Nature Activities: Aug 15–21

This week’s fun, free outdoor activities in Minnesota include pollinator and flower hikes as well as a monarch festival. August is the time when butterflies and pollinators are busy fluttering about and enjoying the warm weather. We get to enjoy their colorful presence and celebrate all they do for us—like making our vegetables and food crops produce!

08/15/2016
Little Explorers: S is for Senses
10 AM to 11 AM Through stories, activities and a craft our smallest visitors discover a new letter of nature’s alphabet each week. This special program is designed to capture the interest of children ages 3-6 and their adults. This week, compare your senses to local wildlife’s. Join the fun at the visitor center each Monday at 10 AM from June 13 to Aug. 29 (with the exception of July 4).
Interstate State Park

Summer Flower Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Take a gentle walk in search of summer flowers. Learn identification tips, flower lore and legends with the naturalist. Bring a water bottle and dress for the weather.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (meet at the visitor center art column)

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 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

08/16/2016
Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls. Don’t forget your camera.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Mighty Monarch Butterflies
1 PM to 2:30 PM Of the 161 butterflies in 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.
Lake Carlos State Park

Turtle Tuesday
1 PM to 2 PM Turtles love prairie potholes and we love turtles. Join the naturalist for a turtle story or activity then watch a snapping or painted turtle swim, exercise and hunt in an outdoor pool.
Sibley State Park (Meet in the Interpretive Center Pond Room)

Minnesota’s Treasures: Itasca’s Wilderness Sanctuary Scientific and Natural Area Specialty Tour
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM Explore natural treasures in Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) on several specialized tours throughout the summer. Join an Itasca State Park Naturalist this week as we discover dragonflies while we explore the wonderful old growth pine of the

Wilderness Sanctuary SNA. Discover the interesting dragonflies that are attracted to this unique site. Registration is required as group size is limited to 15 people. Call 218-699-7259 or 218-699-7252 for more information or to register.
Itasca State Park: Meet at Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center Parking Lot

Busy Bees! Discovery Cart
1:30 PM to 3 PM Its summer and the flowers are blooming across Minnesota. Come by and learn about the different kinds of insects that have the important job of pollination as they search for food provided by the flowers.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

08/17/2016
Lake Superior Yoga
8 AM to 9 AM Let your partner get the kids fed at your campsite and come on down to Lake Superior for a relaxing yoga session. Yoga sessions will meet on the plaza behind the Visitor Center or in the Tettegouche Meeting Room if the weather is not nice. Bring a yoga pad or sleeping mat if you have one, otherwise loaners are available.
Tettegouche State Park

Beginning Canoeing
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM Meet at the fishing dock at Molly Stark Lake 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.
Glendalough State Park

Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls. Don’t forget your camera. Hike includes descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk. 
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Itasca’s Mysteries in History: “Who Stole My Cheese?!” The Mississippi River Survey Marker
11 AM to 12 PM Join the naturalist as we walk to the nearest benchmark to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River and learn more about the work and hardships experienced by the crew-including a robbery! Begun in 1879 and completed in 1904, the entire Mississippi River was surveyed from Head of Passes near its outlet in the Gulf of Mexico to its source at Lake Itasca, some 2,500 mile apart. Conducted by the Mississippi River Commission, permanent benchmarks were placed along the river’s course.
Itasca State Park (Meet by the globe at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center)

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

Wednesday Trail Walk
1 PM to 2:30 PM Get outside and discover whatever natural happenings we can see along the trail. Add to your miles for the 125 mile challenge! Odd days on Gateway State Trail, Even days on Brown’s Creek State Trail with some exceptions.
Gateway State Trail

Nature Explorations:Bugs Bugs Bugs!
1 PM to 3 PM Are you sure that is a bug you just saw? We will explore what it means to be an insect through a variety of hands-on activities, including sweep netting and capturing. We will also play a few games and do a craft. Meet at the Picnic Shelter near Molly Stark for this program designed for children aged 5-15, but all are welcome. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Glendalough State Park

