Podcast: Clearing the Way with Michelle Kwan

Picture of Woman with bug net headgear and snippers - Text: Podcast - Trail Clearing the Way with Michelle Kwan

When many of us think of the Boundary Waters, we think about paddling and portaging. But there area number of ways to experience the Wilderness, including recreational hiking. In this episode, we meet Michelle Kwan, who went on her first Boundary Waters trip in an even more unique way – as a volunteer doing trail clearing work. 

For Michelle, this turned out to be life-changing experience.

In this episode Michelle shares her story about connecting to the Boundary Waters through trail-clearing, and the logistics of a trail clearing trip. Then she goes much deeper, sharing her observations on being a person color in the wilderness, discussing issues of access and why more BIPOC people aren’t visiting the Boundary Waters, and how she’s working to change that.

After participating on several trips and recruiting several people to join her, Michelle is now leader her own trail clearing trips. She wants to continue to develop her skills, – including creating unique, flavorful Asian-inspired camping meals,  and continuing her work to guide more people and inspire them to venture out to wild places.  

Inspired? Sign up for a trail clearing trip!


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On the Friends of the Boundary Waters podcast, we bring together people who share a love of the incredible BWCA wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota. The podcast will features scientists, political figures and experts in outdoor recreation and wilderness skills to help you learn new facets of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the most visited wilderness in the United States.

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