Organized by the seasons of the year, Boundary Waters explores the natural and soul-sustaining beauty of the largest roadless area east of the Rocky Mountains: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a vast network of forest and thousands of lakes, isolated and pristine, straddling the border between northern Minnesota and Ontario.
Throughout Boundary Waters, Paul Gruchow skis, backpacks, and canoes through the Boundary Waters and its environs, including Sea Gull Lake, Isle Royale National Park, the Grand Portage Trail, Quetico Provincial Park (Canada), and Voyageurs National Park. Drawing on the works of Thoreau and Wendell Berry, Gruchow turns his naturalist’s eye on this wilderness full of wolves, moose, and loons, contemplating the richness of our natural heritage and our need to share its treasures with others.
Boundary Waters is a testament to Gruchow’s magnificent ability to explores the relationship of person to place, illuminating not only our lands, but our souls.
Like this book? Sign up for occasional updates
Praise and Prizes
“Superb . . . Filled with astute observations, heartfelt ecological concerns and sometimes hilarious candor . . . Paul Gruchow’s gorgeous prose can evolve into flinty observations, and it is this tough dynamic between poetics and steel-eyed social philosophy that gives his work its exceptional bite and appeal.”
“Paul Gruchow is an expert guide. . . . In the tradition of the best nature writing, Gruchow draws out each moment, step by step, paddle by paddle, until the reader is gliding alongside him, savoring his revelations and discoveries in natural history. . . . With such eloquent defenders as Gruchow, there remains the hope that we will preserve this magnificent landscape.”
“Companionable and perceptive, self-reliant and learned, Paul Gruchow is someone with whom you’d want to travel the wilderness. . . . This is a skilled naturalist with a true gift.”
“Quiet, contemplative, but alert to what nature reveals, Paul Gruchow writes lucidly when sunlight slants off snow, mistily when morning fog rises off lakes, and exemplarily for perambulators who write after their hikes.”
“Feels about as representative of an area as any text possibly could . . . Paul Gruchow’s prose is clean, direct and insightful, never blocking the scenery. . . . Gruchow is an ideal guide to the BWCA: knowledgeable, introspective and not prone to flowery expositions.”
“Boundary Waters is our twentieth-century Walden. Like Thoreau, Paul Gruchow travels into the wilderness as a way to understand himself and the world. Like Thoreau, he writes in a style as clear, as ordinary, and as filled with brilliance as the night sky. Gruchow writes, ‘Our deepest longing is to have a place.’ With this book, he points us toward home.”
“This wonderful book will be welcomed by outdoors folk of every stripe.”