Tag Archives: Beltrami Island State Forest

A Minnesota true north adventure for family and group fun

by Russ Lowthian at haveFunBiking.com

With the promise of vaccines and a chance of normalcy in our near future, I would like to share a Minnesota true north adventure perfect for the whole family. A remote bike or hike experience that will be remembered for years to come. Plus, you will soon see some other fun stories of outdoor activities in both the HaveFunBiking and Let’s Do MN blogs and directory in the coming months. As the editor of both the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and Let’s Do MN, we will also be coving the 75th anniversary of Many Point Scout Camp that is being planned.

A true north adventure in the Beltrami Island State Forest.

With thousands of miles of paved trails and hundreds of mountain biking areas in Minnesota. You will find maps and other activities in our guides to help you pick a destination for a safe and memorable time, like our true north adventure here.

A fun bike/camp true north adventure

If you are looking for the ultimate off-the-grid bike/camping experience, a favorite of mine is a trip to Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. For this adventure, plan your stay for three or more days to make the trip worth the effort. Located about 10 miles from the Canadian Border, wildlife enthusiasts will find five rivers with their headwaters beginning here in the forest.

Wildlife viewing in its prime with five different rivers leading out of Beltrami Island State Forest.

With off-road cycling and hiking equipment, visitors can explore a network of low maintenance roads and trails. The forest covers over 138 miles, with some primitive campsites along the way (see map). Plus several scientific and natural areas for observation or study. A place to help a Boy Scout fulfill his merit badge requirement or just a spot to dwell further into nature?

One of many homesteads and settlements of the past you will pass on your true north adventure.

While in the forest, enjoy a mixed terrain of low flatlands, peat bogs, and ridges covered in pines full of flora and fauna sightings. You might even find evidence of a former homestead or village along the forest roads. And, when in season, stop and enjoy some blueberries. Then in the evening, sitting around the campfire, look up to the skies. On a clear night, gaze at the constellations and northern lights for another true north experience.

A great place to start this adventure is Roseau, MN. The town is 12 miles away from Beltrami Forest. See more on this destination in a recent article at HaveFunBiking.com.

A memorable place for a true north family or group outing.

Then, please check back periodically to LetsDoMN.com for more ideas of outdoor activity we will be covering. Some of the topics scheduled over the next few months include birding, fishing, hiking, and paddling adventures you may find of interest. So stay safe, keep your social distance and watch for more fun outdoor adventures to consider from us in 2021!

Finding safe drinking water was easy with the H2gO Purifier

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

When mountain biking or hiking, it’s nice to find the right gear that can help cut down on carrying extra weight, like water. On a recent backcountry field trip into Minnesota’s north woods, I had the opportunity to use the Aqua Research H2gO Purifier. This purifier was the perfect device to provide safe drinking water without adding additional weight to the gear I packed. No regrets choosing the H2gO Purifier for this Bold North trip was easy to use and safe. This compact purifier will be a mainstay accessory in my luggage when water is questionable on future trips.

Converting natures surface water was easy with the H2gO Purifier

I planned to spend four days exploring the mammoth Beltrami Island State Forest, near Roseau, MN. Even though there were a couple of well water locations in this forest covering over 700,000 acres, five rivers with headwaters here aloud for more convenient water options. With primitive campsites along the 140-miles of logging roads and trail, I wanted to maximize my time on my off-road bike exploring the area. Using the purifier to disinfect water along the trail allowed me room to pack several other luxury items of comfort.

Stopping alongside a stream it was easy to process safe drinking water.

The H2gO Purifier is small and easy to pack and works well eliminating any harmful organisms from the lakes and streams I stopped at for water. The coffee I brewed after processing this True North water was enjoyable too. Only one time did I wish I had a filtering device along? There were some specs of sediment in the water, but a sock from an extra clean pair I had worked.

How the H2gO Purifier works

This handheld purifier works by converting table salt and water into a disinfectant through an electrolytic process. Easy to perform in the field, first I mixed the salt and water in a small applicator bottle. Once the salt dissolved, I then added the solution into the reaction trough on the front side of the H2gO Purifier. Next, I selected the amount of water I wanted to purify (1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 liters). Then holding the button for two seconds, the reaction starts. It takes approximately 15 seconds per liter to create a disinfectant concentration. Then ready, I poured the disinfectant from the purifier into the water I planned to consume. Finishing by shaking or stirring and then after 30 minutes, depending on how clear the water is, it is ready to drink killing all pathogens.


This purifier is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting their classification for Household Water Treatment Systems. A single dose from the H2gO Purifier meets WHO treatment standards for viruses and bacteria. While in-house testing shows multiple doses of in-activate protozoan cysts like Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

The purifier also has a built-in solar panel for alternative charging and an LED flashlight for added functionality. The unit can also run off your cell phone battery for charging.

The H2gO Purifier comes complete with a detailed instruction manual, salt mixing bottle, safety indicator strips, a micro USB cable with a wall charger, and a mesh carrying bag to keep everything together.

In summary

In my experience using the H2gO Water Purifier is an ideal device when the water you want to drink is questionable. This purifier creates a disinfectant to kill organisms in your drinking water. Be aware of your surroundings (mine pits, old wells, etc.) as this purifier will not remove heavy metals or sediment. In comparison to other chemical purifiers, this is far superior as the taste is better, works faster and is much easier to transport, not to mention safer.