Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, Great Lakes expert and dynamic speaker. She travels widely offering a choice of four amazing, inspiring, and humorous presentations about her adventures exploring America's Great Lakes.
She has delivered over 200 talks in 10 states.
From the time she was a young girl climbing sand dunes and splashing in its cool waters, Loreen has felt connected and drawn to Lake Michigan (the fifth largest lake in the world by surface area). On the cusp of a mid-life crisis, she decided to explore it fully by walking around it, to record it in her muscles and bones. Her mid-life crisis evolved into a mid-life adventure. The fascinating account of her journey, A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach, was a Heartland Indie Bestseller.
Loreen had so much fun (and learned so much) on her first hike that she undertook a second 1000-mile hike, this time along the shores of all five Great Lakes. The book about this adventure, A 1000-Mile Great Lakes Walk won the “Great Lakes Great Reads Award” and "The Best Non-Fiction Beach Read." On this adventure, she explored the various personalities of each of the five Great Lakes, the variable geology, and how they work together as a system to move water to the North Atlantic.
Loreen completed the final installment in her Great Lakes Adventure trilogy by launching off the shorelines to explore the islands of the Great Lakes. From hiking the rugged wilderness of Isle Royale in Lake Superior, to strolling the metropolis on Montreal Island in the St. Lawrence River, she set foot on islands in every Great Lake.
In A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure, Loreen takes the reader along on this fascinating island odyssey. This book was long-listed for the Chautauqua Literary Prize. On this adventure, Niewenhuis hiked Isle Royale on a Moosewatch Expedition team. These teams contribute to the longest running predator/prey wildlife study ever done (now in its 61st year). She has returned several times to hike these expeditions, and in 2019, she has been asked to lead an all-women team on a Moosewatch Expedition.
Loreen offers a choice of four presentations:
1,000-Mile Lake Michigan Walk
1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk
A Great Lakes Island Adventure
Isle Royale: Wilderness Island
Loreen is a Great Lakes expert. Using photos, maps and videos, she immerses her audiences in the journey with her with her dynamic, educational, and inspiring presentations.
She has a MS degree in the biological sciences and an MFA in writing.
"Loreen took our audience on an island adventure that was engaging, educational, and entertaining. We were fortunate to have found her. I'm sure future speaking engagements will result from Loreen's impressive performance at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus meeting."
-Lisa Janairo, Program Director, The Council of State Governments
"Loreen translates her passion for our Great Lakes into advocacy, education, science, humor and beauty by taking listeners and readers with her on these GREAT adventures.Her September 2014 five-city speaking blitz awed and inspired Indiana conservationists with the importance of preserving and protecting the Great Lakes. Loreen's adventures are truly amazing!"
-Martha Bolyard, former Associate Director of Philanthropy, The Nature Conservancy of Indiana
"Loreen is a great speaker: funny, informative, approachable, and so interesting...she even makes geology fascinating! She's been featured in the Detroit Free Press, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Country Woman Magazine....I highly recommend her."
-Colleen Leddy, Head Librarian, Stair Public Library
"Our members look forward to each visit from Loreen! Her topics interest so many....We feel like we 'walk in her shoes' and share her adventures through her educational, interesting, and, at times, funny narrative. We hope she keeps exploring, keeps writing and keeps sharing her adventures!"
-Christine Friedt, Director Northview Senior Citizens