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Bob Timmons

Outdoors Weekend Editor | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-7899

Bob Timmons covers news across Minnesota's outdoors, from natural resources to recreation to wildlife.


Timmons previously was the Page One layout and news editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He's a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Wis.) graduate.
Recent content from Bob Timmons
The first bridge was built in 1924. It is shown in an image from the Karen Bromen family.

The 100-year bridge: Jay Cooke's swinging span is picture of perseverance

A photo tribute to iconic Swinging Bridge that has drawn hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
The Mississippi River's natural wonder runs parallel its human story of development and manipulation in "Great River."

Violence? Injustice? Math? It's all here in a history of 'The Great River,' the Mississippi

NONFICTION: A look at the origins of the river tracks how we've tried to tame it over the centuries.
A Seagull Lake sign marks an entrance to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Grand Marais author takes on danger and death in the BWCAW

Joe Friedrichs, a former radio news director in Grand Marais, has a new book about perils in the Boundary Waters.
On the Superior Hiking Trail, north of Beaver Bay, Minn.

How popular is Superior Hiking Trail? Improved data has an answer.

Managers of the Superior Hiking Trail on Minnesota's North Shore know the popular destination is heavily used. Now they have more evidence of boots (and other footwear) on the ground.
The Forest Service said a "spot fire" began in a controlled burn area northwest of Isabella, Minn. The fire is 75% contained Thursday afternoon.

Superior National Forest crews continue to gain on wildfire, officials say

Crews continue to try to contain 209-acre 'spot fire' that began within prescribed burn area Wednesday northwest of Isabella.
Marty Walsh has worked with nonprofits, community leaders and others to create a Minnesota Driftless Hiking Trail.

Minnesota Driftless Hiking Trail gets boost with a nearly half-million-dollar state grant

The long-distance trail project now will turn to hiring a trail director and building more community support.
A wildfire flared Wednesday near a prescribed burn area west of Tofte, Minn., and deep in the Superior National Forest.

Crews continue to fight wildfire west of Tofte in Superior National Forest

Weather conditions have helped effort. The size or threat to property and structures still are unknown.
Adelynn Petersen, 12, Parker Wiemann, 14, and Katelyn Magnuson, 13, from left, fish for whatever they can catch during the Root River Roundup on Satur

Live: Updates and photos from the Minnesota fishing opener

Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are participating in Saturday's fishing opener, with walleye the preferred game fish.
Black bear

Don't tempt the bears! BWCAW sets new rules to minimize encounters.

The new rules cover the entire wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota. Dry conditions in the BWCAW were among the things that lead to the changes.
The Minnesota fishing opener is May 11.

Five bits of wisdom before you hit the Minnesota fishing opener

Consider this wisdom from a hall of fame guide and other tips ahead of one of the most highly anticipated days in Minnesota's outdoors
Scott Miller gets in some nourishment Sunday during a rainy shakedown paddle on the Minnesota River between New Ulm and Henderson.

State's fastest paddler, Guinness record holder aims at Minnesota

The Minnesotan who helmed a crew to a Guinness Book record on the Mississippi River last year is planning to take on the 320-mile Minnesota River with a partner starting next week.
The Great Gear-Up & Gather is a first-time event Sunday at St. Paul Brewing.

St. Paul event organizers aim for spirit of Midwest Mountaineering expos

The Great Gear-up & Gather is meant to create a space for connection of outdoor community in the spirit of the now-closed Minneapolis retailer, organizer says.
The Hilback family settled in at its Jay Cooke State Park site in Carlton, Minn., in 2020.

