MN Nature Activities: Oct 08-14

MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, welcomes you to take a fall hike along the river bottoms of the great Mississippi, explore the North Country along the Red Pine Trail, and experience the cooling climate of fall. It’s a beautiful time to be in Minnesota. Get out there and enjoy it while it lasts because winter is coming!

 

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

12 PM to 1 PM

Location:

Interstate State Park

Description:

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. The visitor center parking lot fills quickly on sunny fall weekends, you may want to leave yourself a few extra minutes to find parking before the tour.

Directions:

At the intersection of Hwy 95 and 8 at the stoplights in Taylors Falls, MN.

More Information:

Contact Jenni Webster at 651-465-5711 or by email at jenni.webster@state.mn.us.

Mankato River Ramble

100 Amos Owen Lane
Mankato, MN 56001
Call: (507) 720-2039
Southern

The River Ramble offers one great ride with four scenic routes and four fun rest stops that feature great live music, delicious treats, cold beverages, hot coffee and refreshing fruit. In addition to the 12, 26 or 42 miles routes, the ride will feature “The Hilly Half-Century”, a loop through Garden City adding eight miles to the 42-mile route for a 50-mile day. Registration will open in May.

Fall Color Walk

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

2 PM to 3 PM

Location:

Wild River State Park

Description:

Have you ever wondered why leaves change color from green to the variety of yellows, oranges and reds? Uncover the science along this awe-inspiring walk under the canopy of leaves, through the tall grasses of the prairie and along the scenic St. Croix River with the Naturalist. Participants of all ages will enjoy this leisurely walk.

Directions:

From I-35, take State Hwy. 95 east to Co. Rd. 12, then go 3 miles northeast on Co. Rd. 12 to the park.

More Information:

Contact Mike Dunker at 651-583-2125 ext. 227 or by email at michael.dunker@state.mn.us.

 

Fall Color Walk

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

1 PM to 2 PM

Location:

Fort Snelling State Park

Description:

The days are getting shorter and the nights becoming longer. Temperature drops and people are putting on their thicker clothes. It is that time of the year again when leaves are showing their true colors as the green chlorophyll fades away. Join a park naturalist and soccer players from Minnesota United FC to find out which species of plant have the most colorful leaves.
Dress for the weather and meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. Free. No registration required, 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).
Meet at Thomas C Savage Visitor Center (two miles from park entrance. Plan for an additional 10 minute drive through the park).

Directions:

On Post Rd. off State Hwy. 5, just west of MSP International Airport.

More Information:

Call 612-279-3550.

 

Bird Banding Demonstration

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

12:30 PM to 2 PM

Location:

Whitewater State Park

Description:

Join Master Bird Bander, Greg Munson, at the visitor center bird feeders for close-up experiences with birds. Program participants will have the opportunity to handle and release birds after they have been caught in nets, studied, observed and banded with an aluminum tag. In the event of rain, the program will be cancelled.

Directions:

3 miles south of Elba on State Hwy. 74.

More Information:

Call 507-312-2300.

 

Get Ready for Fall: Investigation Station

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Location:

Interstate State Park

Description:

How do wildlife get ready for Minnesota winters? Many fatten up, fly away, or freeze (on purpose)! Discover who does what during this drop-in activity with the park naturalist. You’ll be amazed at some of the strange strategies that animals use. Most visitors spend 10-15 minutes at this station.

Directions:

At the intersection of Hwy 95 and 8 at the stoplights in Taylors Falls, MN.

More Information:

Contact Jenni Webster at 651-465-5711 or by email at jenni.webster@state.mn.us.

 

The Bear Necessities

Date:

10/08/2017

Time:

10:30 AM

Location:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Description:

A talk about the natural history of black bears will be followed by a nature film. Meet at the Interpretive Center. (45 minutes)

Directions:

1 mile off U.S. Hwy. 169 on Co. Rd. 26, about 8 miles north of Onamia.

More Information:

Call 320-532-3269.

 

Bird Watching Treks at Bass Ponds Trailhead in Bloomington, MN

Bass Ponds, Trailhead
8-10:30 a.m.

