Better navigation, bigger and safer boats, and cell phone technology are opening more of the fishing waters on Lake of the Woods to more anglers, and fostering more exploration of the lake's 14,000-plus islands in summer and winter.

RUSHFORD — As thunderstorms menaced southeast Minnesota on Monday, Rush Creek curved through its new channel, boulders lining much of its banks, a log nearly buried along the side and grass sprouting through fibrous mats on its banks.

The kayak rocked violently as I drifted across a submerged plateau on a northern Minnesota lake. The south wind created waves that were stout enough for me to tighten my life jacket and use extra care to keep my small craft from taking on water.

BRAINERD, Minn. — “I’m sorry we’ve got you lined up with numbers like the state penitentiary,” drawled Lesley Travers, the hearing’s third-party moderator. “But, it’s the only way we can ensure everyone gets their chance to speak and be heard.”

ALONG THE NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL — In the woods of the Town Of Superior in Wisconsin, about five miles south of Duluth, a crew of 10 volunteers was busy building the longest hiking trail in the United States.

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