State parks reservation system going through another round of changes

Electronic notifications and stronger enforcement of the no-show policy are in effect this year, with plans to close a loophole in the system on track for 2025.
Day-7 - One of the most stunning vistas along the Superior Hiking Trail is the overlook at Bean Lake north of Silver Bay. Here, father and son hikers,

Trail section at one of Minnesota's most beloved spots closing for rehab

The Superior Hiking Trail path high above Bean and Bear lakes is part of a rebuild that begins next month. Another popular section will close in September.
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Minnesota bike shops, individuals now have dates to apply for e-bike rebate program

Bike retailers need to apply for eligibility to receive certificates for $2 million e-bike rebate program. Individuals can begin applying June 5.
Hikers and visitors move through a pine plantation along the trail to the King's Bluff overlook at Great River Bluffs State Park, southeast of Winona,

Find a spring hike that fits: Here are seven good ones around the state

Few things heighten the anticipation for the outdoors months to come like an early spring hike. Here's a list of prime options from around Minnesota to get you started.
It was a lost season for Minnesota's active snowmobiling community.

Weather doesn't change message to Minnesota snowmobilers: Season is over

Late snow raises idea of late-season riding, but state group and DNR say safety, impact and trail rules take precedent.
Fisheries specialists prepare nets near La Crosse, Wis., in 2022 in an effort to catch silver carp that are migrating upriver.

Minnesota outdoors council approves $12 million for invasive carp deterrent

Lessard-Sams council's expenditure will be a late-add to its other recommendations before legislature.
Boat launches across Minnesota are due for major overhauls with a new investment of $35 million from last legislative session.

Dozens of state boat launches to get major upgrades. Where are they?

The DNR is moving with new urgency on a backlog to rebuild the neediest of dozens of public water accesses used by boat-happy Minnesotans.
Planets Mars (left) and Saturn (center) shine brightly against the backdrop of the Milky Way above Fire Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Boundary Waters will now look up to another as world's largest dark sky sanctuary

Some in Minnesota whose focus is on the skies are supportive: the more dark skies, the better.
Keith Myrmel with his map of Itasca State Park at his home in Arden Hills. Myrmel, a former landscape architect, continues to produce maps of iconic M

Unique mapmaker of state's wild places turns attention to Itasca State Park

Keith Myrmel is bringing his signature, handcrafted style to a map for Itasca State Park, Minnesota's oldest and one of its most popular.
The men's leaders ran past Lake Harriet in the morning light at almost mile 8 during the 2019 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Minn., on

Twin Cities Marathon registration opens to the public

Runners who missed out in 2023 after the marathon's cancellation were given an early shot at entry late last year.
The moon passed in front of the sun for a total solar eclipse visible from Farmington, Mo.

Last-minute tips for experiencing the Great North American Eclipse

The U.S. total solar eclipse on April 8 is filling calendars, campgrounds and flight schedules, but there are ways to get in on the sky show.
John Sheehan, owner of ROAM Bike Shop in White Bear Lake, right, said questions about the electric bike tax rebate are No. 1 these days.

What's up with that e-bike rebate? Shop owner creates calculator for answers

John Sheehan gets that question again and again from customers who walk into his bike shop in White Bear Lake. He's doing his best to help.
Bob Naslund, who has camped at least once a month for 42 consecutive years, ran a ridge line for his tarp at his campsite at Lake Maria State Park nea

Minnesotan began camping monthly in 1982. He hasn't quit.

As he passed the 504th consecutive trip with an overnight at a state park, Bob Naslund of Brooklyn Park has every intention of continuing his streak.
This year's Birkie will move some racing to different days and with shorter distances because of the dearth of snow.

Birkie will scale down ski plans because of weather

Celebrating 50 years, the cross-country ski event will make the best of it with loop course
Minneopa State Park, outside of Mankato, is one of the oldest in the state system.

Minneopa State Park could preview Minnesota's camping future

One of the most popular parks in the system, Minneopa, near Mankato, will be the focus of $5 million toward camping improvements.
1854 Treaty Authority continues to prioritize the study of Minnesota's moose population. Shown, a visual from a survey in 2023.

Champions of Minnesota's wild places have busy 2024 ahead

The lengths Minnesota land and wildlife managers go to manage the state's resources can at times appear like a horizon without end. But what are their priorities for this year?
In better times: Volunteers at the Birkie, which has become a multinational event in its long history.

