MN Nature Activities: July 4–9

MN Nature in St Paul, MN, has compiled summery outdoor activities for you to explore around the entire state of Minnesota. Whether you volunteer or want to just enjoy, we have an activity for you and your family. The best part — it’s all free! (Unless specifically otherwise noted.)

 

Thursday, July 7

07/07/16 Circle Time Under the Pines: D is for Dragonfly
10:30–11:30 Children 2–5 years old, explore and have fun at Itasca as we learn about dragonflies through stories, songs, crafts, and outdoor discovery. [Adults must accompany children.] Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying your noon meal at the park after the program. Meet by the Museum Amphitheater (Look for a large blanket underneath a big pine tree), below Wegmann’s Store, (If raining, meet inside Lakeside Museum).
Itasca State Park

07/07/16 Nature Time at the Beach
1–2 PM Hey kids! Join a naturalist at the beach for a hands-on nature activity. Meet at the Beach.
Whitewater State Park

07/07/16 Lil’ Park PEEPS – Insect Investigators
10:30–11:30 Bring your “Lil’ PEEP” to this preschool environmental education program designed for ages two to five years. This month we’ll explore insects through engaging stories, songs, activities and outdoor exploration. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/07/16 North Shore BioBlitz —Volunteer Opportunity
9–4 PM A BioBlitz is intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists, and volunteers conduct an intensive field study. Volunteers will learn from the experts and will be fully engaged in surveying organisms. No experience necessary.

—> More Info. This BioBlitz is a cooperative effort between the Minnesota DNR, the Superior National Forest, and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. There will be simultaneous surveys going on at Tettegouche and at nearby Wolf Ridge which will compare the nearshore environment of Tettegouche State Park with the Superior Highlands of Wolf Ridge. Come for the whole day or join a survey team for a few hours. Contact the Park Naturalist for more details, or if you are an “expert” in some field and you want to join in the fun.

Tettegouche State Park

07/07/16 Superior BioBlitz —Volunteer Opportunity
9–4 PM Join the 2016 Superior BioBlitz to help scientists discover the great variety of life (the biodiversity) which makes its home between Lake Superior and the Superior Highlands of the North Shore?s Sawtooth Mountains. This event is designed to allow you to become a citizen scientist, learning from the experts while also contributing to the scientific knowledge of the region.

—> More Info. The Superior BioBlitz will be co-located at Tettegouche State Park and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, comparing the nearshore environment of Tettegouche with the highlands of Wolf Ridge. Experts from many fields will be present to lead citizens on surveys. Stop by any time to join in! There will be a wrap-up event with special speakers at nearby Wolf Ridge, starting at 6:30pm. All are welcome. If you would like to be included as an “expert” or if you have questions or are in need of more information please contact the Park Naturalist.

Tettegouche State Park

07/07/16 StoryCorps App Assistance Drop-In: New London Oral History Project
4–6 PM Get ready to record your stories today! As part of the New London Oral History Project this is your opportunity to stop in and share your story about New London or Sibley State Park; whether it is a memory camping at the park or why you have made New London your community.

—> More Info. StoryCorps is a app designed to make oral interviews and storytelling collection easy. Drop-in anytime between 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Goat Ridge in New London to get assistance putting this app on your phone and pre-loading questions. It won’t take more than 20 minutes!

Sibley State Park

07/07/16 Nature Play – Take a Look at Bones
1–2:30 PM This week we’ll investigate how to tell the difference between predators and prey by looking at their teeth, how scientists can tell how old a deer is, and what happens to all those bones once an animal dies.

—> More Info. Do you want your kids to spend more time outside but just don’t know what to do with them? Learn how to explore the outdoors during this kid’s program series. Each week we’ll investigate a different topic through fun games and hands on activities. Special emphasis is placed on nature observation skills, exploring safely and activities to do in your own backyard. The “Nature Play” series of programs will occur weekly from June 9th – August 25th. Check the schedule for topics and exact program dates.

Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center. In case of severe weather, portions of this program will be moved indoors.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/07/16 StoryCorps App Assistance Drop-In: New London Oral History Project
9–11 AM Get ready to record your stories today! As part of the New London Oral History Project this is your opportunity to stop in and share your story about New London or Sibley State Park; whether it is a memory camping at the park or why you have made New London your community.
Sibley State Park

07/07/16 Prairie Preschool: Water Series
10:30–11:30 AM Little naturalists, ages 2-6, are welcome each Thursday for Prairie Preschool. We will explore a monthly theme using play, stories, hands-on activities, and short hikes. Children of all ages welcome but lessons are designed for early learners. Water theme topics during the month of July include: dragonflies, fish, turtles, and rivers. Program starts at the Nature Center. Consider packing a lunch and your swimsuit to enjoy the picnic grounds and swimming beach at Buffalo River State Park. Event is free but there is a $5 daily fee to enter the state park or you can purchase an annual pass. In the event of rain, program will take place inside the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park

