Founded in 2016 by Jon Walters, Nature of the North seeks to create experiences and breakdown barriers in the community. By offering a variety of outdoor activities and courses, the business hopes to increase outdoor recreation. In 2020, the first brick and mortar location was built right here in Moorhead.
Located at 814 Center Ave., Nature of the North brings the Fargo-Moorhead community its first retail wall. Rock climbing (or bouldering) at Nature of the North does not require a membership and everyone is welcome. Additionally, it is home to the only kilter board in the state of Minnesota. Climbers can choose from thousands of different routes – all available through the kilter board app.
Throughout the past year, the team at Nature of the North has extended beyond its four walls to host a wide variety of events spanning across the city, including:
Yeti Yoga at W.H. Davy Memorial Park
Group Dog Walk at M.B. Johnson Memorial Park
Group Snowshoeing at Viking Ship Park
Nature-Themed Movie With Workshop at Fargo Broadway Square
Disc Golf at F-M area parks
Mountain Biking at F-M area parks
In addition to event planning, the team also provides tent, kayak, and camping rentals for anyone who wants to use them.
“Nature of the North is a local business that aims to connect and grow the outdoor community with events, activities, and a bouldering wall,” says Nature of the North intern Evan Hart ’23. “Free weekly events and workshops teach how to do all sorts of things – tenting, knotting, mushroom foraging, and other skills like that.”
Evan Hart ’23, Nature of the North intern
Climbing director Christopher Deal explains the benefits of utilizing Nature of the North’s climbing spaces and how working on the wall is often more than just physical exercise.
“To master climbing is to improve from countless failures, failure is how you succeed,” he says. “It’s sort of like a puzzle. You have the physical component, but there’s also the mental stimulation. Every movement is a puzzle; it’s very technical.”
At a certain point, the movements can become a form of artistic expression.
“It’s almost like a choreographed dance, where you have your body positioned to flow up the wall,” he says.
Deal stresses that climbing can be suitable for anyone and that the difficulty can be adjusted accordingly.
“Whether people are looking for a full workout or an active rest day, it’s a great time,” he says.
For students, a climbing workout at Nature of the North is great exercise at a discounted rate.
“In total, for a student to get on the wall, it’s $13 versus the regular adult admission of $18,” Deal says.
On Fridays this fall, Nature of the North offers Student Night events with a climbing special of only $8.
Nature of the North is also one of the sponsors of the Moorhead Business Association’s Bridge Bash, a free event for all students from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at Viking Shop Park. Bridge Bash will include live entertainment, hands-on activities, kayaking and canoeing, food trucks, and business vendors.