MN Nature Activities Feb 7–13

Events free unless otherwise noted. (Often to spectate is free.)

————— 02/07/16 —————

02/07/16 Fishing Derby
7 AM–2 PM It’s time for the annual fishing derby, supported by the Lake Bronson Lions Club. Come as a contestant or a spectator and see what the lake has to offer for walleye, northern pike and perch. Register at the Victor Johnson Visitor Center for the derby.
Lake Bronson State Park

02/07/16 Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet 35K $$$
The Fat Tire Loppet provides a once-a-year chance to ride your fat tire bike on the groomed Loppet Trail. Fat Tire bikes are otherwise not allowed on the snow covered, groomed trail system and mountain bikes or other non-fat tire bikes are never allowed. Call: (612) 604-5330. More info.
1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55422

02/07/16 Cross-Country Ski Lessons: Ski Skating Basics $$$
9:30 AM–11 AM More info Many ski lessons, times, and places.
Elm Creek, Hyland Lake, Cleary Lake

02/07/16 Women in the Parks: Women’s Snowshoeing
1–3 PM If you can walk, you can snowshoe! Join us to learn about our long history of winter transportation and then be prepared to strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails! Registration required. Call 612-725.2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

02/07/16 Snowshoeing for Beginners
1–3 PM Burn a few extra calories and learn about an ancient mode of transportation. Equipment provided and registration required. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy winter boots and meet at the Visitor Center.
Fort Snelling State Park

02/07/16 Hike a Trail, Take a Picture, Send a Postcard
1–3:30 PM Send a Postcard to someone special in February and log some miles toward fitness!
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

————— 02/09/16 —————

02/09/16 Circle Time Under the Pines: F is for Fish
10:30–11:30 AM Children 2-5 years old, come explore and have fun at Itasca as we learn about nature through stories, songs, crafts, and outdoor discovery. Bring your winter outdoor clothes (including snowpants and boots)…if weather permits, part of the program will be exploring the outdoors. NOTES: Adults must accompany children. Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying your noon meal around the fireplace in the visitor center lobby after the program.
Itasca State Park

02/09/16 Minnesota 4 Wheel Drive Association (MN4WDA) and MN Department of Natural Resources Coordination Meeting
3:30–5:30 PM The next Minnesota 4 Wheel Drive Association (MN4WDA) and MN Department of Natural Resources coordination meeting. RSVP to
MN DNR Building 500 Lafayette Rd St Paul MN

————— 02/10/16 —————

02/10/16 Wednesday Trail Walks
Get outside and discover whatever natural happenings we can see along the trail. 651-231-6968. Meet at the trail parking at Jamaca and Jeffrey Aves.
Gateway State Trail

————— 02/11/16 —————

02/11/16 Snowshoe for Fun
1 PM Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in winter–with or without trails! Come explore Lake Bemidji State Park at this special time of year. Snowshoe for Fun will meet every other Thursday, with each trip visiting a new area of the park and increasing in challenge. Come once or come all four times! Please call ahead to reserve snowshoes (modern or traditional; free of charge) or bring your own. Meet at the park office at 1 pm.
Lake Bemidji State Park

————— 02/13/16 —————

02/13/16 Fatbike Frozen Forty
Fatbike Frozen Forty by Ride Enterprises, LLC is a 40-mile winter endurance fatbike race with an unparalleled course, atmosphere, and attention to detail. If you haven’t raced the Frozen Forty, you’re missing out! Call: (608) 385-2706. More info.
1827 W Hayden Lake Rd, Champlin Park, MN 55316

02/13/16 – 02/14/16 Snowmobile Checkpoint Trail Center Open House
9 AM–4 PM Come and enjoy Minnesota’s snowmobile trails in the four corners of the state during the month of February! Four state parks, one each weekend of the month, will be hosting a warming house that will celebrate our diverse trail system. Stop in for refreshments and take a “selfie” photo that will capture you as you explore our winter. It’s a great way to kick off the year and celebrate the Minnesota state parks and trails 125th anniversary!

