MN Nature Activities: June 26-July 2

MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, has great FREE activities for you to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you want to hike or volunteer or learn from a naturalist, the events here will broaden your understanding of nature and provide new opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Like our facebook page @MNnature for regularly updated events and informational articles throughout the week And remember to hashtag your adventures with #MNnature

6/26

Wildlife Ambassador Meet and Greet
11 – 11:30 AM Meet our summer wildlife ambassadors inside the Interpretive Center. See us feed the turtles, frogs and fish. Bring unused bait if you have it! All ages.
St. Croix State Park

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour
12 PM to 1 PM You are invited to experience the stunning scenery and incredible story of Interstate State Park. An interpretive naturalist will lead you over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this 45-minute tour. Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the unique glacial potholes and even step inside one. All ages are welcome. Expect some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

St. Louis River Walk
4 PM to 5 PM The mighty St. Louis River is one of the centerpieces of Jay Cooke State Park and has been captivating people for centuries. Gain a new appreciation for the river as we walk and talk about the stories behind its natural and cultural history.
Jay Cooke State Park

Evening Yoga along the River
5:30 PM to 6:30 PM Wind down your day with gentle, restorative yoga along the banks of the St. Croix River. Meet at the park’s main picnic area(campground end of the park). Bring a water bottle and yoga mat or towel if you have one.
Interstate State Park

Evening Stroll with a Naturalist
8 – 9 PM Throw on your boots and take a hike with a naturalist! We?ll point out a few of the flowers, animal signs, and geologic features that Jay Cooke State Park offers. You’ll be sure to learn something new! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

6/27

Bald Eagle Walk
9:30 – 11 AM Our nation’s bird has been shot, poisoned, and pushed to near extinction, but with help and determination this bird story has no ending in sight. Join the naturalist for a walk to the eagles nest to learn about their unique success story and see the chicks! Meet at the beach for this easy one mile walk, round trip.
Lake Carlos State Park

Historic CCC Log and Stone Buildings Walk
1:30 – 2 Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge) 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

Old Timer’s Cabin, Open Tour
2 – 3:30 Held at the Old Timer’s Cabin, located along the boardwalk below Douglas Lodge. 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

The Key to Trees
3 – 4 PM Trees not only provide oxygen, they provide habitat for animals and products we use every day, like paper, pencils and lumber. While you might also enjoy the shade they provide, those leaves make trees much easier to identify. Come explore trees through hands-on activities, including an identification course. This is a family friendly program, children must be accompanied by an adult.
Lake Carlos State Park

Orienteering 101
8 – 9 PM Learn how to use a compass and map during this introduction to orienteering program. After we have learned the basics, practice your new navigation skills with an orienteering treasure hunt. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Bugs and Blooms Walk
10:30 11:30 AM Meet outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge) Itasca State Park is noted for its diverse plants and animals. Join us on this walk as we discover which flowers are blooming and what common and uncommon critters are pollinating them. This program counts towards earning the Call of the Wildflowers special edition program card. Ask the naturalist for your card after the hike!
Itasca State Park

6/28

Yoga in the Park $$$
8 – 9 AM $10 fee Fireplace Plaza behind the Visitor Center. Yoga with a view. Spend an hour doing yoga at Tettegouche, overlooking Lake Superior. These sessions are appropriate for all abilities and experience levels. Loaner yoga mats will be available.
Yoga will be held indoors if the weather is poor.
Tettegouche State Park

Bog Flower Photography
9 – 1 Lady’s-slippers and other orchids should be peaking in the bog this week! Professional photographer Janet Nelson will share her skills with close-ups, low-angle shots, lighting, and composition to help you get your best photos. The program will start indoors with an overview of techniques and an infusion of inspiration, then we’ll walk out to the bog to photograph flowers up close and personal. Class from 9 am to 1 pm; ages 12 and up; round-trip walk about 2.5 miles. Call the park at 218-308-2300 to register; limited to 10. No fee for the class; vehicle permit required to enter the park. Use your own digital camera (bring a spare battery or charging cord, and tripod if you have one), or borrow one of our cameras. Bring a snack, water, and an umbrella if rain is likely (yes, we’ll still go). Meet in the Visitor Center.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Fitness and Phenology Walk
9 – 11 AM Join a trail Naturalist for a 2-3 mile guided walk on one of Minnesota’s State Trails. This will be a great opportunity to get some exercise will being out in nature. Route length to be determined. Meet at the trial head on the North end of Stillwater.
Brown’s Creek State Trail – Stillwater trail head