Can this race be saved? The Birkie hopes to pivot with the weather.

Add the nation's largest cross-country ski race just across the Minnesota border to the list of threatened events if the extended forecast holds true.
Minnesota has the most trumpeter swans of any state in the lower 48.

Trumpeters, tundras shot; found on private property near Morris

Federal wildlife authorities have given new details in the killing of multiple swans in west-central Minnesota, including that the birds were shot and discovered near public land protected for waterfowl.
Nicole Biagi, the DNR's ice safety coordinator, has had consecutive winters of inconsistent to dangerous ice conditions.

Another winter, another challenge for Minnesota's ice safety boss

With ice-safety related deaths in Minnesota this winter higher than they've been in recent memory, perhaps there has never been more urgency around the job.
Columbia, an ambassador bird, arrived at the National Eagle Center in 2003.

Longtime teaching raptor, Columbia, at National Eagle Center euthanized

Columbia, a bald eagle, had artherosclerosis. She survived much more before 20-year stay at the center.
Permits for the quota season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will open to reservations on Jan. 31.

5 things to know about getting the BWCA permit you really want

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness conjures up thoughts of still beauty. Yet, the thought of securing a permit for its most-visited season is fraught with stress. Here's some advice.
Trumpeter swans (left) and tundra swans. Minnesota has the most trumpeter swans of any state in the lower 48.

U.S. wildlife officials seek public's help after swans killed in west-central Minnesota

The waterfowl, protected by federal law, were killed between Dec. 16 and 17, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Coyne went to great lengths for running

The hats were many for David Coyne, who died unexpectedly Sunday. He helped launch a leading U.S. running organization — and a host of runners, too.

Three ideas for using Minnesota state parks' winter free day

Parks and recreations have free entry Jan. 15 — an opportunity to explore, to fulfill a resolution, to just get outdoors.

David Coyne, Twin Cities running community fixture, dies unexpectedly

Coyne, 67, founded the Twin Cities Running Club and was a presence on the national scene, too. "He just loved doing it," said his twin brother, Doug.

Popular Minnesota marathon has among its fastest sellouts ever

Grandma's Marathon in Duluth has 9,500 runners signed up to tackle its 26.2 miles along the shore this June.

Draw of RV living remains strong into new year despite sluggish 2023

Manufacturers and dealers anticipate better business after declines in 2023, while ideas around the RV life still bring the crowds in Minnesota and around the U.S.
Vehicles, like this one seen in 2021, are a routine way of ferrying anglers across Lake of the Woods.

Man killed when commercial transport vehicle crashes through Lake of the Woods ice

Several passengers and the driver escaped from the "bomber." It's the season's second known ice-related fatality in Minnesota.
Sam Maddaus hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, through California, Oregon and Washington state, in 2022.

Minnesota amputee is 4,000 miles into a cross-continent bikepacking odyssey

From thru-hiking 2,600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail to a cross-continental bikepacking odyssey, Sam Maddaus has found healing and strength.
Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, Minn., is consistently one of the most-visited up north.

More camping, longer stays and other trends at Minnesota state parks

While camping numbers this year were mostly unchanged from 2022, a longer analysis of year-end data shows the system has reached some new marks.
A squirrel tried to stay warm and dry in a hollowed-out tree in Minneapolis’ Loring Park in 2018.

How do small animals survive Minnesota's brutal winters?

Birds, squirrels, frogs and other small critters adapt to frigid temperatures in different — and sometimes surprising — ways.

Q&A: Minnesota author Douglas Wood finds joy in 'theater of the wild'

In a new memoir, St. Cloud-area author and illustrator Douglas Wood writes about his challenges as a youth and nature's enduring refuge.

Winona's new mountain biking trails give southern Minnesota twist

More than 5 miles of new trails, some multiuse, opened in November in Bluffside Park as part of a wider recreational vision by city planners and other partners.
A ark visitor leans over a bridge leading to Pike Island to look for beavers Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, Minn.