February 6-7 Sibley State Park
February 13-14 Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
February 20-21 Bear Head Lake State Park
February 27-28 Maplewood State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

02/13/16 Snowshoe 101
10–11:30 AM Discover the quiet enjoyment of this low-impact sport. Begin in the Visitor Center Theater for a brief history and basic instructions. Then join the naturalist for a gentle hike to the CCC Camp looking for signs of wildlife and winter wonders. Bring your own snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. There are a limited number of adult and children’s snowshoes, so please call the park office at 218-595-7100 to sign-up. We do need 6 inches of snow on the ground to snowshoe, if there is a lack of snow, a winter walk will occur.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

02/13/16 Let’s Snowshoe!
10–Noon Is snowshoeing on your bucket list, but you don’t have the equipment? Well, now is the time! Participants will meet at the Visitor Center and go through a short introduction on snowshoes, and the basic fundamentals of snowshoeing. Then you can check out the snowshoes, explore the park, look for tracks and wildlife, really get a feel for snowshoeing and you have until 3pm to get the snowshoes back to the visitor center. There are a limited number of snowshoes, so please call the park office at 651-433-0500 to sign-up. We do need 6 inches of snow on the ground to snowshoe, if there is a lack of snow, the program will be cancelled.
William O’Brien State Park

02/13/16 Itasca’s Old Time Ice Harvest — 125 Years
11–1 PM Discover the good old days of harvesting lake ice as we look back on 125 years of Itasca State Park’s history. Dress warmly as you come out on Lake Itasca to see ice harvesters’ use tools of the ice cutting trade. Watch them create an opening in the ice with a single handled handsaw, then wait as they bounce the ice blocks out of the water onto the slippery edge.
Itasca State Park (Meet at the Lake Itasca Boat Landing)

02/13/16 Cross-Country Ski Lessons: Family Classic $$$
Noon–1:30 PM. Again 2/20 at Hyland Lake More info.
Cleary Regional Park

02/13/16 Nature Tech/Digiscoping
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Join NPS Ranger Sharon Stiteler to learn about apps for your smartphone that can enhance your experience outdoors. There are apps that will help you identify birds, butterflies and mammals as well as help you choose the best place to look for them. We’ll even cover photography using your phone and a spotting scope. Bring your phones and unlock some of the secret powers your phone carries to give you a great day outdoors. The program will start with a brief presentation then move along to testing out photography at the feeders. If you have a spotting scope, bring it along.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Auditorium, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

02/13/16 Fort Ice Fishing – PROGRAM FULL
1–3 PM Get hands-on instruction and try one of Minnesota’s favorite winter activities. All equipment and bait will be provided. Dress warmly and meet at the Visitor Center for information and instruction before heading to Snelling Lake. Equipment is limited, registration is required. UPDATE: This program is now full and we have begun a waitlist for this program. Please call 612-725-2724 to be placed on the waitlist.
Fort Snelling State Park

02/13/16 Snowshoe Hike up the Baptism River
1–3:30 Meet at the Visitor Center. Parks permit not required. Dust off those old snowshoes or borrow a pair from the Park for hike up the Baptism River Valley. Beginners will get a nice introduction to this low-impact winter sport. The Park Naturalist will lead you on a gentle stroll up the river valley, giving snowshoeing tips and interpreting the winter scene that we encounter along the way. If you need to borrow a pair of snowshoes, please contact the naturalist at 218 353-8809 to reserve them. There will be no rental fee for participants in this program.
Tettegouche State Park

02/13/16 Hike a Trail, Take a Picture, Send a Postcard
1–3:30 PM Send a Postcard to someone special in February and log some miles toward fitness!
Starting February 7 and every weekend during February, visitors can send their photo on a postcard to someone special. Here’s how it works: Check out a camera at the park office (or use your own). Hike to Hidden Falls and take a picture, keep going for a longer hike if you like. When you return, staff will take your picture (or use one from your hike), print it and attach it to a postcard backing. You will address the postcard with a brief note to someone special, maybe even a Valentine. Be sure to bring the address! We will drop it in Monday’s mail. Your picture postcard can be printed between 1 and 3:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center.
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

02/13/16 Planet Earth Filmfest
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Episodes 13 & 14: Into the Wilderness and Living Together High definition footage, fascinating creatures, and dramatic narration by Richard Attenborough create one of the most exciting portraits of our planet.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center (Classroom A, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge)

