
Me and two friends at the start of our Canoeing adventure!

Week 5 is an eventful weekend for most Carleton students as it is Family Weekend, as well as midterm break. It’s a nice extra Monday off from classes (especially if you have three classes on Monday, like me) and a great way to reset. My mom wasn’t able to fly from New York to Carleton during that weekend, so the CANOE trip was a perfect way to spend the long weekend. This was a three-day trip because of the midterm break, so we were able to drive up to Northern Minnesota, to Sawbill Lake. We put our canoes in the water on Saturday at around one and were totally off the grid until Monday morning. It was an amazing way to disconnect for a few days, as well as being a great way to meet new friends!

people standing around a canoe at a portage
the whole canoe trip (minus Angie, our resident photographer!) at a portage.


four people sitting in front of a sunset
We enjoyed the sunset while eating our spaghetti! Can you think of two better things??


Week 7 – Rock Climbing at Sandstone, Minnesota

Something new I have been spending a lot of time doing at Carleton is Rock Climbing. I had gone a few times before coming to Carleton, but gyms back home were always super expensive and inaccessible. Luckily Carleton has a full bouldering and top roping gym, as well as being a prime location for outdoor climbing. This weekend was my first time climbing outside, and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint! Gyms are fun and accessible, but there’s no beating outdoor climbing. I was also able to practice my belaying skills belaying my friends up, which is always great.

george rock climbing
Me climbing! Shoutout to Helen and Rilke for belaying me on this trip!

I was accepted for a position on the CANOE board, so I’m very excited to get even more involved and lead trips next term! Even in the cold Minnesota winter, CANOE leads tons of awesome trips like ice climbing, Book Across The Bay, and dog sledding at Menogyn. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trips, and who knows — if you end up coming to Carleton, maybe you will be on a trip with me!

George (he/him) is a freshman interested in Classics, Geology, and Archeology, from New York City. He loves listening to music (currently Big Thief, Elliot Smith, and Kid Cudi), as well as playing the jazz flute and guitar. At Carleton, he’s involved in the Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts (CANOE), Carleton’s radio station, KRLX, and more. You may see him wandering around the Arb, playing pickup ultimate frisbee, or thrifting in Northfield. Meet the Other Bloggers!