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) History Hike
2 PM to 3 PM The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) allowed for many of the MN State Parks to come into existence. Gooseberry was one of those parks that was birthed with the influence of the CCC. Come explore the remains of the rich past that tell the story of these incredible young men.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Weather Watchers
2 PM to 3 PM Wind, Water, Heat, and snow! What is the recipe for a thunderstorm or a blizzard? Join a naturalist for a closer look at the weather around us. 
Sibley State Park (Meet inside the interpretive center theater)

Loons of Minnesota
7 PM to 8 PM Come learn about Common loons, loon migration research and their fascinating lives on Lake Vermilion, Burntside Lake and the Gulf of Mexico with our local Tower Area DNR Wildlife Manager.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Nature in All Seasons
7 PM to 8 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.

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Secrets of Skulls Discovery Cart
1:30 PM to 3 PM An animal’s skull tells the story of how that animal was able to make its home at Gooseberry Falls and its favorite foods. Come learn the story of some of our favorite wildlife species that are common along Lake Superior. 

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

08/18/2016
Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Discover the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls. Don’t forget your camera. Hike includes descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Wildlife Ambassador Meet & Greet
11 AM to 11:30 AM Watch us feed the turtles, fish and frogs.
St. Croix State Park (St. Croix Lodge Interpretive Center)

Happy 125th Birthday MN State Parks and Trails
1 PM to 3 PM 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

Thursday Evening Trail Walks
6 PM to 7:30 PM
Brown’s Creek State Trail

Exploring the Mississippi River: Living History of the 18th Century Fur Trade
5 PM Join the White Oak Historical Society for a living history of the late 18th century fur trade and the ties to the history of Schoolcraft State Park. Interpreters will re-enact in historically-correct attire with tools from the era and take visitor questions.
Schoolcraft State Park

Viewing the Night Sky with Pat Thibault
9 PM Patrick Thibault has been an amateur astronomer for the last 30 years. He was the co-founder of the Willmar Area Astronomy Club; he was an astronomy columnist for the “West Central Tribune” from 1997 to 2002. And he was a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. He has been published in “Sky and Telescope,” “Night Sky” and “Mercury” magazines. His article “A Month of Moon Watching” is featured on Sky and Telescope’s website. And through Observation Studio – Photos by Tee Bo, (Karen Carlson-Thibault, photographer). Patrick teaches “Stargazing for Beginners.” He enjoys showing the public the beauty of the night sky through binoculars and small telescopes.
Sibley State Park

St. Croix State Park Management Plan Citizen Advisory Committee —Volunteer Opportunity
6:30 PM to 8 PM Meeting date, time, location: August 18th, 6:30-8:00 pm, St. Croix State Park visitor/interpretive center. Webpage link: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/parks/st_croix.html
St. Croix State Park

Prairie Preschool: Air Series
10:30 AM to 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. Air theme topics include flying kites and looking for monarchs. Program starts at the Nature Center. 
Buffalo River State Park

Flying Shadows: Stories of the Raven
7 PM to 8 PM Considered one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, the raven is sometimes viewed as a bad omen.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

08/19/2016
Kids Fishing Fridays
8:30 AM to 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

Fishing Frenzy Fridays
9 AM to 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
Full Moon Hike
9:30 AM to 10:30 AM UFO or no? There are many things floating and flying within our earthly sky that have caused people to question just what it is that they are seeing. Bring your UFO story to share and at the end of the night compare your UFO to the identified objects we will go over.
Sibley State Park (Meet at the interpretive center)

Majestic Monarchs
10 AM to 11 AM Orange, black and white, they can bring smiles to the faces of almost anyone who catches a glimpse of a Monarch butterfly. These insects are incredible and you can discover why during this program in the visitor center.
Afton State Park

New London Hatchery Tour Re-occuring Program
10 AM to 12 PM Join a fisheries professional on a behind the scenes tour of the New London Hatchery. Tours can last from 1-2 hours depending on seasonal processes at the hatchery. Meet at the Interpretive Center to caravan over.
Sibley State Park

Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls. Don’t forget your camera. Hike includes descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column)

The Mary Gibbs Story
11 AM to 11:30 AM In 1903 Mary Gibbs took a stance for the park at a logging dam along the Mississippi River. Courageously she placed her hands on the lever in defense of the park’s forests, rivers and lakes, while being threatened by a gun-toting site foreman. Walk with the naturalists to the approximate location of the logging dam as we learn more about Mary Gibbs, defender of Itasca.
Itasca State Park (Meet by the globe at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center)

Minneopa State Park
11 AM to 12 PM The Naturalist will be at the Falls Area for an hour to answer questions about some of the natural and historical characteristics at Minneopa State Park. Visitors will have a chance to learn about what is living in the Minnesota River and Minneopa Creek including mussels, fish, and macroinvertebrates. Are you looking for information on the height of the waterfalls or who built the granite rock buildings in the park? All of these answers and more help understand why Minneopa is such a unique area.

Rocky Ponds Exploration
12 PM to 2 PM Explore the aquatic creatures of the rocky ponds on the shore of Lake Superior. There will be nets and buckets so we can take a closer look at the tadpoles and Blue-spotted Salamander larvae.
Temperance River State Park (Meet the park Naturalist at the Visitor Center and take a short hike down to the ponds)

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 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

I Can Fish!
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.
1 PM to 3 PM, Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)
3 PM to 5 PM, Mille Lacs Kathio State Park (Meet at the interpretive Center)

Geology Discovery Tent
1 PM to 4 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.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Nature Roaming
Parks for Monarchs: Monarch Butterfly Tagging —Volunteer Activity
1 PM to 2 PM Monarchs are the one butterfly that everyone knows and can identify with just one glance. This amazing creature over a number of generations will migrate from Minnesota all the way down to Mexico. Some scientists call it “one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world.” Monarch butterflies have been hit hard over the last decade and there is an effort to provide more habitat and a better chance for survival. learn about these efforts and get a chance to tag and release a Monarch biologists can use to track their migration. Meet at the turning circle near the office on the waterfalls side of Minneopa State Park.
Minneopa State Park

Geocaching 101
2 PM to 3 PM Discover why this high tech treasure hunt is so popular and learn the basics of finding a cache using a GPS. We will also discuss how to create your own GPS course right in your backyard. Call ahead or sign up at the park office as GPS units are limited. Children should be accompanied by an adult or responsible sibling. Begins at the nature center.
Buffalo River State Park

Archery in the Parks
2 PM to 3 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. No registration necessary. Meet outside the St. Croix Lodge.
St. Croix State Park

Have You Seen Our Mussels? Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM What makes mussels so magnificent? Who is hiding in that shell and what do they do all day? Stop by to get a peek at the shells of these siphoning creatures and learn why some are a protected species unique to the St. Croix River. Find us near the visitor center for this ongoing activity station.
Interstate State Park

Full Moon Paddle
5 PM to 10 PM Join the park naturalist Friday night for an evening paddle on the river. Hit the scenic St. Croix River under the light of the full moon while hearing the tales of the seasons along the way. Seven canoes are available for free for first registrants, but you’re welcome to bring your own. The paddle is limited to 10 canoes/kayaks. To sign up or be put on waiting list, contact Mike Dunker (651) 583-212.
Wild River State Park

Gitchi Gummi Sunsets
6:30 PM to 8 PM Take a gander 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

P.O.W.s of Whitewater
7 PM to 8 PM Did you know that Whitewater State Park was once home to German prisoners of war? Come learn about one of lesser known parts of Minnesota’s History. What did they do here? Where did they go? What was life like being a prisoner? Did they cause mischief? Come find out!
Whitewater State Park

Sweet Dreams
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Dreams have always been a large part of Native American Culture, often influencing their decisions and personality traits. Join us to learn the legend and meaning behind the Native American Dreamcatcher. After a short introduction, you will get to make one to take home with you so you too can have sweet dreams. Meet at the Picnic Grounds Amphitheater.
Lake Shetek State Park

