Welcome to the Crow River Trail Guards Homepage! We appreciate your interest, and welcome your comments.
Click on the "Life To The Max" video to learn more about us!
Our work at the Crow River Nature Park in Paynesville, Minnesota (200 Burr Street) is the heart and soul of what we do. Kids earn attendance points that lead to all the things listed below, plus so much more!
Crow River Trail Guards Mission Statement
A youth organization that promotes environmental and personal awareness through positive exposure and managed challenge.
"Connecting Kids to the Outdoors"
You can see much more of what we do on Facebook
At the beginning of each year we show our appreciation to one of our hard working young Trail Guards with a total bedroom makeover. Paint, carpet, wiring, carpentry, furniture--a true baptism into the world of community fellowship. We started our 17th My Room Project in February, 2012
March: Florida Everglades "Conquer Your Fears" Canoe/Kayak/Camping Adventure
Camping with the alligators and snakes is as exotic as it gets for our young adventurers as March takes us to the mangroves, islands, and bays of a paddler's tropical paradise. Dolphins, manatees, birds, and other wildlife are an extra bonus, as well as meeting visitors from around the world. Watch your tide charts, keep the racoons away from your fresh water, and enjoy a unique and beautiful landscape.
There is something special about the freedom and security of carrying everything you need, and even more special when you are peddling your way to adventure. This annual May trip brings us to a beautiful virgin forest for primitive camping, along with 50 miles of scenic, paved trail. And always the annual stop at the Dairy Queen (you can't just pedal past, you know).
June: Town and Country Days Parade, Pop Sales, and Root Beer Float Stand
Always a fun time, our local "Town and Country Days" celebration is great for exposure and fund raising. Our young crews sell pop in the parade, work the root beer float stand at the downtown carnival, and join us on in-line skates to pass out Trail Guard memorabilia and goodies along the parade route.
June: Whitewater Rafting, St. Louis River
Proud smiles are the norm on our annual whitewater rafting trip in northern Minnesota. "Superior Whitewater" provides a safe and exciting run down the St. Louis River near Duluth, and introduces kids to a world of beauty and excitement that most would never experience.
Each year we sponsor at least one youth on an international bicycle expedition with Two Wheel View, an outstanding organization based in Calgary, Alberta, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Rick McFerrin's excellent crew gives kids a unique view of not only other places and cultures, but also of themselves--their own capabilities and the endless possibilities and opportunities awaiting them around every corner in their lives. They raise their own funds for this trip (with our support), and learn first-hand the enormous task of that--especially the power of organization and shared mission.
July: Canoe and Kayak Picnic Cruise
We don't take our beautiful part of the world for granted, but rather celebrate it each year in many ways. This fun local outing takes us to scenic Lake Koronis for paddling, swimming, good food, and education.
August: BWCA Wilderness Adventure
The "Crown Jewel" of our Outdoor Adventure Rewards outings, this five-day, four-night paddle into the most pristine landscape on Earth captures young hearts and souls like nothing else can. We are fortunate to live so close, and support organizations that work to keep the BWCA what it is. This unique and exceptional wilderness area is under constant assault, and once it's gone, there can never be another.
September: Fall Fishing Day
This catch and release outing is facilitated by the Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Program, and is as educational as it is entertaining, especially when the fish are biting! Thanks to the West Central Chapter of the Minnesota Darkhouse Anglers Association for sponsorship.
October: Wall Climbing
Kids and climbing walls are such a great combination! Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, just 20 miles from our Nature Park in Paynesville, provides an excellent staff and program that builds team spirit, self-confidence, safety awareness, and so much more.
Outing opportunities are endless, restricted only by funding and staffing needs. We are always looking at new, exciting, and educational Trail Guard adventures. Our unique program allows kids to earn a place on these trips by working at the Crow River Nature Park each year in Paynesville, Minnesota on Saturday mornings from April through October. There is no cost for most of the outings, making them available to everyone. You can't buy your way into a Trail Guard outing--you must work your way in by doing park maintenance work.
Thanks so much for your interest in the Trail Guards!