02/13/16 Winter Birds
1:30–3:30 PM Stop by the Visitor Center Theater to explore the different types of bird feeders and seeds. Make a bird feeder to take home. Learn how to prevent feeder raiders from stealing your seed. Test your knowledge of bird songs. Play “Spot the Bird” challenge, and then test your skills at our feeders.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

02/13/16 Snowshoe Adventure
1–3 PM Snowshoe a mile along the Old Caribou Camp Trail or the Marsh Vista Trail. Look for tracks and signs left by the winter animals. Listen for the birds that make their home in the Big Bog. Return to the picnic shelter for a fire and hot chocolate. Meet at the North Unit parking lot. A limited number of snowshoes will be available for free checkout. Vehicle permit required.
Big Bog State Park

02/13/16 Valentine’s Candlelight Snowshoe and Walk
3–9 PM Register at the Trail Center for the Lake Maria State Park Valentine’s Candlelight Snowshoe and Walk. Starts at 3 p.m., must be finished by 9 p.m. Two loops include a 1 km and a 4 km, totaling 5 km. Walk whatever distance you are able. Snowshoes available or bring your own. Meet friends and walk scenic trails at your own pace for fun, fitness and friendship. Folkssports are leisure-time activities for people of all ages, along or in groups, with no competitive requirements but plenty of awards. There is a $2 participation fee. The event is sponsored by NorthStar Trail Travelers,, and cosponsored by Friends of Lake Maria State Park. For event information call 952-854-4911.
Lake Maria State Park

02/13/16 Candlelight Event
5–7 PM Ski, showshoe or hike along 1.5 miles of candlelit trails! Experience the magic and romance of the winter forest at night. Make it a tradition! Trails will be lit from 5-7 p.m This is a self-guided experience, and you are welcome to do the loop as many times as you like. It will change as the sun goes down!
St. Croix State Park

02/13/16 Gateway State Trail Candlelight Walk
5–8 PM Trails lit by candles are beautiful and almost magical. Join us for this annual event beginning from the Ramsey County Court parking lot on white Bear Ave near the Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. For more information call 651-259-5875.
Gateway State Trail

02/13/16 Minnesota Outdoor Adventure Foundation Banquet
5:30 p.m. For more info call Bill Pankonin, 612-414-4022.
Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park.

02/13/16 Candlelight Ski
6:30–9 PM Ski the one and a half miles of lighted and groomed trail. Warm up afterwards with some hot cider and a s’more by the fire in the Trail Center. Skis of all sizes can be rented at the park if you don’t have your own, so come join us for a fun evening! Participants over the age of 16 who will be on skis will need a Minnesota Ski Pass. You can purchase a day pass at the office for $6 or an annual pass for $20. There is no cost for this event, but a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit is required to enter the park ($5/day or $25/year). Note: This event may be canceled or changed at the last minute, due to poor weather or wind conditions on the day of the event. Please check with the park office by phone or on the webpage under “visitor alerts” for information on changes regarding this program.
Glendalough State Park

02/13/16 —Volunteer Opp
If you are interested in volunteering with set-up, lighting or take-down of candles for the candlelight ski event(s) please call the park (218)864-0110
Glendalough State Park

02/13/16 Candlelight Event
6–9 PM Come enjoy an evening in the park by candlelight. Participants can snowshoe or walk by the light of the moon and candle luminaries set along the trails to guide their path. Then come warm up by the wood stove and enjoy snacks and refreshments in the warming shelter provided by the Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park.
Glacial Lakes State Park

02/13/16 Candlelight Ski Tour
6–9 PM Tour the park trails by the warm glow of candlelight. Up to 5 KM of easy and intermediate groomed ski trails will be lit from 6 pm to 9 pm for this magical night of skiing. Along the trail stop to warm up by the fire and roast marshmallows. Return to the visitor center for additional refreshments and musical entertainment. This event is hosted by the Bemidji Area Cross Country Ski Club and Lake Bemidji State Park. Participants over the age of 16 who will be on skis will need a Minnesota Ski Pass. You can purchase a day ski pass at the office for $6 or an annual ski pass for $20.Check current trail conditions at
Lake Bemidji State Park

02/13/16 23rd Annual Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Walk
6–9 PM Illuminating 6 miles of trails, candles will guide you through one of once-in-a-winter opportunity at Wild River. Snowshoers, skiers, and walkers are welcome to take the trails this Valentine’s Weekend! Visit for more details.
Wild River State Park