White Pine Theater: “The Calico Tiger”
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Bemidji Community Theater and Lake Bemidji State Park look forward to presenting “The Calico Tiger,” by Christian B. Garrison. This children’s drama will be performed outside at the park’s amphitheater under the pines. “As the tiger enters the forest, the other animals are frightened and they hide, leaving the tiger lonely and without friends. After all, he can’t change his fierce appearance. Then the other animals devise a plan – and it works, until….” The play is about an hour long and appropriate for all ages. No tickets are needed but vehicle permits are required to enter the park.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Stories in the Stars: Ojibwe Constellations
8:30 PM to 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.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Owl Prowl
9 PM to 10 PM
In Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, some of the most common night sounds are made by owls. At this activity, listen to owl calls and learn how to make them yourself. After a short talk we’ll take a moonlight hike to try to call in the owls. To increase our chances of success, please do not bring pets to this program. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

08/20/2016

Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah
9 AM–4:30 PM Bender Park, 200 North Third St., Henderson, MN

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Natural Resource Renewal —volunteer project
Help install one of the rain gardens at Lexington Park. Please RSVP.
Lexington Park, City of Roseville

Science Saturday: Trees of Northeastern Minnesota
8 AM to 10 AM Join Ely Field Naturalist, Bill Tefft, as we become familiar with the trees of Northeastern Minnesota and zero in on the characteristics that help in identification. After reviewing the specific changes in trees through the seasons, we will take a hike to look at the tree types in the area and the specific changes occurring in August. Dress appropriately for the weather and insects, as we will be spending time outside. Participants should meet in the Soudan Mine visitor center.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

I Can Climb
9 AM to 5 PM Send the family up a cliff with a real rock climbing experience designed for first-time climbers. Experience the thrill of climbing Prairie Walls, one of the larger rock faces on the cliffs that terminate the East side of the mound at Blue Mounds State Park Hands-on instruction by trained professionals from Vertical Endeavors Guided Adventures.
No experience necessary.
Use of helmet, harness and shoes.
A supportive environment. Great for kids!
Depending on group sizes, participants will have the opportunity to ascend one or two routes.

Pre-registration is required, along with a $10 reservation fee. Click on the I Can Climb! link to sign up http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/ican/climb.html
Blue Mounds State Park

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse – To Build a Fire
9 AM to 3 PM Fire is one technology that separates humans from the other animals (including zombies—they hate fire). Needing a fire and actually being able to make one are very different things. It is the 21st Century so lighters and matches and all sorts of fire-making tools are readily available—as long as you remember to bring one of them—or they don’t fail in some way. In this survival program we will explore many of the techniques to make a fire when you don’t have any modern way to start one. With a little practice a bow drill can easily be made and utilized in the woods with nothing more than a sharp knife. We’ll try our hands at other technologies such as flint and steel, fire pistons, and using charged batteries to start fires. Bring a lunch (something to grill on a fire?) and a water bottle and dress for the weather. This program will not be cancelled due to weather conditions, so dress appropriately. Odds are there will be bugs… You’ll also need a sharp knife and a pruning/camping saw. Pre-registration required, email kurt.mead@state.mn.us to register.
Tettegouche State Park

Monarch Festival
10 AM to 2 PM Monarch Butterflies are quickly disappearing due to habitat loss and the introduction of herbicides. Join us as we celebrate the Monarch butterfly. Tom’s Monarch World from Duluth will have his Monarch display set up in the visitor center. Visitors have a chance to see the Monarch in all of its stages of development. You may even see the butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. If any butterflies emerge, we will tag them as part of the Monarch Watch program. It is a fun, free event for the whole family. This program is part of the MN 125 series of programs.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Monarch Tagging and Release —Volunteer Activity
10 AM to 11:30 AM  Grab a net and explore the fascinating lives of monarch butterflies. In coalition with the Monarch Watch program (www.monarchwatch.org) we’ll be tagging Wild River State Park monarchs to that they can be tracked during their migration to Mexico. Limited nets available on a first-come basis, but feel free to bring your own. Registration not required. Part of the Monarch Day at Wild River State Park.
Wild River State Park

