Between the villages of Kelliher and Mizpah, Minn., not far from Upper Red Lake, newly upgraded walking trails await late fall grouse and woodcock hunters. You’ll have to navigate your vehicle over a route of logging roads, but that’s part of the fun when venturing with shotguns and dogs to the two-mile South Brush Wolf Walking Trail.

Pack the fishing poles, too, because this is classic cast-and-blast country. Upper Red’s abundant walleyes will be feeding before freeze-up, and the central northwoods area north, south and east of Red Lake is plush with miles of additional hunter trails — including routes through Pine Island State Forest, the largest of Minnesota’s 58 state forests.

Trail signage is good and it might pay to call ahead to the Koochiching County Land Management Office or the Ruffed Grouse Society in Grand Rapids for the best locations.

Tony Kennedy