Beginning Canoeing
9:30 – 11:30 AM Meet at the boat access near the beach every other Wednesday in June, July and August to learn canoeing basics from a Naturalist. We will cover safety, parts of the canoe and paddles, and learn strokes before heading out on to the water to practice our skills. Equipment will be provided, so come enjoy a paddle on a quite lake. Please call the park to register for this event or for more information.
Glacial Lakes State Park

Water Falls View 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

Skulls of the Northwoods
2 – 4 PM Find some hands-on experience with the skulls of many animals found in our forests by stopping by the Skulls 101 at the beach picnic area, or if raining, inside the Trail Center. Learn what makes each skull unique and gain knowledge about the animals themselves.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Waterfowl of Northeastern Minnesota
7 – 8 PM Do you know the difference between a duck, merganser, goose, or loon? Come find out as DNR Area Wildlife staff share information on common area waterfowl, management tools and success stories. Meet at Trail Center.
Bear Head Lake State Park Trail Center

Moth Mystery, Campfire
7:30 – 8 PM Meet in Bear Paw Campground (the grassy area near the tiny log pump house and campsite #70 near the bike trail) Have you ever wondered where moths go during the day? Can you tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly? Why are moths important and why are some of us afraid of them? Flutter over to the campfire circle to find out! Remember to bring s’more fixings for after the campfire talk!
Itasca State Park

Wolf Ecology
8 – 9 PM Gray wolves are found throughout the Northland-including Jay Cooke State Park. Discover the physical and social adaptations of wolves, as well as their history in the U.S. and population status today. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

6/30

Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM 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

Friday Fun Day
12 PM to 1 PM Pack up the family and visit Sibley for an hour of an interactive naturalist time! We might play a game or go fishing or geocache! Something new every time! Bring a nature object to share for show and tell.
Sibley State Park

Geocaching 101
1 -2 PM Join us on this modern day treasure hunt as we search for caches with a GPS unit. After learning how to use a GPS unit and what geocaching is all about, you’ll explore the park with us for hidden caches. GPS units are available. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

The Key to Tree I.D.
1 – 3 PM Want to gain more knowledge in the basic identification of the trees throughout northeastern Minnesota? Be prepared for the weather, including the bugs, sun, or rain. Meet outside the Visitor’s Center for a short hike where we?ll learn the tricks to tree I.D.
Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Fishing 101 for Adults and Master Naturalists
2 – 2:30 Join the naturalist and a mature audience for a scientific approach to learning and exploring the natural world. Each week we’ll explore a new topic. This is a great way to keep you Master Naturalist hours up to date. Everyone welcome. We will learn about the different types of fish in Minnesota and discover the basics to fishing. We will meet at the Interpretive Center then go over to the fishing pier. All fishing equipment is provided.
Sibley State Park

Archery in the Park
3 PM to 4:30 PM The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. Humans first used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate and have fun. 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. Please meet at the Upper Picnic Area.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Ghost Town Cemetery Field Trip
6 – 8 PM The town of Beaver was abandoned in 1938 after repeated flooding. This ghost town cemetery holds many stories of pioneers, civil war veterans, Minnesota conservation hero Richard Dorer and others who have lived in the Whitewater Valley. Join us for a cemetery visit and learn some fascinating history about the area. Bring your own transportation as the cemetery is located 5 miles north of the park. We?ll begin at the Visitor Center.
Whitewater State Park

Our Coyote Neighbors
7:30 – 8:30 PM Coyotes are a fact of life in southeast Minnesota with a range that extends as far north as Alaska and as far south as Central America. This program explores myths and facts of these intelligent, adaptable, opportunistic troubadours with which we humans share a long and checkered history. Please join us at the Amphitheater.
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park

Sunset Sit at Felton Prairie SNA
8 – 9 PM Enjoy a peaceful sunset overlooking the majestic tall grass prairie and home to more than three dozen species listed as threatened, endangered or of special concern. Participants will learn about the history of the Felton Prairie Complex, identify rare plants and animals, and watch the sun set. Bring a chair and your favorite friend. This program will begin at the park office at Buffalo River State Park. We will caravan to Felton Prairie SNA which is located 25 miles north the office. This program is weather dependent and requires an attendance of 3 or more. Please RSVP to the park office in advance.
Felton Prairie SNA

