If it’s going to be spring we must begin walking! Both Rhea and I are starting group walks next week. Check out Trailcalendar.com for updates on times and locations! Be sure to take off your snow baskets from your poles haha. Introductory Classes are now posted with links to registration. Sign up early because some will fill quickly!
For those of you wanting to do more with Nordic walking the upcoming instructor trainings are for you! Exerstride Method Nordic Walking on April 11 in beautiful Eagan, and Nordic Walk Now Instructor Training through Normandale CC on May 12. Details on our Education page!
One of the best things about Nordic Walking is the chance to use my poles as an excuse to explore all of the beautiful parks and trails in the metro area. We are blessed with miles and miles of opportunity, the hard part is deciding where to go. With Hoigaard’s Nordic Walking Tuesdays we try to choose parks in all parts of the cities, from Minnehaha Falls to French Regional Park to Elm Creek to Hyland Lake Park Reserve, we have our favorites and still many we haven’t even tried.
You’re cordially invited to come and Nordic Walk at these fun events in June!
Saturday, June 4 – National Trails Day 9-11am Whether you’re south or north we’ve got you covered. Choose Hyland Lake Park Reserve or Elm Creek Park Reserve for a morning walk in the park. Bring your poles, bring your friends, we’ll bring extra poles, free to use with ID, and provide quick intro’s for anyone new to Nordic Walking. You can enjoy your own walk at any time or join us for the group walk at 10am. Meet us at the visitor center inside either park.
Saturday, June 18 - Outdoors Extra! 10am-12noon Nordic Walking with MN State Parks on the Gateway Trail. Come to enjoy this beautiful trail that starts in the city of St. Paul at Cayuga/L’Orient Streets, travels northeast through the cities of Maplewood, North St. Paul, and Oakdale, through Washington County, and ends at Pine Point Regional Park, just four miles northwest of the city of Stillwater. We’ll meet at the Hadley Trailhead and walk the local part of the trail. Poles will be available for use with ID.
Wednesdays June 1-July 20 Women on the Move! This 8 week program, offered by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, is including Nordic Walking as a training option for the first time this year. Nordic Walk and train with other women as you enjoy the trails around Lake Nokomis. Your registration fee includes entry into the Heart of Summer 5K on July 23.
Check out our events page for more information on upcoming pole friendly events in June and July.
It turned out to be a nice day on May 9th after all. I fretted all morning about the dismal skyline, but the clouds parted and the sun came out and my jacket came off and a smile returned to my face. Thanks to all that came to the open house and tried out poles, listened to speakers, volunteered and stayed for the group walk. Wood Lake Nature Center, in Richfield, was an excellent venue for this because they a beautiful indoor center and a great natural surface on which to Nordic Walk on. If you have not tried out this park, head on over and give it a stroll. The largest outer loop is 1.8 miles and you’ll see all sorts of wildlife in a natural setting. Parking and use of park is free.
Now if you missed the open house and you still want to try Nordic Walking you can go about it two ways. One, sign up for a class, see here. Or you can attend a local event where you can demo the poles, for instance, at Eagan’s 5k your Way this Saturday, 5/21, (9-12) at the Community Center they’ll have a Nordic Walking “Try-It” Station. Or please join us for World Nordic Walking Day 5/22 and you can borrow some poles there (with ID) and try it out during the one hour free walk. Current Nordic Walkers welcome!! Times and locations here:
8am Lake Calhoun, Thomas Beach, 11am Valley Natural Foods, Burnsville. 1:30 Lebanon Hills Visitor Ctr, Eagan.
The sun came out today and I have hopes of putting away my wool sweaters, I’m not doing it yet tho. But it does give me hope that we might have a beautiful day for our first annual Nordic Walking Open House on Monday, May 9 from 2-7:30pm. In case of rain, event held indoors with enough space to show you how to Nordic Walk.
One of the goals of Great Lakes Nordic Walkers is to bring together the curious and the experienced walkers to share the fun and fitness of Nordic Walking. When Rhea suggested we do an Open House at Wood Lake Nature Center I had never even heard of this beautiful gem of a park. Now it’s one of my favorite places to suggest to anyone looking for a new walk or just the opportunity to sit quiet and enjoy the natural surroundings.
We have a great line up of clinics, Tom Rutlin of Exerstrider is joining us to present Nordic Walking for Stability and Balance as well as a special introduction to the unique technique of his Exerstrider poles. Other clinics will be “What’s the Buzz” conversations about Nordic Walking and what it’s all about, Nordic Walking for Girl Scouts Fitness Walking Badge, Nordic Walking for Runners and Active Body Active Brain. The complete schedule is available here.
All afternoon there will be Nordic Walking Instructors available with poles to introduce you to the joys of walking with poles. Whenever you come I can guarantee you a lesson! Doesn’t get much better than that.
The afternoon will finish with a group walk at 6:30pm. As always poles will be available (with ID) for the walk and all levels of energy and expertise are invited. Bring your poles, bring a friend, come meet new friends on the trail.
This event will kick off a great summer of Nordic Walking. See you there!
With Spring finally here we are all ready to get active once again. Would you like to learn how to Nordic Walk or maybe just listen in on what it’s all about or meet others that are already Nordic Walking? Come to our Free open house on Monday, May 9th at Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield anytime from 2 – 7:30. Qualified Nordic Walking instructors on hand.
You’ll find continuous Nordic Walking mini lessons to get you started, poles to use with ID. Multiple clinics, see schedule here. Group walk at 6:30. Hope to see you there.
In other news, if you are interested in becoming a Nordic Walking Instructor or Group Leader, a certification class is to be held on Weds May 18, at Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington, MN. More details here.
