Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company


When I recently discovered that the domain for midnightsunsports.com was available, I bought it with the goal of recreating some of its content from archived pages. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website. We miss you Midnight Sun Adventure Company.

Now for a nostalgic trip back to when MidnightSunSports.com and its retail store were selling their fine outsoor clothing and guiding us on great adventures.<


Welcome To Midnight Sun Adventure Company!

Midnight Sun Adventure Company is an outdoor retail store and more. It is an outdoor experience! We love the outdoors and want to help you love it as much as we do. Our mission is to get you active in the outdoors safely, comfortably, and knowledgeably. We sell the very best in equipment and clothing as well as have an expert staff for a wide range of outdoor adventure and leisure sports including:

Guided Tours

Rock Climbing

Retail Service

Rock Climbing

Our Mission:  Supporting An Active Lifestyle

Midnight Sun Adventure Company is a warm, friendly retail store and full-service adventure guiding service.Located in the city of Duluth which is all about gentrified Nordic funk with their renovated stone mansions that line Lake Superior. Midnight Sun Adventure Company is a retail-and-guiding center for kayaking, climbing, trail running, and cross-country skiing in Canal Park. We treat our customers and clients with the highest level of respect and deliver the highest level of service. We will lead our clients and customers or provide expertise for them to lead themselves, safely and comfortably in their outdoor adventure pursuits. We sell only quality products and stand behind those products. We will deal fairly and honestly. We hire the best, expert staff, treating our staff as we treat our customers and clients with respect and fairness. By fulfilling our mission, we are the area's true home for outdoor adventure.

In order to satisfy our goals, we have recently looked into upgrading our software systems for our business. For those of you who are not familiar with business jargon, upgrading our software systems, especially finding a Microsoft Access alternative, is essential for managing a company's interaction with current and future customers. This involves using technology to organize through automation, synchronization of sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. We have hired a team of experts to guide us in developing a custom solution. With their assistance, Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company is going to rock!

Situated at the physical gateway to the world's largest mass of freshwater, Midnight Sun Adventure Company embodies the spirit of a lifestyle outdoors. Lake Superior looms just feet from our door, and when you visit Midnight Sun, you'll feel the pull of outdoor adventure. Our physical location embodies the spirit of our mission by putting you in the outdoors, comfortably, safely, and often.

Our Approach

Expert Guiding
Expert Staff
The best quality and value products
Special Annual Events
Shop Teams
Weekly Group Adventures


Weekly Gatherings - Calendar

We're here for you. No, we're not just saying that. We really mean it!   We're here for you!

We've said from the beginning that Midnight Sun will not be a ski, running shoe, camping gear, climbing gear, and kayak shop. We've said, and we believe, that we are a shop for skiers, runners, campers, climbers and paddlers.
Gear is just gear. If you're not using it, what good is it?

Let's get together and use it!!!


CXC Get Your Nordic On Clinic
Get Your Nordic On Clinics are a series of clinics across the Midwest put on by the Central Cross Country elite team along with the American Birke Foundation aimed at increasing the awareness of skiing at all levels.  All ages are welcome  to partake in the clinic, which will focus on dryland ski training drills and give you a good workout
in the process.   Just bring yourself and short poles for ski walking, if you have them.
Wednesday August 29th 7:30pm


Intro to Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking is a great way to get exercise and is easy on your joints.  It is a form of walking with poles, which allows you to also work your arm and torso muscles while bringing your heart rate up to give you a better workout – easy to do anywhere.  Dress for the weather and wear athletic shoes.  We will meet at Midnight Sun and walk along the Lakewalk.  All equipment is provided.
Saturday May 12th 9am – 11am

Walk and Talk
Let’s go Nordic Walking!  Meet at Midnight Sun and head out along the Lakewalk for an evening workout.  Bring your poles, wear athletic shoes and dress for the weather.  If this is your first time Nordic Walking arrive early at 6pm for instruction and to check out a pair of poles.
Every Tuesday May - September 1st 6:30pm

Trail Running
Each week explore a different Duluth trail.  Meet other runners at the trailhead and then head out for a good workout while running with others at your own pace.  Call the shop or visit us online for each week’s location.
Fridays 7:30am May 18th - August

Summer Solstice Festival
Running races, kayak races, kayak demos, kids base camp and more
Friday June 22nd - Sunday June 24th, 2007