07/07/16 Historic Falls Hike
11–Noon Enjoy great views and discover falls history as you explore the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. Don’t forget your camera. Majority of the hike will involve descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/07/16 Falls View Hike
1–2 PM Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls on a guided hike. Don’t forget your camera. Majority of the hike will involve descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/07/16 Nature in All Seasons
3–4 PM Seasonal changes in nature are called Phenology. Join a naturalist and explore the world of Gooseberry as we take a closer look at the phenology of the park. You?ll create a unique journal to record and remember your nature observations. Be ready to find nature on a short ¼ mile walk. Bug spray and camera are recommended. Meet at the art column outside the visitor center.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/07/16 Flying Shadows: Stories of the Raven
7–8 PM Considered one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, the raven, is sometimes viewed as a bad omen. Join a naturalist to discover the stories of the raven and test your intelligence. Are you smarter than a Raven? Meet at the Lady Slipper Amphitheater.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/07/16 Throwback Thursday Movie Night
7:30–8:30 PM Come out for an evening of good old fashioned nature movies as we play ‘Legacy for a Loon’ and ‘All About Bears.’ These educational nature center classics are reminiscent of the old fashioned 16 mm film in VHS video format. Reminder, if the film breaks or tangles in the video machine the movie is over.
Itasca State Park (Held in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center)

07/07/16 All About Bears
10:30 AM A talk about bears will be followed by a film at the Interpretive Center.(35 minutes)
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

07/07/16 Morning Bird Hike
9–10:30 AM Join Naturalist Matt Schuth to discover the sight and sounds of birds who call Gooseberry home. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout or bring your own. Dress for the weather, insect repellent is recommended. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column for this longer hike.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/07/16 Lil’ Park PEEPS – Insect Investigators
10:30–11:30 AM Preschool environmental education program designed for ages two to five years. This month we explore insects through engaging stories, songs, activities and outdoor exploration. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/07/16 Nature Play – Take a Look at Bones
1–2 PM investigate how to tell the difference between predators and prey by looking at their teeth, how scientists can tell how old a deer is, and what happens to all those bones once an animal dies. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/07/16 St. Louis River Trivia
8–9 PM Join the park naturalist to learn about the animals, history and water of the St. Louis River with a mix of entertaining trivia questions. Excitement and prizes are included. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Friday, July 8

07/08/16 Incredible Egg Science: Dig-in and Discover
3–4 PM How do eggs survive being sat on by their parents, especially if mom is an ostrich? Delve into the egg’s secret to success through hands-on challenges and experiments. We’ll wrap-up with an egg drop challenge near the park’s potholes. Best for ages 7–11, but older and younger siblings are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

07/08/16 Star Exploration “Universe in the Park”
8–10 PM Join Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics and state park for a 30-minute public talk and slide show. Presentations cover a variety of astronomical topics such as: the history of matter, how astronomers “see,” and a journey through our solar system. Questions are welcome. Afterwards, if weather allows, attendees have the opportunity to view the sky through multiple 8-inch reflecting telescopes. Free star maps and how to use them are provided. Throughout the evening, we encourage questions from the audience and enjoy discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries to include the recent photos of Pluto.
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

07/08/16 Geocaching 101
1–2 PM Join the naturalist for this high tech treasure hunt and learn the basics of this new worldwide recreational sport. GPS units are provided. There will be a chance to test out your GPS skill on a critter activity before going out to find the park geocache. Limit of 20 people (must be 8 years of age and children must be accompanied by adult). Please sign up at the park office (prior reservation required). Meet on the Waterfalls side of Minneopa State Park.
Minneopa State Park

07/08/16 Nature Time at the Beach
1–2 PM Hey kids! Join a naturalist at the beach for a hands-on nature activity. Meet at the Beach.
Whitewater State Park

07/08/16 Pioneer Home Hike
6–8 PM In the late 1850,s Luxembourger immigrant Nicholas Marnach and his father built a stone home in the wilderness of the Whitewater River Valley. In the early 1990s, modern-day Luxembourgers and area residents restored the home. The Marnach House stands today as a symbol of pioneer times and dramatic impacts of land use practices in the Whitewater Watershed. Join us at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center for a short talk before we caravan into the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area to hike the 3 mile round trip former stage coach trail to the Marnach House.
Whitewater State Park