Join us for a bird walk starting at the Bass Ponds Trailhead in Bloomington, MN to learn about the birds that visit the Refuge during the fall migration. During the fall migration period the refuge offers the opportunity to observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows, all stopping at the Refuge to rest and feed before they continue their Southerly migration. Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.

The Bass Ponds Trailhead is located at 2501 86th St. East, 55425. Just south of the Mall of America; follow 24th Street/Old Shakopee Rd south past the Mall, turn east on 86th Street, and turn left at the Bass Ponds sign at the stoplight.

Led by Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

Making sense of Minnesota’s Climate Trends

Date:

10/09/2017

Time:

7 PM to 8:30 PM

Location:

Fort Ridgely State Park

Description:

We often hear stories about devastating hurricanes in the southern US, or record-breaking heat waves in Europe and California, but Minnesotans are often left confused about what is happening right here. Indeed, our climate has shifted dramatically in the last several decades, but not necessarily in the way many people imagine. Join DNR climatologist Kenny Blumenfeld for an overview of Minnesota?s most important ongoing climate trends, along with a look at what is not yet changing, and what the best available science tells us to expect in the years and decades ahead.

Directions:

Off State Hwy. 4, 6 miles south of Fairfax or 12 miles north of Sleepy Eye.

More Information:

Contact Joanne Svendsen at 507-426-7840 or by email at joanne.svendsen@state.mn.us.

 

Circle Time Under the Pines: L is for Leaves

Date:

10/10/2017

Time:

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Location:

Itasca State Park

Description:

Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom (look for the big building under the big pine trees.)

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 outdoor clothes… 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.

Directions:

South entrance is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Hwy. 71.

More Information:

Contact Itasca State Park at 218-699-7251 or by email at itasca.statepark@state.mn.us.

 

Geocaching 101 – Call of the Wildflowers!

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

10:30 AM to 12 PM

Location:

William O’Brien State Park

Description:

With expert geocacher, Andy McCracken, discover the fascinating challenge of geocaching and how you can use it to explore Minnesota State Parks’ hidden treasures. You will learn how to use a GPS unit, and then head out in the park to find some specially placed caches. A limited number of GPS units will be available for this modern-day treasure hunt. So please call the park office at 651-433-0500 to sign up. After the class, you will earn a special 2017 Wildflower Card! Attend a class to earn yours! Meet at the Visitor Center!

Directions:

12 miles north of Stillwater on State Hwy. 95.

More Information:

Call 651-433-0500.

 

Fall Colors Hike: Exploring the North Country along the Red Pine Trail

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

12:30 PM to 3 PM

Location:

Itasca State Park

Description:

Discover the forest as autumn peaks in the Itasca area! Explore the rolling landscape along the Red Pine Trail. This hike can be challenging but is well worth the effort as we hike through old pine and maples stands and pass the shores of Myrtle Lake. Stand amongst majestic red and white pine. Experience the rolling glacial hill landscape that is part of the Mississippi watershed basin. Portions of this 2 mile route will be a strenuous.
Notes: Dress for being outdoors, including sturdy boots that can get wet/muddy, water, energy snack, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent- including tick gaiters and hiking/trekking poles.

*Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center in Itasca State Park at 12:30 p.m. as we carpool to the trailhead. The route will follow the Red Pine, Crossover and Ozawindib Trails.

This event is sponsored by both Itasca State Park and the Itasca Moraine and Laurentian Lakes Chapters of the National North Country Trail.

Learn more about the North Country Trail in Itasca State Park at the Itasca Moraine Chapter site: http://northcountrytrail.org/itm/ and the Laurentian Lakes Chapter site: http://northcountrytrail.org/llc/

Directions:

Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at 12:30 p.m. to car pool to the trailhead. South entrance is 23 miles north of Park Rapids on U.S. Hwy. 71.

More Information:

Call 218-699-7251.

 

Caving Field Trip

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

10 AM to 12 PM

Location:

Whitewater State Park

Description:

Want to explore a small wild cave? This is your chance! After an introductory slide show, we?ll walk, crawl, and slither into its passageways. There is no limit to the number
of people that can attend the slide show; however, group size is limited for the caving portion of the activity. Space is
limited and reservations are required. For reservations, email sara.holger@state.mn.us or call (507) 932-3007 ext. 226. Cavers need to bring transportation, flashlight and wear long pants, shirt and shoes they don?t mind getting dirty.