02/13/16 Snowshoe Saturdays
10–midnight Join us each Saturday morning throughout the month of February for outdoor exploration on snowshoes. We’ll visit the forest, streamside and meadow to look for signs of wildlife and to explore the winter world with our senses. Young and old are invited to join us. Bring your own snowshoes or use the park’s.
Whitewater State Park

02/13/16 Candlelight Snowshoe Hike/Volkmarch
6–9 PM Join the Friends of Lake Maria and the Northstar Trail Travelers for an evening of winter hiking or snowshoeing. One and one half mile of trail will be lit with candle luminaries. Snowshoes will be available in a variety of sizes, including childrens, for free use on the trail. Participants may snowshoe or hike the lighted trail. There will also be the option to obtain Volkmarch credit (for a small fee). Refreshments for participants will be available for a donation inside the heated Trail Center.
Lake Maria State Park

02/13/16 Candlelight Ski & Snowshoe Event
6–9 PM Snowshoe, hike or ski on trails lit by luminaries. Warm up by the fire afterwards with some hot cocoa or cider. Stop in anytime during this ongoing event. Adult and children’s snowshoes available to rent. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park


————— 02/14/16 —————

02/14/16 Minnesota Orienteering
12 pm Winter Score O–90 minutes on foot, snowshoe or X-C skis. 11:15 to 11:45 check-in and registration mass-start at 12 noon.
Preregister online (optional).
Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Lake Elmo, MN

————— Upcoming . . . —————

02/19/16 Open Ice Skating
2 to 4 p.m. Center Duluth Parks and Recreation offers three free open pleasure-skating sessions during the school mid-winter break, in addition to the usual Wednesday evening sessions. A limited supply of skates are available to use for free; those who have their own should bring them.
Duluth Heritage Sports Center

02/20 Snow Bomb Fat Bike Race and Chili Cook Off $$$
The Snow Bomb is a criterium-style fat bike race hosted by Winona Area Mountain Bikers (WAMB). This event is for all ages, abilities, and bikes, but fat bikes are encouraged, as the race takes place on the groomed Holzinger Trail System. Call: (507) 313-4167. More info. (and see photos below)
925 West Lake Blvd, Winona, MN 55987


02/20 Fat Bike Fun Race $$$
RACE TIMES 1:15 PM – 5K Beginner Race 2:15 PM – 10K Action Race, Call: (763) 694-7777 Grab your fat tire bike for a circuit-style race on a 12-foot-wide packed trail. 5K beginner race starts at 1:15 PM; 10K action race starts at 2:15 PM. Raffle prizes at 3:30 PM. Limited number of rental bikes available; call 763.694.7777 to reserve. Concessions available for purchase. Open to the first 50 racers. Preregistration ends February 17. FEES (include tax) $12 preregistration, $15 day-of
Cleary Lake Regional Park, 18106 Texas Avenue, Prior Lake, MN 55372
02/20 Bird Banding
9 AM – 12:00 PM See wild songbirds safely trapped, studied and tagged with numbered rings. Bring a camera. Groups of…
Lowry Nature Center, Saturday

02/20 Winter Play $$$
10 AM–11:30 AM Slide snow snakes across a frozen pond and play other nature-inspired games in beautiful winter. More info.
Eastman Nature Center

02/20/16 Full Moon Snowshoe with S’mores $$$
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Explore winter signs and sounds under the light of the full moon. Enjoy a fire and s’mores after. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Equipment provided. Reservations required. More info.
French Regional Park

02/27/16 Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series $$$
Test your speed and skill in a time trial format racing a 10.5-mile loop through trees and snow. After, warm up at the trailhead for awards and door prizes. Divisions include men’s women’s, and U-17. Races alternate between Elm Creek and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserves. Weekly competitors add their top three finishes for a chance at being The Frozen Frolic Champion. Studded tires approved. Helmets required. Registration begins at 10 AM; race start is 11 AM. Sponsored by Maple Grove Cycling and Freewheel Bike. FEES (include tax) $12 preregistration, $15 day-of, $60 for all six races at both parks (call 763.559.6700) —Volunteers needed! Learn how to get involved.
Learn more.
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

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