Community Paddle
Get out and paddle!  Bring your own equipment and meet at Midnight Sun for great paddling with great people.
Wednesday June 13th 6pm
Wednesday July 4th 6pm
Wednesday August 8th 6pm

Women’s Paddle
Looking for other women to paddle with?  Bring your own equipment and meet at Midnight Sun.
Wednesday June 20th 6pm
Wednesday July 18th 6pm
Wednesday August 15th 6pm

Family Paddle
Fun for the whole family.  Perfect for kid’s first time kayaking.  We will have tandem and single kayaks and all the necessary equipment down on the beach for families to try paddling in a designated area.  Ages 4 and up.  Wear shoes that can get wet.
Wednesday June 27th 6pm
Wednesday July 25th 6pm
Wednesday August 22nd 6pm

Kayak Demos
Looking to buy your own kayak or maybe another boat?  Come to one of our demos to try many of the new designs, most of which aren’t available anywhere else.  Call ahead so we can have the boats that you want ready for you to try.  218.727.1330 Kayaks
All dates and times listed on the Summer Calendar.  During the Summer Solstice Festival there will be a $10 demo fee.

Kayak Skills Courses
Learn the skills necessary to be a safe and effective paddler.  Courses include strokes, rescues, rolling and surf techniques.  Full course outlines available online.

Basic Skills Course
Sunday July 8th 1:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday August 5th 1:30pm-5:30pm

Advanced Skills Course
Sunday July 15th 1:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday August 12th 1:30pm-5:30pm

 Rolling Clinic
Sunday July 29th 1:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday August 26th 1:30pm-5:30pm

Day Adventures

Ever dreamed of sea kayaking on Lake Superior?  Midnight Sun can take you there.  Whether you are a first time or seasoned paddler, Midnight Sun has an adventure just for you.  Our experienced guides will lead you while making your safety and enjoyment the priority.  All necessary equipment is included with the price of the program.  Programs and locations are weather dependent.  Visit our website for more information or call to reserve your spot.

Kayak Tour (2.5hrs) $40/Person
Weekends in Spring/Fall and Daily in the Summer

Sunrise Kayak Tour (2.5hrs) $50/Person
Mid June - August Sundays

Full Day Kayak Adventure $100/Person
Mid June - August Wednesdays and Saturdays

Full Moon Paddle $55/Person
June 30th, July 30th, August 28th

Fall Color Paddle $55/Person
Sunday September 30th

Rock Climbing $75/Person
By private program.

 All necessary equipment is provided including wetsuit, lifejacket, paddle and paddling gloves, climbing gear.

 Remember to wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes and wear shoes that fit securely to your feet and can get wet.  Don’t forget your full water bottle, sunglasses and sunscreen!

This schedule is subject to change.

Midnight Sun Adventure Company
100 Lake Place Dr.
Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 727-1330
Store Hours:
Mon: 10:00am-5:00pm
Tue-Sat: 10:00am-7:00pm
Sun: 11:00am-5:00pm



More Background On Midnight Sun Adventure Company (source #1)

The Midnight Sun Adventure Company, rooted in Duluth, Minnesota, stands as a testament to the passion and dedication of its founder, Kara Salmela, a former biathlete who represented the USA at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. Following her successful ski racing career and with a degree in exercise science and physiology from the University of Minnesota at Duluth, Salmela ventured into the world of outdoor adventures by establishing the company. It specializes in offering tours centered around kayaking and cross-country skiing, providing enthusiasts and beginners alike with opportunities to explore the great outdoors under the guidance of experienced professionals. This initiative reflects her transition from an athlete to an entrepreneur dedicated to encouraging outdoor recreational activities among people of all ages.

In addition to the adventure company, Kara Salmela expanded her entrepreneurial pursuits by launching Midnight Sun Events, aimed at directing recreational sports events throughout Minnesota. Furthermore, in 2008, she founded SalmelaTalent, a boutique search firm focusing on relationship building, further showcasing her versatile capabilities and commitment to fostering connections within and beyond the sports community​ (Olympedia)​.

Midnight Sun Adventure Company has distinguished itself not only through its high-quality tours but also by its involvement in significant events, such as organizing tours to the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. This initiative provided an affordable and stress-free option for enthusiasts wanting to be close to the mountain venues, highlighting the company's dedication to making sports events accessible and enjoyable for a broader audience. The company's location in Duluth and its ties to the Salmela family's biathlon legacy further underscore its deep roots in the outdoor sports and adventure domain​ (MN Biathlon)​.