Directions:

3 miles south of Elba on State Hwy. 74.

More Information:

Call 507-312-2300.

 

Gichi Onigamiing Grand Portage: More Than a Trail

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

1 PM to 2 PM

Location:

Grand Portage State Park

Description:

What is it like to live in Grand Portage? Who are the Grand Portage Anishinaabe people? How is life different from, and similar to where you live? Answer these questions and more as we explore the Grand Portage Reservation through a tour of Grand Portage State Park Welcome Center and High Falls Trail along the Pigeon River. High Falls Trail and Welcome Center are accessible.

Directions:

5 miles north of Grand Portage on Hwy. 61.

More Information:

Contact Anna Deschampe at 218-475-2360 or by email at anna.deschampe@state.mn.us.

 

Trail Walk: Autumn in the Forest

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Location:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Description:

On this ?-mile accessible trail walk we will discuss autumn changes happening in the hardwood forest, pine stands, swamps and bogs of Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. Meet at the Interpretive Center.

Directions:

1 mile off U.S. Hwy. 169 on Co. Rd. 26, about 8 miles north of Onamia.

More Information:

Call 320-532-3269.

 

The Boys who Built Gooseberry

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

11 AM to 12 PM

Location:

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Description:

Step back in time to discover the lives of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) boys who lived and built Gooseberry Falls State Park. Explore the park’s creation through their eyes and hard work. Hear how building the park changed their lives forever. Discover where they lived, what they built and what remains as the landscape reveals the park’s hidden past. Trail includes stairs, uneven surfaces and great views. Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column for this hike.

Directions:

13 miles northeast of Two Harbors on Hwy. 61.

More Information:

Contact Park Naturalist at 218-595-7108 or by email at carolyn.rock@state.mn.us.

Bird Watching Treks at Rapids Lake in Carver, MN

Saturday, October 14
Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center
8-10:30 a.m.

Join us for a bird walk in the Rapids Lake Unit near Carver, MN to learn about the birds that visit the Refuge during the fall migration. During the fall migration period the refuge offers the opportunity to observe a mix of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows, all stopping at the Refuge to rest and feed before they continue their Southerly migration.  Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. Bring along your binoculars, favorite field guide and dress appropriately for the weather.

The Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center is at 15865 Rapids Lake Rd. (formerly Carver Highlands Dr.) Carver, MN 55315. Driving directions can be found here: www.fws.gov/refuge/Minnesota_Valley/visit/plan_your_visit.html.

Led by Craig Mandel, Volunteer Refuge Naturalist

 

The Science of Leaves Discovery Cart

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

1:30 PM to 3 PM

Location:

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Description:

“Why do leaves change color? Why is that tree red when that one is yellow?” Stop by to discover the reason for the color. Drop by along the paved trail to the Middle Falls.

Directions:

13 miles northeast of Two Harbors on Hwy. 61.

More Information:

Contact Park Naturalist at 218-595-7100 or by email at carolyn.rock@state.mn.us.

 

Otter Trotter 5K Run Walk

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

8:30 AM to 12 PM

Location:

Wild River State Park

Description:

8:30-9:45 a.m. Registration at the Picnic Shelter
10 a.m.-Finish Race begins ? starting line at the Picnic Shelter
Join us for a morning of fall color and family fun at our fifth annual 5K run/walk. Awards will be given to the top finishers. Course will take you on both paved and unpaved surfaces. All proceeds go to the Friends of Wild River to help support park programs and improvements. Registration is available day of the race.

Directions:

From I-35, take State Hwy. 95 east to Co. Rd. 12, then go 3 miles northeast on Co. Rd. 12 to the park.

More Information:

Contact Mike Dunker at 651-583-2125 ext. 227 or by email at michael.dunker@state.mn.us.

 

Introduction to Tracking Workshop

Date:

10/14/2017 to 10/15/2017

Time:

9 AM to 2 PM

Location:

Fort Snelling State Park

Description:

Whose tracks are these and why? Join experts from the Minnesota Wildlife Tracking Project for a two-day workshop at Fort Snelling State Park. This workshop is designed to introduce beginners to the art of animal tracking. Saturday will be spent learning fundamentals and Sunday will be practicing these skills. Dress for the weather and meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. Free. Registration required. To register call 612-725-2724 or email krista.jensen@state.mn.us
A state park permit is required on each vehicle ($7/day pass or $35 annual pass. Available at park office upon entry to park).
Meet at Thomas C Savage Visitor Center (two miles from park entrance. Plan for an additional 10 minute drive through the park).