Become Fluent in Loon
8 – 9 PM The sound of Minnesota summer is the haunting echo of a loon call across a lake at dusk. But just what is being said? Discover the story of the loon and learn just what is being said. Meet the naturalist at the Cedar Hill Shelter. Bring a chair to be more comfortable than sitting on the benches.
Sibley State Park

7/1

Birding at Bear Head
8 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. Meet at the Park Office.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Bugs and Blooms Stroll
8:30 – 9:30 See what flowers are blooming and what bugs are buzzing on this morning stroll around the Pond View Trail.
Sibley State Park

Great Mullein Pull
9 – 5 Minneopa State Park is looking for help in eliminating Mullein, an invasive plant species. Mullein is native to Europe, North Africa and Asia and can take over native plants, preventing their reestablishment. Mullein grows very tall and can produce 175,000 long-living seeds. Fortunately, mullein is relatively easy to pull out of the ground. We are offering prizes for the person or group who pulls out the most mullein at Minneopa and the also the tallest one. Stop at the office to pick up a garbage bag for the mullein and drop it off when you are done or by 5 o’clock. We will contact you if you are one of the winners.
Minneopa State Park

Jam Making Demo
10 – 11:30 Ever had the urge to use some of those abundant wild berries to make your own jams and jellies? Meet at the Nature Store to learn the basics from Minnesota State Fair blue ribbon winner Chuck Kernler.
Whitewater State Park

Explore Lake Life By Canoe
10 – NOON Meet at Snelling Lake beach area. Minnesota lakes are full of life. Join a naturalist on a canoe trip to see what thrives in Snelling Lake. Adults must accompany children. Life jackets are provided. Space is limited and registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register. Free, but a state park permit is required on each vehicle ($7/day pass or $35 annual pass. Available at park office upon entry to park)
Fort Snelling State Park

Waterfalls View 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

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

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour
Noon You are invited to experience the stunning scenery and incredible story of Interstate State Park. An interpretive naturalist will lead you over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this 45-minute tour. Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the unique glacial potholes and even step inside one. All ages are welcome. Expect some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center at 12 PM for the tour.
Interstate State Park

Archery in the Park
1 – 2:30 The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. First humans used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate and have fun. 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 a target. Please meet at Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour
2 – 3 PM You are invited to experience the stunning scenery and incredible story of Interstate State Park. An interpretive naturalist will lead you over, under and through world-renowned rock features on this 45-minute tour. Discover how lakes of lava and gushing glacial waters formed the unique glacial potholes and even step inside one. All ages are welcome. Expect some uneven terrain and stairs. Meet at the visitor center at 2 PM for the tour.
Interstate State Park

Archery in the Parks
2 – 4 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 MN State Parks vehicle entrance permit. Archery location is visible from Visitor Center.
Big Bog State Recreation Area

Dragonflies
4 – 5 PM Minneopa State Park is in the process of developing a Natural Resource Management Plan. Part of this effort is to collect data on various animal species including dragonflies. Come out to help net and identify different dragonfly species that make their home at Minneopa. This hands-on activity is great family fun and provide valuable information on how this state park is managed in the future. Meet at the park office on the waterfalls side.
Minneopa State Park

Wild Edibles
7 – 8 PM People eat wild edibles for a number of reasons including as a legitimate way of economizing their food costs, as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and in rare situations they can be essential for survival. We will talk about some of the more recognizable plants growing in the area like the common dandelion which can be used in salads or even as a coffee-like beverage. Please meet at the Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Into the Dark Hike
9 – 10 PM Together we will walk the Parker Fremberg Trail at dusk into the night. While we will makes some stops to challenge us to explore the night with our senses, this will be a group hike where you and your friends and family can enjoy the together.
Sibley State Park

Are You In The Dark About The Dark?
9:30 – 10:30 PM Sometimes the dark can seem somewhat scary but come along on this short night hike and you?ll discover a whole new world that you might never have known about before. Meet at the Beach House.
Lake Shetek State Park

 

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