07/08/16 I Can Fish! – Shoreline Fridays
1–3 PM Have you always wanted to learn how to fish but had no one to teach you? Or perhaps you?d just like to enjoy a relaxing afternoon fishing with the kids. Join us each week as we learn all about fishing: identifying, casting, equipment and more. Then take your new skills and spend a little time with us fishing along the shore of the river. Equipment, bait, and instruction provided. MN residents do not need a fishing license.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/08/16 I Can Fish!
3–5 PM Join us as we learn all about fishing – identifying species, casting, and more. Then use your new skills to fish from the bank of the Rum River. We provide the poles, bait and instructor. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the interpretive Center. We will walk a short distance, fish until 4:30, then finish up back at the interpretive center by 5 p.m.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

07/08/16 Big Bog Festival — Historic Fish Hatchery Tour
7–8 PM Learn about the Red Lake walleye fishery and the role of this historic hatchery. Built in 1941 by WPA,the Waskish Hatchery was one of the largest in the state and remained in production until 1979. This program is part of the community-wide Big Bog Festival, July 8-10, sponsored by the communities of Waskish and Kelliher. Meet at the hatchery building across the Tamarac River from the Visitor Center.
Big Bog State Park

07/08/16 Gooseberries and More along the North Shore
2–2:30 PM Walk with a naturalist near the shores of Lake Superior to look at some of the unique plants along this trail including the famous gooseberry. Get your miles in for the 125th celebration. A sturdy pair of shoes is recommended. Be prepared to walk over rocky terrain. Meet at Lakeview Lodge.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/08/16 Gitchi Gummi Sunsets
6:30–8 PM Stroll along the park’s oldest trail to discover history of the land and water. Enjoy gigantic views and petite treasures along the way. Watch as the sun sinks into the western sky. Sturdy shoes, water and snack are recommended on this adventure. Trail consists of steps and covers 1.5 miles. Get your miles in for the 125th celebration. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/08/16 Kids Fishing Fridays
8:30–11:30 AM Kids 8-15 yrs of age are invited on this guided fishing trip to develop fishing skills and explore our lake environment. For safety reasons, the program is limited to nine young anglers. These fishing trips are offered alternate Fridays from mid June to September. Sign up by calling the park office beginning the Monday of that week.
Lake Bemidji State Park

07/08/16 Fishing Frenzy Fridays
9–11 AM Join a naturalist every Friday for a morning of fishing and hands-on learning. We will discover the world of fish and then show you how to catch them. Bring your own bait, worms work best. Also bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a water bottle. Limited rods and reels will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the amphitheater. Only non-Minnesota residents need a fishing license.
Lake Carlos State Park

07/08/16 Pothole Exploration Tour
Noon–1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

07/08/16 Become Fluent in Loon
8–9 PM The haunting cry of a loon across a Minnesota lake causes us to stop and listen. But what is that voice actually saying? Join the naturalist for a presentation on our Minnesota state bird, the Common Loon, to get the answer and more! Meet at the Cedar Hill Shelter building. Feel free to bring a lawn chair.
Sibley State Park

07/08/16 Fishing 101
2–4 PM Learn the basics of fishing. Limited gear will be provide but feel free to bring your own.
Bear Head Lake State Park

07/08/16 Flint and Steel
6:30–7:30 PM Learn the ancient technique of making fire by flint and steel. From Tower, go east on U.S. Hwy. 169 for 9 miles to Co. Rd. 128. Go south 7 miles to park office.
Bear Head Lake State Park

07/08/16 Historic Falls Hike
11–Noon Enjoy great views and discover falls history as you explore the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. Don’t forget your camera. Majority of the hike will involve descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/08/16 Kids’ Fishing Fridays
10:30–Noon Kids, bring an adult with you and learn the new skill of fishing. Suitable for ages 6-12. NOTES: An adult must accompany children. Bring your own fishing pole or use one provided (limited number). Poles are available on first come first serve basis. Artificial bait provided. Non-Minnesota residents will need a fishing license (within the park, purchase at Itasca Sports Rental).
Itasca State Park (Meet at the Itasca Fishing Pier, below Douglas Lodge)

07/08/16 Nature Photography 101
2–3 PM Join a naturalist to learn the basics of nature photography, then get out on the trail to try out your new skills! You can use your smartphone or digital camera to participate! We will also have a limited number of digital cameras to check out. Hat, sunscreen and Waterbottle are suggested for this program.
Sibley State Park

07/08/16 The Headwaters and the CCC, Walk
11–11:30 AM Learn how members of the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC helped restore the Mississippi Headwaters during this short naturalist-led walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Meet at the compass rose under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center
Itasca State Park

07/08/16 Jr. Naturalist: Flip for Frogs
2–3 PM Leopard, chorus, peepers and more. Kids, hop on over and learn about the frogs that make Itasca home. Then make a craft to take with you. Meet at the swimming beach playground area.
Itasca State Park

07/08/16 Five Facts in Five Minutes: Minnesota Symbols
2–4 PM Only have a minute to learn about Itasca State Park? Check out a unique feature at the naturalist station as you visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain.)
Itasca State Park

