Our community is growing.

And you can be a part of it!

Founded in 1998, Listening Point Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Listening Point and advancing Sigurd Olson’s wilderness philosophy.
Listening Point was a place of connection for Sig, continually renewing his sense of wonder and gratitude for the natural world. Honoring that legacy, our vision is to foster people’s connection to wild places by inspiring them to find their own listening point.
We at the Listening Point Foundation are excited and ready to step into the future with fresh ideas and new energy. Explore this page to find out what is happening in our community and how you can be a part of the action!

Learn more about Sigurd Olson, Listening Point, and the Listening Point Foundation below.


To keep you connected throughout the year!

Our free, twice-yearly newsletter reaches thousands of people every year, recording the history and activities of the Foundation in print and digital form. Many exciting things are happening here at the Listening Point Foundation, so…

Sign up for your free newsletter here!

And browse our previous issues and read the most current one online!

Interested in Volunteering?

Join us!

Do you live in Ely, or live here seasonally? Do you come to visit every year?

Whether once a year or on a regular basis, we always appreciate an extra pair of hands! We have a strong group of volunteers and could not do our important work without them.

We also have seasonal and yearly opportunities for larger group service projects.

Learn more about our numerous volunteer opportunities here

What's New

Stay informed!

  • 2nd Annual Writing Workshop Dates to be Announced Soon. Stay tuned for details! The 3-day workshop will be scheduled sometime in September 2023.
  • Guided “Sigurd Olson” Canoe Trip Through Piragis Northwoods in August 2023. A guided 5-day, 4-night canoe trip is being offered through Piragis Northwoods in Ely, MN. Click here to learn more and sign up!
  • Guided tours of Listening Point are Available. We are happy to announce that we reopened for guided, outdoor tours starting the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Schedule a tour here.
  • Artist in Residence Program — More details and guidelines will soon be released about our Artist in Residence Program. For now, contact us if you are interested!

Follow Us!

As we continue connecting people to the value of wild places through Sig's legacy.

Historical photographs, thoughtful quotes, upcoming events, interesting articles, and all sorts of updates…
Keep track of what’s going on at the Listening Point Foundation by following us on Facebook and Instagram!
Note: We enjoy featuring photos of our world up here in Ely, MN, but we respect the privacy of our guests and visitors. We will only publish photos of people with their express permission and will do our best to properly credit photographers and our sources.

Listening Point Foundation, Inc.

Best-selling author, award-winning conservationist, and wilderness philosopher. Come explore the world of Sigurd F. Olson! We offer free, guided tours of Sig's most beloved places while sharing his story, philosophy, and legacy. Visit Ely, Minnesota and visit the Olson family home, Sig's Writing Shack, and his iconic Listening Point retreat. Tours available May - October. Individuals, families, groups, students welcome. Schedule your tour and learn more here: https://listeningpointfoundation.org/schedule-tour/ "Everyone has a listening-point somewhere. It does not have to be in the north or close to the wildereness, but some place of quiet where the universe can be contemplated with awe." --Sigurd F. Olson
Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
Have you heard? There’s a new Listening Point short film out!
We premiered it at our Northwoods Dinner and now we’re thrilled to share it with you!

View it here: https://youtu.be/QTORxZo11hQ?si=XZ-Le30kW3_PSeuJ


Take a closer look at the personal life of the renowned conservationist and author Sigurd F. Olson.
This short film features the house and property in Ely, Minnesota where he and his wife Elizabeth Olson raised their two sons, Sig Jr. and Bob. The property in town also is home to the Writing Shack, where Sig wrote his bestselling books that highlight the important impact that natural and wild places have on the human spirit.

Listening Point Foundation in collaboration with Wolvenwood Studios
Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
Listening Point Foundation, Inc.
David Born came out to Listening Point in August for a tour with Phil to see the place he was writing an article about.
David and Freja communicated over the next few weeks and today the article was published!

Thank you so much for the time and care you put into this, David! It's really excellent.

And to all our readers: enjoy!
Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) was a well-known environmentalist, award-winning conservation activist, and best-selling author. Though he lived in Ely, Minnesota and took numerous trips within the Quetico-Superior wilderness, he traveled widely and influenced the creation and preservation of natural areas across the country. Learn more about Sigurd Olson here.
Sigurd Olson created Listening Point in 1956 as a private retreat on the shores of Burntside Lake. It became widely known and celebrated after Alfred Knopf published Olson’s book, “Listening Point” in 1958. Learn more about Listening Point and how to visit here.
Founded in 1998 by Sig’s younger son, Robert K. Olson, the Listening Point Foundation continues to promote Sigurd F. Olson’s legacy. Located in Ely, MN, the Foundation headquarters in the Olson family homestead, and continues to preserve Sig’s Writing Shack and the Listening Point property, along with providing educational tours and opportunities to the community. Learn more about the Listening Point Foundation here.

Keep the legacy alive by donating

We are working hard to create a sustainable financial future for the Listening Point Foundation.

 Your donation helps us keep the mission alive and the Foundation moving forward. You can also make a lasting impression by donating a brick to our patio engraved with a message of your choice. Learn more by clicking below!


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