Through these ventures, Kara Salmela has effectively combined her passion for sports, her expertise in biathlon, and her entrepreneurial spirit to create a legacy that extends far beyond her athletic achievements, offering pathways for individuals to connect with nature and engage in physical activities that enrich their lives and well-being.


More Background On Midnight Sun Adventure Company (source #2

Located right on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth's Canal Park neighborhood, Midnight Sun Adventure Company has been outfitting outdoor adventurers and leading guided excursions since its founding in the early 2000s. The business combines an outdoor retail store stocked with top gear for activities like kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, and hiking with a full-service guide operation.

According to local media reports, Midnight Sun was started by a group of outdoor enthusiasts and experienced guides who wanted to share their passion for exploring the Duluth area's unparalleled natural surroundings. From day one, their mission was to get people active, safe, and comfortable in pursuing outdoor adventures through selling quality equipment, providing expert advice, and offering guided tours and instructional clinics.

The retail side of Midnight Sun is renowned for its incredibly knowledgeable staff who can make personalized gear recommendations for any outdoor activity. They carry a carefully curated selection of apparel, equipment, and accessories from top brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Black Diamond, and more at fair prices. Customer service is their top priority.

On the guiding side, Midnight Sun employs some of the region's most seasoned outdoor experts to lead a variety of tours and clinics year-round, from kayaking on Lake Superior to rock climbing to cross-country skiing. Reviewers rave about the professionalism and passion of the guides, who provide top-notch instruction and ensure participant safety while making the adventures exciting and accommodating for all skill levels.

A sampling of the offerings includes sunset kayak tours, full-day kayaking excursions, moonlight paddles, rock climbing experiences, cross-country ski clinics and more. The guides' deep knowledge of local trails, waterways and climbing areas allows them to tailor each outing perfectly. Midnight Sun provides all necessary equipment like kayaks, life jackets, skis and climbing gear.

In addition to tours, the company hosts frequent free community events and weekly group activities like trail runs, walking groups, paddles and ski gatherings. These have cultivated a strong community of outdoor lovers who share tips, make friends and stay motivated to get out and stay active year-round.

Midnight Sun Adventure Company has developed a sterling reputation as evidenced by glowing reviews across sites like Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor. Customers laud the amazing staff, quality gear selection, incredible guided experiences and the company's clear passion for enriching people's lives through outdoor pursuits. It's considered a staple of the Duluth outdoors scene and a must-visit for locals and travelers alike.


Popularity (#2)

Based on the highly positive reviews on sites like Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and in local media reports, it seems Midnight Sun has cultivated a very strong and loyal following in the Duluth community and among visitors to the area. Some indicators of their popularity include:

Glowing Reviews
Midnight Sun consistently receives rave reviews praising their knowledgeable staff, quality gear, excellent guided tours/clinics, and overall passion for the outdoors. Across multiple review platforms, they maintain very high ratings from hundreds of customers. This level of acclaim suggests they have built up a large satisfied customer base.

Active Community Following
The company hosts frequent free community events and weekly group activities that have helped foster a vibrant community of outdoor recreationalists who are very engaged with Midnight Sun. The ability to bring people together this way points to Midnight Sun being a popular hub for adventurers.

Local Media Coverage
Midnight Sun seems to receive fairly frequent positive coverage in Duluth-area news outlets and magazines that cover the outdoor scene. This media attention indicates they have risen to prominence as a major player in the market.

The wealth of shining reviews, dedicated community, and positive local presence and reputation all point to Midnight Sun Adventure Company being one of the most popular and successful outdoor outfitters and guide services in the Duluth region. Their comprehensive offerings and focus on stellar customer service have allowed them to thrive in catering to the area's avid outdoor recreation crowd.


Audience (#1)

The audience for Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company, along with its associated events and activities such as the Midnight Sun Midnight Run, Zenith Adventure, and Positive Energy Outdoors, encompasses a broad and diverse group of individuals united by a common interest in outdoor adventures and a desire to engage actively with nature. This audience can be categorized into several key segments:

  1. Outdoor Enthusiasts: Individuals who have a passion for outdoor activities and adventures, including kayaking, rock climbing, dog sledding, and hiking. These individuals seek to explore natural landscapes and are drawn to the unique experiences that Duluth and the surrounding area offer.

  2. Families and Youth: Programs and activities tailored for all ages, including nature-based childcare, day camps, and family-friendly adventure tours, appeal to families seeking to introduce their children to the outdoors and engage in activities that promote physical health, teamwork, and a connection with nature.