07/08/16 Nature’s Weather Forecasters, Campfire
7:30–8:30 PM Chirping crickets, quiet crows and clustering cows to dew meaning raindrops are few. Discover how nature seems to ‘know’ when the weather is going to change. Bring your s’more fixings for after the campfire! Meet at the Pine Ridge Campground council ring. Located along the bike trail between Lake Itasca and the playground in Pine Ridge Campground. Parking for non-campers is located at the Lake Itasca boat landing. (If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom).
Itasca State Park

07/08/16 Jr. Naturalist – What is a Habitat? -Drop In
11–Noon There are many habitats in Minnesota’s Pinelands. Grab your Jr. Park Naturalist activity book and join a naturalist to learn about what makes a habitat and the animals that live in them.
Temperance River State Park

07/08/16 Rock Talk on the Beach – Drop In
1–3 PM Rocks, everywhere, tell a story. Come hear the story of our North Shore rocks and how they relate to the landscape. Spoiler alert: there are volcanoes and hot seas involved!!
Temperance River State Park

07/08/16 Trees of the North Woods
11–Noon Trees can offer a lot of information about the history of the environment and ecological processes. Identifying trees can be an important skill to unlocking the history behind them. Join a naturalist at the Visitor Center to embark on a short hike and discover the identity of the trees and the history that shaped the North Woods.
Tettegouche State Park

07/08/16 Meet the Weasel Family – Drop In
2–4 PM Members of the weasel family range from tiny to big and strong but they all share a predatory nature. Meet the members of this charismatic family through skulls, pelts, and the models in the weasel display in the Visitor Center.
Tettegouche State Park

Saturday – July 9

07/09/16 Playground Builds —Volunteer Opportunity
8:00 am to 2:00 pm (any amount of time you’re available is helpful) We are continuing the Park Renewal Program and replacing three playgrounds this summer. Trained supervisors lead community members in assembling the newest playground structure. There’s a role for everyone – no experience necessary. Come for all or come for part of the day, any amount of time you can volunteer will be immensely appreciated! These are fun and productive events that leave a lasting impact in creating safe and accessible play spaces for kids.
Mapleview Park
VolunteertoBuildPlaygrounds

07/09/16 Science Saturday: Frog and Toad Monitoring
8:30–10:30 PM learn about frogs and toads. The evening will include discussion about proper identification, especially using sounds to identify the animals, how frogs and toads differ, and what we can do to help them.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

07/09/16 Outdoor Kids: The Weasels
2–3:30 PM Kids of all ages come out and explore nature at your leisure. This program series allows kids to connect with nature through hands-on activities that focus on life around the lake. Have fun discovering Itasca while hanging out at the swimming beach or playground. Come and go at your leisure.
Itasca State Park: Meet by the Swim Beach/ Playground (at the south end of the picnic grounds on Lake Itasca)

07/09/16 Becoming an Outdoors Woman Intro to Archery
10–Noon Designed for women to learn among other women, this program will introduce participants to the steps to archery success. All equipment will be provided. To sign up, email sara.holger@state.mn.us or call 507-932-3007 ext 226.
Whitewater State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Park
Noon–2 PM Archery in the Parks is hands-on instruction shooting a bow and arrow from certified instructors in a safe and supportive environment. Aim for family adventure with kid friendly equipment designed for beginners age 8 and older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Personal archery equipment is not allowed. All archery programs are free with a Minnesota State Parks vehicle entrance permit. Meet at the South Picnic Grounds.
Whitewater State Park

07/09/16 Mini Monsters at the Beach
3–4 PM Many small creatures live in Whitewater’s cold water streams and at the beach. Get wet and wild as we use nets to search for some of Whitewater’s miniature water monsters! Find out about the interesting critters we share the swimming hole with. How does life in the stream differ from life in the beach pool? Meet at the beach.
Whitewater State Park

07/09/16 Live Eagle Program
7–8 PM Want to see a live bald eagle up close? Tonight you can! Bring your camera. Staff from the National Eagle Center in Wabasha will be at Whitewater to share with us the tremendous comeback story of our national bird. With a live eagle they will introduce the bald eagle’s life history and why the Mississippi River and the Blufflands are so important to the eagle’s survival.
Whitewater State Park

07/09/16 The People’s Bat Count —Volunteer Opportunity
8:30 – 10PM Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is home to a healthy little brown bat colony that thrives on the insects in and around the Park. Watch hundreds of bats depart from their roosts for an evening of feeding. While our bats are healthy, you will also find out what emerging threat has decimated bat numbers elsewhere. Accommodations can be easily made for those with mobility concerns by calling 507-937-3251. Meet at the picnic shelter.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