A Black Friday free day at a Minnesota state park? Insiders offer advice.

From Glendalough to Wild River to Vermilion-Soudan and more, parks staff have ideas for Friday's free day at state parks and recreation areas.
The Cooper’s hawk is on the list for change by the American Ornithological Society. It was named after William Cooper, a naturalist born in 1798.

Decision to remove people names from birds has state birders talking

The world's largest group of ornithologists says it will begin work renaming 70 to 80 North American bird species — some deemed racist and others deemed problematic for other reasons.
An image of the 128-pound cougar’s paw.

Bowhunter shoots cougar in bluff country near Alma, Wis.

The man said he feared for his safety, which triggered an investigation by the Wisconsin DNR. An official said it was the first time such an incident had happened in 115 years.
Aitkin, MN 9/9/2002 As dusk rolled over the Aitkin County landscape monday evening, DNR Conservation Officer Greg Verkulen (Left) of Garrison and Spot

A gun arrest, a baby born, an eventful hunting opener for Minnesota game warden

Busy with an arrest over a firearm, a northern Minnesota officer finds himself sending for help that assisted a woman in labor.
A marten investigated a gut pile.

Hunters help U researchers with window into the world of scavengers

The project is again enlisting hunters, and in some cases providing cameras, to learn what visits deer gut piles. Using social media and other communications, the project has scored repeat participants.
An image of the female eagle protecting its eggs amid a blizzard last February went viral.

New EagleCam in the works. But issues will delay getting it turned on.

Six months after a much-watched nest collapsed, wildlife specialists are targeting a new location for an EagleCam and exploring sites for a second. But some issues must be worked out before it's turned on.
Afield in western Minnesota during opening weekend.

Southwest Minnesota kicked up pheasants for hunters on opening weekend

Broadly, hunters were most successful in the southwest, with mixed reports elsewhere in Minnesota.
One of two Prairie View units at Whitetail Woods Regional Park in Farmington.

For more people, camping extends past summer and fall. Five ways to give winter camping a try.

A national report found even more people have plans to camp this winter than last. Here are five ways to try the activity.

BWCA trip during turn to autumn is bountiful — in life lessons, too

When a summer BWCA trip fell through, another door opened. Two cousins found renewal and life lessons in a wilderness in transition, too.

TEST of BWCA trip during its turn to autumn is bountiful — in life lessons, too...

BWCA trip during its turn to autumn is bountiful — in life lessons, too

Grandma’s Marathon (and its half-marathon and other events) are a rite of June.

Hot start: 2024 Grandma's Marathon has record first day of registration

While the June race in Duluth is historically popular, a Grandma's official acknowledged the likely connection to the cancellation of Sunday's Twin Cities Marathon.
Some of the Twin Cities Marathon (and TC 10) masses will be looking to still get in a race.

With marathon canceled, what are options for Minnesota runners?

Some races are already accommodating newcomers. You can race in Iowa or Mankato later this month. One small-town Minnesota marathon had its open spots taken within minute of the Twin Cities Marathon being called off.
Elaine Jones, left foreground, and Katie Virnig learned of the races’ cancellation Sunday morning, in downtown Minneapolis.

High heat cancels Twin Cities Marathon for first time in 42-race history

Sunday's marathon and 10-mile run were canceled early Sunday due to "black flag conditions" that organizers said made it too dangerous to run. The high temperature reached 92 degrees.
The Lake Street-Marshall Bridge is a great vantage point for spectators, catching runners when they need the support in St. Paul.

Everything you need to know about this weekend's Twin Cities Marathon

The TC 10 Mile gear drop change, how to track runners in real time, elites to watch, the best viewing spots and more.
Runners ran past spectators as they approached mile eight during the 2019 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, October 6,

How Twin Cities Marathon became 'industry leader' for nonbinary runners

There are more nonbinary entrants since the door was first opened in 2019, mirroring overtures to the LGBTQ community and inclusiveness across the sport.
Hydration will be more important than usual in this weekend’s hot conditions.

