C&K Contributing Editor Natalie Warren is road-tripping through the Upper Midwest to learn more about local paddling routes and the communities working toward a paddle-centric future. Follow her adventures on Instagram @bestpaddlingtowns as she travels to seven towns and cities over the next two weeks to share beta on where to paddle, eat, and play in the Upper Midwest.
7/26: Ashland, WI
7/28: Mackinac Island, MI
7/29: Grayling, MI – AuSable Canoe Race!
7/31: Lansing, MI
8/2: South Bend, IN
8/3: Beloit, WI
8/6: Stillwater, MN
Natalie Warren was one of the first two women to paddle 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, recreating Eric Sevareid’s route from Canoeing With the Cree. On that expedition, she was exposed to issues surrounding small town economies and societies, agriculture, industry, energy, and the environment. Natalie was nominated for Canoe & Kayak’s 2012 Expedition of the Year and since then has paddled the length of the Mississippi River and won first place (in the women’s voyageur category) in the 2016 Yukon River Quest, paddling 450 miles in 53 hours. She has worked with the River Management Society on a summary of publications about the economic benefits of water trails and advises communities on how to increase paddlesports tourism. Natalie has also worked with the St. Croix River Association to help landowners, local governments, and realtors/developers do their part to protect the St. Croix River’s clean water and Wild and Scenic character, and Bancroft Arnesen Explore to start a global conservation about women and water. Natalie is currently a Ph.D Candidate at the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and dog.