Archery in the Parks
Ever wanted to try archery but just haven’t had the time or access to equipment? Join us for an introductory program to learn the basic skills and safety information that will help you become comfortable using a bow and possibly help you develop a lifetime interest in one of the safest sports around. All equipment will be provided. This program is designed for people age 8 and above. Children under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult. This program will be held on the picnic grounds at the Mystery Cave visitor center.
10 AM to 2 PM Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park
10 AM to 12 PM Afton State Park
10 AM to 12 PM Fort Snelling State Park
1 PM to 4 PM Hayes Lake State Park
1 PM to 3 PM Fort Snelling State Park
1 PM to 3 PM Zippel Bay State Park
2 PM to 3:30 PM Sibley State Park

Roadkill Cafe: Turkey Vultures
10 AM to 11 AM What soars the skies over the Whitewater River Valley in search of smelly dead animals, vomits on predators when threatened and urinates on itself to cool off? It’s everyone’s favorite bird of course; the Turkey Vulture. Join a naturalist at the Nature Store amphitheater to learn about these amazing birds. We’ll take a short hike to watch live vultures feeding on road-kill we’ve placed for viewing.
Whitewater State Park

Canoe the Tamarac River
10 AM to 12 PM  Canoeing is the perfect way to slow down and enjoy our beautiful north woods scenery. Basic instruction will be given along with a history of the Tamarac River and its importance to the area. Bring your own canoe/kayak or call the park office at 218-647-8592 to reserve a canoe/kayak. Life jackets and paddles provided. All children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. Trying for the 125 Miles by Bike, Boot or Boat Challenge? This event can help you add 2-4 miles!
Big Bog State Park

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

10 AM to 11 AM  Birding for Kids (and Adults) What was that masked bird?! Join a naturalist and learn how to ID a bird in flight, then create your own simple binoculars for a short birding adventure. Kids must have an adult. Also, learn how you can become a Jr. Park Naturalist and earn a free patch!
William O’Brien State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center)

Tag and Survey Monarchs: Western Prairie SNA —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM to 1:30 PM Don’t miss this fun filled afternoon devoted entirely to the migrating Monarch! Program will begin at Buffalo River State Park and travel off site to Western Prairie SNA where we will survey the site for monarch larvae and or adults. After our prairie visit we will head to the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and participate in their monarch tagging event.
Buffalo River State Park

I Can Fish!
10 AM to 12 PM Join us as we learn all about fishing – identifying species, casting, and more. Then use your new skills to fish from a fishing pier on Mille Lacs lake. We provide the poles, bait and instructor. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the public boat access parking lot.
Father Hennepin State Park

I Can Fish – Trout Fishing
10:30 AM to 12 PM 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

Mount Tom Q & A Hike
10:30 AM to 12:30 PM The naturalist will hand the hike over to you the visitor. As we hike the trail to Mount Tom we will stop and look at and talk about what questions you have. This hike will begin at the Interpretive Center and travel the hilly, gravel trail to Mount Tom. The Hike will end at Mount Tom so bring a picnic to enjoy there and hike back at your leisure. 

Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center)

Falls View Hike
11 AM to 12 PM  Come witness the rich history of Gooseberry Falls State Park as we hike around the falls. Don’t forget your camera. Hike includes descending stairs on this 3/4 mile walk. 

Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column) Drawing Maplewood Insects Workshop

11 AM to 12:30 PM  Come enjoy the beauty of Maplewood and learn drawing techniques from a local art professor. No prior experience is necessary. Paper, colored pencils, and chalk pastels are provided. All ages are welcome and children should be accompanied with an adult. Supplies are provided/No charge.
Maplewood State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 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

Intro to Dutch Oven Cooking
1 PM to 2:30 PM Join MN Master Naturalist volunteers, Curtis and Susan Buck, at the picnic shelter at Carley State Park to learn some tasty campfire recipes you can make with a Dutch oven. There will be food to sample.
Carley State Park

Intro to Geo-caching
1 PM to 2:30 PM Want to have some fun discovering how to use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit? In addition, you’ll find out about the great sport of geocaching. (It’s like a treasure hunt using a GPS unit!) If you have a GPS unit, bring it. If not, you can use one of the park’s! We will go as a group to find the park’s new Call of the Wildflowers geocache.
Whitewater State Park

Pollinator Discovery Tent
1 PM to 4 PM Discover the important role pollinators play in our lives. Learn who pollinates what and create a pollinator to take home. Stop by any time on the trails to the falls. Look for the Tent!
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Guided Paddle on the St. Croix River
2 PM to 5 PM  Join the naturalist for a guided 5-mile trip down the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Rent a canoe or kayak from Pardun’s Canoe Rental office, located in the nature store building, 320-384-0508. Meet outside the store before 2 p.m. Bring sunscreen, water and a snack and dress for swimming.
St. Croix State Park

Remarkable River Mammals!
2 PM to 3 PM What animal has built-in ear plugs? How long can an otter hold its breath? Join a naturalist to learn the answers and discover some of the amazing animals that live right here in the St. Croix River and how they’ve adapted to life on the water! We will meet at the Riverside Amphitheater in the picnic grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

Stuck Between a Rock and a Streambed
2 PM to 3:30 PM 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

Make Your Own Walking Stick
3 PM to 4:30 PM Join us for a real hands-on activity making your own walking stick. We will transform buckthorn, an invasive species, into a practical tool you can take home with you. We’ll also learn how you can stop the spread of other invasive hitch-hikers when you’re hiking, fishing, and recreating at Whitewater State Park!
Whitewater State Park

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Basement Brass
7 PM to 8 PM Get ready to tap your feet with this fun-filled musical group, Basement Brass. This Twin Cities based brass quintet will perform many well-known tunes from music styles including Ragtime, Dixie, Big Band, Americana, Polkas, Marches and everything in between.
Itasca State Park: Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center

Creatures of the Night: Night Hike
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Join us for a stroll under the moonlight as we search for the creatures of the night. We?ll use our senses to search for the animals that are hard to peak. The woods and the moon will be our guide and hopefully you?ll leave with a little knowledge inside.
Whitewater State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center)

Live Timber Rattlesnake!
6 PM to 7 PM There are timber rattlesnakes in the bluff lands of southeast Minnesota. Learn all about this species.
Frontenac State Park Picnic Shelter

Remarkable Reptiles
7 PM to 8 PM  Jim Gerholdt will use live turtles, lizards and snakes to illustrate this family-oriented program about reptiles of Minnesota and beyond. Meet at the council Ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Lakeview Picnic Shelter.
Father Hennepin State Park

Rad Bats
7 PM to 8 PM Who swoops and glides through the night to catch a tasty treat? Join a naturalist to dive into the world of Minnesota’s bats,
Sibley State Park (Meet at the interpretive center)

Voyageurs of the Fur Trade
7 PM to 8 PM Meet in the grassy area in front of the fishing pier on Lake Shumway for this fun program for the entire family.
Savanna Portage State Park

Snake Discovery with Special Guests
7 PM to 8 PM Join Snake Discovery and presenter Emily Roberts on an adventure through the world of scaly creatures. You will be amazed by the special guests she brings along during this engaging program for all ages. Find us at the stone shelter in the park’s main picnic grounds.
Interstate State Park

