Minnesota Historical Society

Paddle North: Canoeing the Boundary Waters-Quetico Wilderness

$ 29.95

Explore the Quetico– Boundary Waters with seasoned paddlers— one a writer, one a photographer—whose work reflects on the spirit of the place, conveying an open invitation to visit an ages-old wilderness.

Canoe country has a strong hold on the imagination. The conifers and rock-ribbed lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and neighboring Quetico Provincial Park are still a remote wilderness where Cree, Ojibwe, and voyageurs once traveled in birch-bark canoes, where lynx, moose, and gray wolves still roam. It is a place and a dream, a source of enjoyment for the hundreds of thousands who have paddled—or imagined paddling—a canoe through these distinctive waters.

Writer Greg Breining and photographer Layne Kennedy have hefted their canoes over many a portage in both the BWCAW and the Quetico, and their new book, Paddle North, in words and full-color photos, inspires dreams of simple days out on the water and quiet nights at home in the woods. Meditations on map making and canoe building, on the rock-pine-water combination that defines the northland, on winter weather and forest fire are all accompanied by views of sparkling lakes and rocky cliffs, challenging portages, campfire reflections, and friendships forged away from the hustle of everyday life. Together, these stories and images convey a sense of reverence for the landscape and the playful joy felt by those who paddle north.


  • Photographs by Layne Kennedy, text by Greg Breining
  • Format: Cloth book, 144 pp., 9 1/2 x 8 1/2, 120 color and b&w photographs
  • Publisher: MHS Press (November 2010)
  • Product ##: 9780873517782


“In Paddle North, Greg Breining and Layne Kennedy have captured the beauty, solitude, and challenges of canoe country. They bring to the reader the essence of the Quetico-Superior wilderness and remind us why we go there. Contained in these pages is the roaring silence, the wild lakes, the rewards of canoe travel, and the unique, lifelong memories with friends and family that only a wilderness canoe trip can bring.”
Greg Seitz, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness


“A fine addition to Sigurd Olson’s historic series of books on canoe country. Paddle North weaves together the history and the future, environmental issues, and the essence of the wilderness experience. Greg Breining’s text flows seamlessly without wasting a word, peering into the nature of the wild from ten unique points of view. Layne Kennedy’s photographs are works of art—perfect counterpoints to the text—that portray numerous moods in the region’s forests, lakes, rocks, inhabitants, and visitors.”

Lee Frelich, director, University of Minnesota Center for Hardwood Ecology

Layne Kennedy’s
photographs have been published in National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and other magazines. Greg Breining writes about travel, science, and nature for the New York Times, Audubon, and other national publications. Kennedy and Breining are also the team behind A Hard-Water World: Ice Fishing and Why We Do It.


You also Viewed

Join our Mailing List

Sign up to receive our daily email and get 50% off your first purchase.