  3. Fitness and Health-Conscious Individuals: Participants in events like the Midnight Sun Midnight Run are often looking to combine their love for running and fitness with unique experiences, such as a 5K along Lake Superior, that celebrate the community and the onset of summer.

  4. Community and Group Organizers: Groups looking for team-building activities or community events that encourage healthy risk-taking, positive communication, and teamwork. These might include corporate groups, school groups, or social clubs interested in customized adventure programs that align with their values or objectives​.

  5. Travelers and Tourists: Visitors to Duluth who wish to experience the city and its natural surroundings through guided tours and activities that offer insights into the local culture, history, and landscapes. This includes those interested in both water-based tours like kayaking and paddleboarding and land-based explorations such as hiking and rock climbing​.

  6. Local Residents: The company caters to Duluth's local community, offering a way for residents to engage with their environment, participate in local events, and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that the area is known for. This includes hosting events and activities that encourage community involvement and foster a sense of belonging among participants.

Overall, the audience for Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company and its partners is characterized by a shared appreciation for adventure, the outdoors, and the unique experiences that Duluth, MN, provides.


Audience (#2)

Local Outdoor Enthusiasts
As a Duluth-based business, Midnight Sun seems to cater heavily to the city's active community of outdoor recreationalists. Reviews mention many locals who frequent the shop for gear, advice and to participate in the company's guided tours, clinics, and community events like group paddles, trail runs, etc. Duluth's rugged natural surroundings and abundance of trails, waterways and public lands make it a haven for adventurers of all kinds.

Regional Visitors/Tourists
Duluth's location on Lake Superior and proximity to state/national parks makes it a popular destination for travelers from around the region looking to experience Minnesota's great outdoors. Reviews show Midnight Sun attracts many visitors who take advantage of their retail offerings and guided excursions while vacationing in the area. Their location right in Canal Park helps give them high visibility to tourists.

Several reviews specifically call out Midnight Sun's family-friendly environment and programming. Their guided kayak tours, climbing experiences and instructional clinics seem to cater well to families looking to get outdoors together, with services for all age and skill levels.

Outdoor Clubs/Groups
The robust community around the shop likely extends to local outdoor clubs, meetup groups, adventure racing teams and the like, who may use Midnight Sun as a hub for purchasing gear, meeting up for group activities and potentially hiring guides for group outings.

While spanning a range of ages, ability levels and outdoor interests, the common thread seems to be attracting people with an active lifestyle and desire to take full advantage of the unparalleled natural recreational opportunities in and around Duluth. Midnight Sun has focused on comprehensively serving this core audience of regional outdoor purists and curious newcomers alike.


Known For (#1)

Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company, along with associated entities like Zenith Adventure and Positive Energy Outdoors, is known for a range of distinctive features and offerings that cater to outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Here's a summary of what each is renowned for based on the diverse range of activities and experiences they provide:

  1. Midnight Sun Sports Adventure Company:

    • Comprehensive Outdoor Activities: Offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including kayaking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, skiing, and guided tours.
    • Community Engagement: Known for organizing events such as the Midnight Sun Midnight Run, which celebrates the arrival of summer in Duluth, fostering community spirit and engagement​​.
    • Expertise and High-Quality Equipment: Renowned for selling top-notch outdoor equipment and having expert staff, ensuring that customers are well-equipped and knowledgeable for their outdoor adventures.
    • Educational and Recreational Programs: Offers educational programs and activities aimed at promoting an active lifestyle, including workshops and classes for all age groups.
  2. Zenith Adventure:

    • Waterfront and Cityscape Tours: Specializes in providing experiences that explore Duluth’s waterfront, offering paddle board and kayak tours that showcase the scenic beauty of the area​.
    • Historic and Sightseeing Tours: Offers guided hikes and historic walks, including the Duluth Historic Maritime Walk, providing insights into the rich history of Canal Park and the surrounding maritime industry​.
  3. Positive Energy Outdoors:

    • Nature-based Programs for All Ages: Provides a range of nature-based childcare, day camps, and adventure tours suitable for all ages and abilities, promoting outdoor exploration and education​.
    • Dog Sledding and More: Known for unique outdoor activities like dog sledding, offering experiences that allow participants to learn about and engage directly with nature​.
    • Focus on Teamwork and Healthy Risk-Taking: Emphasizes teamwork, healthy risk-taking, and positive communication through its programs, fostering a supportive environment for learning and adventure​.