Runners warned of extreme heat, humidity for Twin Cities Marathon

Expected humidity and heat caused marathon organizers to email all participants about the weather and that they are "gathering extra course and finish line resources" to support the 25,000 entrants.
Montana artist Chuck Black, who has roots in Stillwater, is the winner of this year’s federal duck stamp design competition, with his rendering of a

Minnesota's duck (stamp) dynasty carries on with this year's winner

Artist Chuck Black lives in Montana now, but the latest winner of the prestigious federal duck stamp competition has roots in Stillwater.
Participants shared opinions about campsite and portage maintenance in the assessment of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness management.

Coming together over BWCA challenges. 'Stakeholders' add their voices

Invited by the Superior National Forest, outfitters, government officials, advocates and others weighed in on topics from permits to overcrowding to educating visitors.
Courtney Dauwalter relished her victory in Chamonix, France.

Hopkins grad Dauwalter hits another level with 100-mile race win in France

Courtney Dauwalter won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, a race through the mountains of France, continuing an unprecedented streak of 100-mile race wins this season.
Conservation officer Felicia Znajda, left, met Osakis resident Lorry Stratioti on his property Aug. 18 over his concern about an injured osprey.

Minnesota conservation officers know a thing or two about 'family law'

A third-generation game warden, Felicia Znajda finds the badge suits her well as she happily follows the path of her father and grandfather.
Durrell Smith, with his pointer, Jughead. Smith, a hunter, artist and conservationist, will visit Minneapolis on Sept. 9 as part of an event centered

Words, art and action: Raw materials for an outdoorsman trying to lead

Durrell Smith has modeled his hunting in native Georgia, but he will visit Minnesota twice in the next month to help newcomers see themselves afield too.
The super blue moon set behind the CN tower in Toronto on Wednesday. The cosmic curtain rises Wednesday night with the second full moon of the month,

Watch for it: Wednesday's super blue moon should be a stunner

The second full moon of August — a phenomenon called a "blue moon'' — also will be of a rare super variety.
The Mississippi River headwaters are a major draw to Itasca State Park.

Groundwork to start on connecting favored state park to an original rail trail

Years in planning, a tunnel and trail build is the first phase to connect Itasca State Park to the Heartland State Trail in Park Rapids.
A man and his child crossed the swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, Minn.

New study explores who visits Minnesota state parks, what they want improved

This deep dive into the who, what and where of visitors revealed more people of color are spending time in the parks, while the northeast region and trails continuing to gain in popularity and revenue generated.
A still from the Minnesota DNR trailcam video of the wood duck family.

Duck! DNR trailcam video shows ducklings rain down by mother hen

As if by magic, the brood builds in size as the young ducklings leap from a nest high enough that the camera couldn't see them at first.
This photo of a bull moose was captured by a trail camera.

Ask DNR anything: Wildlife experts want all your questions on Aug. 17

The stakes may have never been this high for Minnesota's wildlife, owing to habitat loss and mounting signs of climate's impact. Here's are some topics to think about.
Shawn Perich’s prolific outdoor writing spanned myriad topics.

Shawn Perich — a special voice in Minnesota's outdoors — dies at 64

A partner in North Shore's Northern Wilds magazine, Shawn Perich leaves a legacy of writing and mentoring. Stricken with cancer, he died Aug. 3.
One of the camper cabins at East Bearskin Lake Campground in the Superior National Forest near Grand Marais. Bearskin Lodge is the concessionaire for

Campsites hard to find? Nope, you just need to know where to look

Driven by social media and others, there is a national perception that campgrounds are overcrowded and sites are hard to come by. That not true in Minnesota, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
Wildfire smoke made for a hazy sunset May 16 in the metro.

Surprised? Wildfire smoke isn't having big impact on northern Minnesota

Parts of Minnesota have been largely unaffected, yet some outfitters, resort owners and others still have fielded a lot of questions.