White Pine Theater: “The Calico Tiger”
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Bemidji Community Theater and Lake Bemidji State Park look forward to presenting “The Calico Tiger,” by Christian B. Garrison. This children’s drama will be performed outside at the park’s amphitheater under the pines. “As the tiger enters the forest, the other animals are frightened and they hide, leaving the tiger lonely and without friends. After all, he can’t change his fierce appearance. Then the other animals devise a plan – and it works, until….” The play is about an hour long and appropriate for all ages. No tickets are needed but vehicle permits are required to enter the park.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Cats of the Northwoods
8 PM to 9 PM Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty. Come see for yourself how you size up to some of the wild cats that call the Northshore home. Join a Naturalist to discover some interesting information on the secretive world of the park’s felines.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

A Visitor From the Past
8 PM to 9 PM Learn about the early settlers of Lake Shetek who had a dream for a settlement and a new life. Meet Mrs. Lavina Eastlick, one of the settlers from the past, as she shares her story of how those dreams came to an end when the United States and the Dakota people went to war, a war that tragically brought an end to fourteen lives at Lake Shetek. Meet at the Picnic Grounds Amphitheater.
Lake Shetek State Park

 

08/21/2016

Coffee Talk and Walk
9 AM to 11 AM Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the St. Croix River Valley with some fresh coffee, good conversation, and a healthy morning walk next to the St. Croix River. Park rangers from the National Park Service will lead these walks (with coffee provided!). Walks may be canceled in the event of threatening or inclement weather. For more information call 651-231-6968 or email Linda.Radimecky@state.mn.us
Afton State Park

I Can Climb!
9 AM to 5 PM  Send the family up a cliff with a real rock climbing experience designed for first-time climbers. Experience the thrill of climbing Prairie Walls, one of the larger rock faces on the cliffs that terminate the East side of the mound at Blue Mounds State Park Hands-on instruction by trained professionals from Vertical Endeavors Guided Adventures.
No experience necessary. Use of helmet, harness and shoes. A supportive environment. Great for kids! Depending on group sizes, participants will have the opportunity to ascend one or two routes. Pre-registration is required, along with a $10 reservation fee. Click on the I Can Climb! link to sign up http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/ican/climb.html
Blue Mounds State Park

Geology Rocks Gooseberry Hike
11 AM to 12 PM  Listen to the rocks as they tell of lava flows, glaciers and roaring rivers. Hike includes descending stairs.

Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column for a ¾ mile hike)

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 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

Thomson Hydroelectric Tour
1 PM to 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 (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

The Dakota Scouts 1863-1866
1 PM to 3 PM  Author and historian Curtis Dahlin will be at the park to talk about “The Dakota Scouts and Their Camps in Eastern Dakota Territor 1863-1866.” In the aftermath of the Dakota War, the US government employed Dakota scouts to track Dakota warriors who fled Minnesota into Dakota Territory. This event is sponsored by the Nicollet County Historical Society and takes place at the Fort Ridgely Historic Site.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Civilian Conservation Corps Discovery Tent
1 PM to 4 PM The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) sculpted Gooseberry and many other MN State Parks into existence. Stop by to explore the remains of this rich past and learn stories from these incredible young men.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Community Concert: Bill and Kate Isles
2 PM to 3 PM  Bill & Kate Isles are an acoustic singer/songwriter duo based in Duluth, Minnesota. Using a wide variety of musical styles, their performances carry audiences through a broad landscape of experiences from metaphorical worlds to small town family stories and to zany comedy. Consummate performers, they are known for their catchy melodies and memorable songs. They have a deep-seated love for the audience, and each other, and it shines before, during, and after the performance. 
Lake Bemidji State Park

 

 

Coming Up . . .

8/22

Summer Flower Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Take a gentle walk in search of summer flowers. Learn identification tips, flower lore and legends with the naturalist. Bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. 

Gooseberry Falls State Park  (Meet at the Visitor Center Art Column)

Bombing of the Big Bog
2 PM to 3:30 PM  Did bombing of the Big Bog really happen? Join us as we delve into this interesting topic. Hear first-hand accounts of what was seen and heard. View rare artifacts and photos. Learn about Bunyan’s Boys and Operation Deep Freeze. With new material being added continuously, you won’t want to miss this!
Big Bog State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center)