07/09/16 125th Anniversary Program: Parks for Monarchs
1–2:30 PM Of the 90 butterflies in northern Minnesota, Monarchs are most well-known. Join us for a glimpse into the life of a monarch and find out why they are so mighty. Be prepared to be both indoors and outdoors. Presentation by Allison Snopek-Barta, Butterfly Research Scientist and Science Teacher at Bagley Jr.-Sr. High School. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Lake Bronson State Park

07/09/16 Pedal into the Past Bike Tour
10–Noon The scenic park you enjoy today was once homesteads, farms and homes of some of the first families of the area. Pedal into the past to see where these homesteads were, what they looked like and what life was like in the hills and woods of Sibley State Park. Meet outside the Interpretive Center with your bicycle. Helmets required, limited supply available for borrow. Water bottle, snack, hat, sunscreen, bug spray and bright colored shirt suggested. We will be traveling both on the bike trail and on the roads of the park.
Sibley State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Park
2 PM Archery in the Parks is hands-on instruction shooting a bow and arrow from certified instructors in a safe and supportive environment. Aim for family adventure with kid friendly equipment designed for beginners age 8 and older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Personal archery equipment is not allowed. All archery programs are free with a Minnesota State Parks vehicle entrance permit. Program will begin at 2pm at the mowed lawn area near the park office. Sun screen and mosquito repellent are recommended.
Lac Qui Parle State Park

07/09/16 Stuck Between a Rock and a Streambed
2–3:30 Fish, crawdads, and water striders come to mind when people think of animals that live in a stream. There are, however, other tiny creatures under and amongst the rocks of Forestville’s streams that can be used as an indicator of stream health. Help a park naturalist capture and identify these hidden animals during this fun and refreshing program! Shorts and old shoes that can be worn in the water are advised (flip flops are not recommended). Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Park!
1–3 PM Archery has been a popular sport and life skill for thousands of years. Join certified archery instructors for a hands-on shot at archery. Designed for ages 8 and up and beginners are especially welcome! Kids must be age 8 to participate in the activity, also kids 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bows and arrows provided. The program will be ongoing at the Picnic Grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

07/09/16 Native Bee Day!
10 AM – 2 PM Learn how to attract pollinators to your yard and vegetable garden. Pack a picnic lunch and join us on this Bee Day! For more information call 651-231-6968 or email Linda.Radimecky@state.mn.us

—> Program Schedule
10 a.m. Explore native bees with Joel Gardner from the University of Minnesota Bee Squad
11 a.m. Bee house building – see easy ways to attract bees to your yard
12:30 p.m. Wasp Watcher Program. The University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Department of Agriculture are working to detect smoky winged beetle bandit wasps and emerald ash borer at locations throughout Minnesota.
1:30 p.m. Minnesota Bee Atlas Program, Minnesota Extension Service. The Minnesota Bee Atlas, a four-year project funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF), is a citizen science program designed to use volunteer participants to create a state-wide list of native bees found in Minnesota.
Afton State Park

07/09/16 St. Croix River Canoe Clean-up —Volunteer Opportunity
9 AM – 3 PM Join us on the St. Croix River during this leisurely 9-mile cleanup paddle from our Sunrise landing to the main boat landing. 7 Canoes available for free for first registrants, but you’re welcome to bring your own. We will meet at the main park boat landing. More details upon inquiry. Registration required by Noon Friday, July 10.
Wild River State Park

07/09/16 Parks for Monarchs: Monarchs and More
11–Noon Take a gentle walk in search of our state butterfly and other pollinators. Come see some of the plants that call the park home, discover some unique qualities of these plants and find out which are most loved by monarchs, bees and other bugs! Meet at the art column outside the visitor center.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/09/16 Turtles & Snakes
8 PM Learn about snakes and turtles of the Mille Lacs area will be followed by a visit from our friends Shellby the turtle and Corny the snake. Meet at the Council Ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Lakeview Picnic Shelter. (45 minutes)
Father Hennepin State Park

07/09/16 Birding at Bear Head
8–10 AM Meet at the park office for a guided walk to listen and look for the variety of bird species within the park. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout or bring your own. Dress for the weather, insect repellent is recommended. Current Minnesota State Park vehicle permits are required.
Bear Head Lake State Park

07/09/16 Nature Writing
10 AM–Noon Do you love to be immersed in nature? Wish to express your outdoor experiences through writing? Join us for a nature appreciation writing class. Write either short prose or poetry with guidance from a Mn Naturalist Volunteer and poet. If you have a favorite author, please bring a short excerpt- prose piece or poem- related to summer. We?ll read these for inspiration and discussion, then head out together for a hike. You?ll be encouraged to eventually break off from the group to write, then meet back at the visitor center at a specific time to share your writing if you so choose. Ages 10 and up.
Whitewater State Park

