Jim DuFresne

Jim DuFresne

Jim DuFresne has a deep rooted passion for two things; sunsets and shoreline, no doubt the result of living his entire life in the two states that have more coastline than any other; Alaska and Michigan.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a journalism degree, Jim was soon headed to Juneau, Alaska. As the outdoors and sports editor of the Juneau Empire, Jim became the first Alaskan sportswriter to win a national award from Associated Press. More significant than the writing award, he discovered his passion for the mountains and wilderness travel while living in Alaska’s capital city.

In 1981, Jim spent a winter in New Zealand to backpack and write his first book, Tramping in New Zealand for Lonely Planet.  Jim followed up with the first edition of Lonely Planet’s Alaska and later Hiking in Alaska and then returned to Michigan to write Isle Royale National Park: Foot Trails & Water Routes. The guide to the wilderness areas of Isle Royale has been in publication in various editions for more than 25 years and today is known as the “backpacker’s bible” to the Lake Superior island.

Today DuFresne lives in Michigan where he’s never more than an hour’s drive from the shoreline of the Great Lakes. He is the main contributor to www.MichiganTrailMaps.com, a resource web site devoted to trail users and the promotion of trails in his home state. In Michigan DuFresne can be found out on the trail, whether it is hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing as the author to more than 20 guidebooks on the state that include Backpacking In Michigan, 12 Classic Trout Streams in Michigan: A Handbook for Fly Anglers and Michigan: Off the Beaten Path.


5 Responses to About

  1. Mike Ugorowski says:

    Hi Jim, still backpacking and camping. Carol and I spent a nite at Black River State Forest Campground last week. Nice 18 site campground. Earlier this summer we hiked the Shingle Mill Pathway and spent the nite on Grass Lake. I enjoy the email updates with the hikes. All the best, Mike Ugorowski

  2. keith says:

    nice site! i love north manitou island. we always base camp 28 minutes (yup, i’ve timed it) south of range station tables where you check in. the 2nd clearing, big oak trees, go west 500 feet and there is a great clearing. there are no chimucks at that location where i base camp – have never seen one, really. easy hike in morning to catch boat back.

    and a great hike… go south from range station, to junction where you can continue to west side of island, go to ranger station or go to cemetry… you need a topo map, but from this point go into forest and find ridge line (hike like 2min)… hike north along the ridge, must be 250 feet or more up… and the other side drops too! the ridge in some spots is only 15 feet wide (and some drops are very steep) you can hike along the two high points and take any of the large gullies dowm to the main path. the views are great – you can see lake michigan and the whole tree line below you. you can even see where the coyotes bed down… patches of cleared dirt in circle pattern. lots of elevation changes, your legs will burn in a few spots!

  3. Kate Riordan says:

    Hi Jim,
    I wondered if you’d be interested in writing a feature for UK magazine Wild Travel about Alaska? If you might be interested, please email me and I will provide some more details!
    Best wishes,
    Kate, deputy editor

  4. Tucker says:

    Jim, I love “Backpacking in Michigan.” It’s the most useful local backpacking book I’ve ever seen. I have sons that are four and two, the same ages that you began taking your kids backpacking with you. I’m sure you’ve written more extensively about backpacking with kids on the blog or somewhere else. Where might I look? If not, please consider adding a few posts on the topic. I’m sure quite a few of your readers would be interested. Thank you for all of your work!

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