Directions:

On Post Rd. off State Hwy. 5, just west of MSP International Airport.

More Information:

Contact Krista Jensen at 612-279-3550 or by email at krista.jensen@state.mn.us.

 

Lex-Ham Community Band Concert

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

2 PM to 3 PM

Location:

William O’Brien State Park

Description:

Join the Lex-Ham Community Band, a 45 piece volunteer musical ensemble composed of residents and students who live in the Lexington-Hamline and surrounding neighborhoods of St. Paul. The band plays Sousa marches, show tunes, classical concert band pieces, and swing, jazz, and Dixieland arrangements. So bring your lawn chair, blanket and your picnic to the large Picnic Shelter in the Picnic Grounds area. It will be an afternoon of music that you will not forget!

Directions:

12 miles north of Stillwater on State Hwy. 95.

More Information:

Call 651-433-0500.

 

Big Woods Run and Prairie Walk

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

9 AM to 12 PM

Location:

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Description:

Sponsored by St Johns United Church of Christ, this annual event features 5k, 10k, and half marathon courses, as well as the Priarie Walk guided by Master Naturalists. Go to http://www.finalstretch.com/bigwoodsrun to register. All proceeds go to charities.

Directions:

From I-35 take State Hwy. 19 east into Northfield. Go south on State Hwy. 3, east on State Hwy. 246, then turn right onto Co. Rd. 29 and follow signs.

More Information:

Contact Elaine Feikema at 507-333-4840.

 

We Are Water MN Exhibit Tours

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

10 AM to 3 PM

Location:

Whitewater State Park

Description:

“Water/Ways” is part of the Smithsonian’s Think Water Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life through exhibitions, educational resources and public programs. The local piece of this national exhibit, titled “We Are Water MN” will be on display at Whitewater State Park throughout the fall and winter. Docents will be available each Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm to guide visitors through the inter-active exhibits.

Directions:

3 miles south of Elba on State Hwy. 74.

More Information:

Call 507-312-2300.

 

Guided Glacial Pothole Tour

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

12 PM to 1 PM

Location:

Interstate State Park

Description:

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.

Directions:

At the intersection of Hwy 8 and 95 at the stoplights in Taylors Falls, MN.

More Information:

Contact Jenni Webster at 651-465-5711 or by email at jenni.webster@state.mn.us.

 

Fall Colors Scavenger Hunt

Date:

10/14/2017

Time:

10 AM to 3 PM

Location:

Interstate State Park

Description:

Explore the park for signs of fall and discover why leaves change color during this fun for all ages scavenger hunt. Pick up your copy at the park visitor center between 10 and 3.

Directions:

At the intersection of Hwy 95 and 8 at the stoplights in Taylors Falls, MN.

More Information:

Contact Jenni Webster at 651-465-5711 or by email at jenni.webster@state.mn.us.

Photo credit: http://theberry.com/2015/10/23/6-habits-practiced-by-successful-people-before-bed/

 

Coming up…

Fall Color Bike Ride- Glendalough Trail

Date:

10/15/2017

Time:

1 PM to 3 PM

Location:

Glendalough State Park

Description:

Come experience a casual ride on the Glendalough Trail. The crisp fall air and the beautiful colors of the season will add to the already wonderful experience of the day. The naturalist will be leading the ride and discussing some of the unique history of Glendalough, as well as discussing some of the natural wonders of the fall with you. So, come enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery with the naturalist via bicycle.
*Call the park for more information.

Please bring a helmet to wear, water bottle, and dress for the weather. Cameras or other items are welcome as well for your own use along the way.

Bikes are available for rent at the park if needed.

A MN state park vehicle permit is required to attend this event. Permits can be purchased at the park office for $5/day or $25/annual.

Directions:

From the town of Battle Lake, go 1.5 miles north on State Hwy. 78, then 1.8 miles east on Ottertail Co. Hwy. 16.

More Information:

Call 218-864-0110.