07/09/16 Interpretive Nature Walk
10–11:30 AM Join naturalist Bruce Ause on a 1-mile interpretive nature hike.
Frontenac State Park

07/09/16 Women in the Parks: Nature Hike- Summer in the City
10–11:30 AM What impact do trains, planes, and automobiles have on the plants and animals at Fort Snelling State Park? Join a park naturalist for a walking discussion about nature in Minnesota’s most urban state park. Dress for the weather and meet at the Visitor Center.
Fort Snelling State Park

07/09/16 Astronomy and Stargazing
9:30–10:30 PM See stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae up close with your own eyes! Join the Glacial Lakes Astronomers and Stargazers Society (GLASS) at Glacial Lakes State Park on the first Saturday of the month from May through October at dusk. You will get the chance to look through a variety of telescopes and binoculars as GLASS members answer your questions about your night sky.
Glacial Lakes State Park

07/09/16 Pothole Exploration Tour
Noon–1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

07/09/16 Stargazing
9 PM Local amateur astronomer Joe Hauger will be at the park Saturday July 9 for a stargazing night. Come and see Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and the moon through a telescope, and learn some of the basic summer constellations. You’ll also get a chance to see the most distant thing any human can see with the naked eye; our neighbor the Andromeda Galaxy.
Upper Sioux Agency State Park

07/09/16 Junior Naturalist: Earth Art
10–11 AM How do mountains turn into grains of sands? Join the naturalist as we search for the answer and make a sand painting to take home. Find us at the Campground Clubhouse.
Interstate State Park

07/09/16 Turtle Tracks
8–9 PM Using a GPS unit you’ll experience what it is like to have turtle determination when it comes to laying eggs and relocating. Meet at the Interpretive Center. Be prepared to travel off the trails!
Sibley State Park

07/09/16 Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Lori Goulet Reich
7–830 PM Join Lori Goulet Reich, a Lake Itasca Transplant from the suburbs of Minneapolis, as she performs a variety of music best described as acoustic folk and alt-country flavored music. Lori also has played in various bands both classic rock and country, so come enjoy a variety of well-known tunes. Meet inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
Itasca State Park

07/09/16 Busy Beavers
3 PM Learn everything you wanted to know about beavers!
Scenic State Park

07/09/16 Mushrooms and More Hike
10–11:30 AM Want to learn about the many species of mushrooms and edible plants at Forestville Mystery Cave State Park. Wear long pants, closed toe shoes and plenty of bug spray as you will be venturing off trail on forage through the woods. This program is recommended for people 8 and older but is open to all who are up for the adventure.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Parks
Noon–3 PM Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow from a certified instructor! This event is suitable for ages 8 and older with a parent or guardian.
Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Park
10–12:30 Beginners and all ages welcome! This program covers the basics of archery (safety, proper care of the equipment and how to use a bow). Participants will be able to practice their new skills on the range by taking a turn shooting arrows at targets. Program begins near the swimming pond.
Buffalo River State Park

07/09/16 Animal Antics
12:30–2 PM

The potato sack hop and spoon races are just a few of the antics taking place near the swimming pond during life guard breaks. Games are designed for all ages. Program is free and weather dependent.
Buffalo River State Park

07/09/16 Celebrating the St. Croix River
7–8 PM How far does the St. Croix River flow? What people have relied on it over the years? What endangered animals does it protect within its depths? Join a National Park Service Ranger on a visual journey of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway during a special presentation in the park?s historic stone shelter. The program is part of a year-long celebration of the National Park Service?s centennial anniversary.
Interstate State Park

07/09/16 Stories in the Stars: Ojibwe Constellations
8:30–10 PM Stars have long been the center of imagination and legend. They have been used to record the stories of the past. The Ojibwe also used the stars as a way to remember the oral history of their people and marked the rise and fall of the seasons. Come discover for yourself the beautiful history of the Ojibwe people told through the stars. We will start at Lady Slipper Lodge and then move to the picnic flow to discover the Ojibwe Constellations for ourselves. Bug spray and flashlight recommended.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/09/16 Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
10–Noon Tour begins at the Levorsen Building located on the Pioneer Farmer showgrounds.* The showground is located on the north side of Itasca State Park. Go out the North Entrance to Itasca State Park, entrance is on the east side of the North Entrance Road (across from the church and gas station).*Tour begins promptly at 10 a.m. Get a feel for the early 1900s community of Lake Itasca at the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Showgrounds (LIRPF). See the Itasca Historic Sawmill. Explore various buildings from a country school, dove-tail one-room log house and a logging museum.
Itasca State Park

07/09/16 Junior Park Naturalist: Mighty Trees
1–2 PM Start earning your Junior Park Naturalist badge today! Join a naturalist to explore the wonders of Sibley
State Park’s trees! Then we will ID some trees for ourselves! Meet in the downstairs theater.
Sibley State Park