And finally, on May 22, it is World Nordic Walking Day. Get out in your area and show off those poles. You’re welcome to join other Nordic Walkers at 8am @ Lake Calhoun, Thomas Beach, with the Nordic Walking Queen, or 11am at Valley Natural Foods, Burnsville with Nordic Walk This Way or 1:30 Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, Eagan with Nordic Walk This Way. Poles available for use if you don’t own your own.
By Rhea Kontos, Certified Nordic Walking Instructor
I have running to thank for introducing me to Nordic Walking (NW). Several years ago I decided to revisit running after a sore knee had convinced me to give it up. I fell in serious like
Heart of Summer
with it again, even though my knee continued to talk to me. I joined a local training group called “Women on the Move“, and started an 8-week training course that helped me run “The Heart of Summer” race successfully.
Not long after, I read about the benefits of Nordic Walking. I learned that NW was originally an off season training technique for elite cross-country skiers. The article said I could burn up to 40% more calories than just walking, take up to 30% of the impact off ankles, knees and low back, improve my posture, build upper body strength and cardio endurance. I went right out and got some NW poles (not to be confused with Trekking poles!).
Within a short time I was hooked. The knee pain subsided, my upper-body posture and strength dramatically improved and I noticed a big cardio endurance boost. Today I still run an occasional event, sometimes with my NW poles, sometimes not. But I always train with them, often doing run/walk intervals. After all NW not only engages 90% of your muscles, it’s also fun…what’s not to like?!
Check out this 2 minute video showing basic NW technique and variations for training. Then check out all the classes offered here on this website. And finally, note that Women on the Move is incorporating NW into their Summer Training program at Lake Nokomis. It’s really catching on!
Ok, everyone is looking forward to Spring especially with this recent blast of snow, so how about learning how to Nordic Walk? It is easy to learn and so very good for your entire physical being. Everyone can do it and one of the best things is that you can Nordic Walk anywhere. You don’t need a club membership, all you need is some Nordic Walking poles and some decent tennis shoes to get started. A great way to get started is by taking a class where you can borrow poles, learn from a seasoned instructor and give it a test walk. Soon, you’ll be burning more calories, toning your whole body and gaining back that proper posture you once had. Check it out, many choices for classes: Register soon, they fill up fast!
Nordic walking is transporting any time, but up on the North Shore of Lake Superior, one can really experience the ‘Nordic’ in Nordic walking! With landscape similar to so many parts of Scandinavia – forests of aspen and birch, an expanse of water stroked by the long hand of the sun, and a peacefulness and simplicity that comes with fewer people and more nature – the North Shore is a place to really connect with the northern elements.
Nordic Walk for Life! is offering two upcoming opportunities to learn and practice Nordic walking in this scenic area. Next Saturday, August 21st from 10 am – 12 pm, you can take a Nordic walking lesson, then participate in a guided group walk on the trails of Cascade River State Park. Call Cascade Lodge at (218) 387-1112 to register. Cost is $20, with pole rental available.
Also, don’t miss the Nordic Walking Weekend Getaway, October 15th – 17th. In the company of other Nordic walkers, join Nordic Walk for Life! for guided walks on some of the area’s best Nordic walking trails, sightseeing, dining and entertainment, based out of the cozy and historic Cascade Lodge near Grand Marais. Fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy the beauty of the North Shore, with ideal temperatures for walking! Space is limited, so sign up today!
For other Nordic walking opportunities, check out the Great Lakes Nordic Walkers fall classes now posted!
Planning on doing the City of Lakes Trail Loppet or the Birkie Trek? If you are interested in doing some training for these half marathon events “on trail” please join me on the next 6 Thursdays for “Push those Poles”. Andy Turnbull, head coach for the Edina Cross Country Team will be leading these clinics. We are planning on alternating locations between Hyland Ski and Snowboard area and Theodore Wirth Park to give us a variety of trail conditions. It’s best to get some experience off the pavement before you do one of these events. Cost of the series is $50. You can register by calling me at 952-475-0891, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on line with Hoigaard’s.
Late getting into this? You are still welcome to join us! We’ll be meeting this week at Theodore Wirth Beach parking lot. Call with any questions or to register.
Hope to see you on the trail!
Linda Lemke and I met at Hyland yesterday to scope out the site for the upcoming June 12 Nordic Walking expo. This park is a gem!! Many will attend this expo and discover Nordic Walking for the first time and will walk along side others that are experienced Nordic Walkers on this one of many beautiful trails that Hyland offers. These pics are of the path area that circles Hyland Lake which the expo attendees can join the group Nordic Walk at 10am on June 12. Walk for 30 minutes (or less) or however long you’d like. Many times walkers ask us where we like to Nordic Walk and Hyland Park rates highly amongst all of us with Great Lakes Nordic Walkers.
Another park for Nordic Walkers to explore is Lebanon Hills in Eagan. In fact, this Thursday, May 13, Simple Steps of Dakota County is having their kick off program from 3-7 at the visitor center and Nordic Walking instructors will be on hand so that you can give it a try. This Saturday, May 15, Midwest Mountaineering will be having introductions to Nordic Walking at Lebanon Hills at 1, 2 & 3. Register here.
Simple Steps will also be at the Ritter Farm Spring Fling in Lakeville, this Sunday, May 16 from 11-1. Again opportunities to try Nordic Walking as well as bird banding, scavenger hunt, crafts for kids, Hay Rides and more! $5 per family, pay at the event.
Classes continue too. The sooner you learn how to Nordic Walk, the better for you!