Each of these organizations contributes to Duluth, MN’s reputation as a premier destination for outdoor adventure and exploration. They are collectively recognized for their commitment to providing high-quality experiences that encourage active engagement with the natural world, whether through water-based activities, hiking, educational programs, or community events.


Known For (#2)

Knowledgeable and Passionate Staff
Perhaps the most frequently praised aspect of Midnight Sun is the expertise and enthusiasm of their staff. Countless reviews rave about the incredible depth of knowledge the employees possess about outdoor activities, gear, local trails/areas and more. Customers appreciate getting personalized advice and recommendations from such seasoned outdoors people who truly live the lifestyle they promote.

Top-Notch Guided Tours/Clinics
Midnight Sun's guided experiences like kayak tours on Lake Superior, rock climbing excursions, cross-country skiing clinics and more receive glowing reviews. Customers laud the professionalism and instructional abilities of the guides, as well as their dedication to safety while still making the adventures exciting. The guides' familiarity with the local area allows them to provide exceptional outings.

Quality Gear Selection
As an outdoor retailer, Midnight Sun is known for carefully curating a selection of high-quality apparel, equipment and accessories from respected brands. Customers value being able to get the right gear through the shop's knowledgeable staff rather than searching endlessly at big box stores.

Community Environment
Midnight Sun seems to have cultivated a strong community around the shop through its weekly group activities, free community events, shop teams/clubs and overall welcoming atmosphere. Reviews indicate it has become a hub for outdoor enthusiasts to connect and share advice and inspiration.

Passion for the Outdoors
More than anything, Midnight Sun is renowned for the sincere passion for outdoor pursuits that emanates from the entire staff and enterprise. Reviewers consistently praise the company's commitment to enriching people's lives by getting them safely exploring nature through education and guided adventures.

While not a huge operation, Midnight Sun has carved out an excellent reputation in the Duluth area and among visitors by truly living its mission of active outdoor lifestyles. The shop stands out for the authenticity and expertise it has cultivated around equipping and empowering outdoor adventurers of all backgrounds.


History (#2)

  • It was an outdoor retail store and adventure guiding service located in Duluth, Minnesota's Canal Park neighborhood, positioned right along Lake Superior.
  • The company seemed to be at its peak in the mid-to-late 2000s, with the archived website referencing events like the Summer Solstice Festival taking place in 2007.
  • Midnight Sun had a physical retail storefront at 100 Lake Place Drive in Duluth where they sold outdoor apparel and equipment for activities like kayaking, climbing, skiing, running and hiking.
  • In addition to retail sales, they offered guided tours, skills clinics, community group outings and other experiential programming to immerse customers in outdoor adventures.
  • The company prided itself on having extremely knowledgeable staff who were passionate experts in the outdoor activities they specialized in.

The business seems to have gone inactive sometime after the late 2000s based on the limited online footprint. But the lack of a clear history available indicates Midnight Sun may have operated relatively locally without widespread publicity outside the Duluth area during its years in business.


Location (#2)

Address: 100 Lake Place Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

Midnight Sun Adventure Company is situated right in Duluth's Canal Park neighborhood, positioned along the waterfront of Lake Superior. Specifically, the store and company's operations are located on Lake Place Drive, which runs parallel to the Aerial Lift Bridge in Canal Park.

This area is considered the touristic heart of Duluth, packed with hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions all within walking distance of the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge and Lake Superior waterfront. Nearby are popular spots like the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Great Lakes Aquarium, and miles of lakeshore trails.

The location provides extremely convenient access to Lake Superior itself, with Midnight Sun being just steps from the beach and water's edge. This prime lakefront positioning is obviously ideal for their kayaking, paddling and other water-based guide services and rentals.

However, the Canal Park setting also puts Midnight Sun in the middle of a very busy tourism district, providing high visibility and foot traffic. Reviews indicate many visitors stumble upon the shop while exploring Canal Park and end up outfitting themselves or booking a guided tour.

At the same time, being based right in downtown Duluth allows Midnight Sun to serve as a community hub for local outdoor enthusiasts as well. The central location is easily accessible from around the city and surrounding areas.

Essentially, Midnight Sun's longstanding Canal Park locale provides the ideal blend of proximity to Lake Superior's water activities and the convenience and foot traffic of a popular urban tourism zone. This prime Duluth waterfront location has been a key asset in building their reputation and community over the years.