07/09/16 Roving Naturalist Drop-In
3–5 PM Take in the sights at Mt. Tom to discover the management evolution of this spot. See historic pictures of Mt. Tom and take a look at view through binoculars.
Sibley State Park

07/09/16 Archery in the Parks
10–Noon Archery in the Parks is hands-on instruction shooting a bow and arrow from certified instructors in a safe and supportive environment. Aim for family adventure with kid friendly equipment designed for beginners age 8 and older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Personal archery equipment is not allowed. All archery programs are free with a Minnesota State Parks vehicle entrance permit. No registration necessary. Meet at the picnic grounds near the historic Lodge building.
Scenic State Park

07/09/16 Skink Hide and Seek Station
3–4 PM What exactly is a skink and where can these curious reptiles be spotted in the park? Come find out and then put your new knowledge to the test during a hide and seek challenge. Find us near the visitor center for this ongoing program.
Interstate State Park

07/09/16 Kids’ Activity: Makin’ Tracks
10:30–11 AM Learn about animal tracks and tracking… and take home a “track souvenir” you make yourself. All Ages welcome!
Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

07/09/16 Nature Film: Legacy for a Loon
2–2:30 PM This nature film will be shown at the Interpretive Center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

07/09/16 I Can Fish!
10–Noon Learn all about fishing. We provide the equipment, bait and instructor. No fishing license is needed for this activity if you are a Minnesota Resident. In case of thunderstorms this program will be cancelled. Meet at the Public Boat Access Parking Lot.
Father Hennepin State Park

07/09/16 Geology Discovery Tent
1–3 PM Rock ON! Explore the amazing and complex geologic history of the Gooseberry area. Learn how agates form, which rock is what and the creation of the waterfalls. Stop by any time on the trails to the Middle Falls. Look for the tent!
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/09/16 Trees of the North Woods
11–Noon Trees can offer a lot of information about the history of the environment and ecological processes. Identifying trees can be an important skill to unlocking the history behind them. Join a naturalist at the Visitor Center to embark on a short hike and discover the identity of the trees and the history that shaped the North Woods.
Tettegouche State Park

07/09/16 Activities on the Beach
2–4 PM Join Naturalists at the mouth of the Baptism River for fun activities on the beach. There will be casting practice, knot tying, rock talks, and nets to explore the aquatic life of the river.
Tettegouche State Park

07/09/16 Five Facts in Five Minutes: Woodpeckers of Itasca
10–Noon Near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain.) Only have a minute to learn about Itasca State Park? Check out a unique feature at the naturalist station as you visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Itasca State Park

07/09/16 Wildflower Walk
11–Noon Join a park naturalist and search for interesting plants as well as what summer wildflowers are blooming along the trail.
Itasca State Park (Meet outside Forest Inn)

07/10/16 I Can Fish – Trout Fishing
10:30–11 AM Join us at the South Picnic Area for some fishing fun! Equipment will be provided at this activity designed to introduce trout fishing to inexperienced anglers, families and youth groups. Youngsters must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own bait; worms often work best. Fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required when fishing during the activity. This program will be offered at Whitewater every Sunday through September 4.
Whitewater State Park

07/10/16 Archery in the Park!
10–Noon Archery has been a popular sport and life skill for thousands of years. Join certified archery instructors for a hands-on shot at archery. Designed for ages 8 and up and beginners are especially welcome! Kids must be age 8 to participate in the activity, also kids 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bows and arrows provided. The program will be on-going at the Picnic Grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

07/10/16 Women’s Bike to Lunch on the Luce line State Trail
10 AM–2 PM Sunday, July 10 Ride from Plymouth to Ox Yoke Inn with the Naturalist along this old railroad corridor and discover some great places. We will ride 13 miles from Plymouth to the Ox Yoke Inn for lunch, then return to Plymouth. Bring your own bike and helmet. Register at 651-231-6968.
Luce Line State Trail

07/10/16 Bog-watcher Sundays
1:30 AM – 1:30 PM A naturalist will be roving the boardwalk to help you locate the flowers of the bog. During these weeks visitors will find the bog at its peak with a variety of orchids and insect-eating plants in bloom.
Lake Bemidji State Park

07/10/16 Pothole Exploration Tour
Noon–1 PM Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the park’s unique potholes as you journey over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this naturalist-guided tour. This 45-minute walk includes some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

07/10/16 Unraveling Mysteries of the Common Loon with Kevin Kenow, Itasca’s Presenters Under the Pines Series
7:30–8:30 PM Learn about the unique technology of geo-locator tags to look at migration and foraging patterns of common loons breeding in the Upper Midwest.
Itasca State Park: Meet inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom

07/10/16 Teeny Tiny Tadpoles Investigation Station
2–3 PM Get an up-close look at the young amphibians dwelling in the park’s potholes during this ongoing station. Discover just who they will turn into and how they survive. Find us near the visitor center, and stay for as long as you like.
Interstate State Park

07/10/16 Pioneer/Old Time Music & Bluegrass Jam
3–5 PM Imagine the songs that echoed off the bluffs in the Whitewater Valley during the days of the pioneers. Park visitors along with bluegrass pickers and old time music players of all skill levels are invited to re-create the music of our ancestors the second Sunday of each month, May – October. Meet at the amphitheater behind the visitor center.
Whitewater State Park

07/10/16 Thomson Hydroelectric Tour
1–3 PM For over 100 years Minnesota Power?s Thomson hydroelectric station has been providing electricity for surrounding communities. Learn about its history, how the 2012 affected it and how we are preparing for future energy demands using renewable energy.
Jay Cooke State Park

07/10/16 Special Plant Walk at Blanket Flower Prairie SNA
10:30–12:30 Meet the plants that make this rare and beautiful prairie so special. During this hour long exploration Jack Norland, site steward and biology professor, will help identify native plants including hills thistle and blanket flower. Bring you cameras, field guides, sketch books, and binoculars! Meet at the park office and caravan off-site to Blanket Flower Prairie SNA. Please call ahead to confirm your interest. 218-498-2124
Buffalo River State Park

07/10/16 Happy 125th Birthday MN State Parks and Trails
Noon–3 PM Happy Birthday to Us! Help us celebrate the birthday of MN State Parks and Trails Birthday. Join us at the tent to celebrate through games and activities our birthday. Win prizes! See how much you know about the MN State Parks and investigate the park?s unique history.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

07/10/16 Community Concert: Mark Fogelson
2–3 PM This week’s Community Concert features R. Mark Fogelson. Mark’s songs hearken back to an era when storytellers handed tales down through generations, yet they remain a powerful commentary about the rapidly changing world in which we live. His songs range from family themes, such as in “Sometimes It Seems,” to new beginnings, as in “Plant New Dreams,” to others that are humorous or thought-provoking. So sit back, enjoy the breeze off the lake, and listen to stories and songs!
Lake Bemidji State Park

07/10/16 All About Bears
10:30 AM A talk about bears will be followed by a film at the Interpretive Center.(35 minutes)
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

07/10/16 Fishing Skills – Drop In
1–3 PM Drop-in and brush up on your fishing skills. Learn something new!
Tettegouche State Park

07/10/16 Mississippi River Facts Walk
11–11:30 Learn about fun facts of the Mississippi Headwaters during this short naturalist-led walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Topics vary. Meet at the compass rose under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center
Itasca State Park

07/10/16 Jr. Naturalist: Beavers
2–3 PM Kids, join us as we dive into the life of the beaver. Discover how these giant rodents are adapted for life under the water.
Itasca State Park

07/10/16 Historic CCC Buildings Walk
2–2:20 PM Learn about the ‘boys’ that built Forest Inn, Old Timer’s Cabin and more. Come for the walk as we talk about the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on this walking tour of buildings around the Douglas Lodge area, ending at the CCC Old Timer’s Cabin.
Itasca State Park (Meet outside Forest Inn across from Douglas Lodge)

07/10/16 Old Timer’s Cabin, Open Tour
2:30–4 PM Only 4 (massive) logs tall, learn more about this Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed building. The Naturalist staff will have the cabin open for you to tour at your leisure.
Itasca State Park

07/10/16 Picnic Hike to the Cascades
11 AM –1:30 PM Meet at the Fisherman?s Parking Lot by the bridge. You pack a picnic lunch and we?ll pack some field guides, binoculars, and other outdoor tools and hike the trail up the Baptism River to the waterfalls known as the Cascades, stopping to discuss anything that catches our eyes or imaginations. We’ll picnic below the waterfall. Be prepared to hike on uneven surfaces the ¾ miles up to the falls and back. Bring a water bottle, snacks, and any outdoor gear that you might need on this gorgeous trail.
Tettegouche State Park

Featured Photo: Catching Bass at Deep Portage Summer Camp
Deep Portage Mini Camp – Minnesota Summer Youth Camp
JULY 17-19, 2016 TUITION: $200 | AGES 9-16, Boys and Girls
This short camp is an economical way for kids to get a taste of outdoor adventure at Deep Portage. Activities include Canoeing, Fishing, Climbing Wall, Water Canaries, Wilderness Survival and Campfires. Focus is on helping campers build skills, knowledge, and self-esteem. For more information visit Deep Portage online.

If an activity celebrates the outdoors, we want to know about it! Email your events and volunteer opportunities to jen@mnnature.org