Weekend Nature Activities: August 27–31

–––––––08/27/2015––––––

Geocaching 101
4 PM to 5 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.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Informational Meeting on Proposed Northern Pike Proposal
6 PM to 8 PM Learn more about a statewide regulation proposal for northern pike fishing can attend informational meetings that will detail a concept to address different pike management objectives in north-central, northeast and southern Minnesota.
Bemidji, Northwest Technical College (905 Grant Ave. SE)

 

––––––08/28/2015–––––––

Nature Roaming
10 AM to 12 PM The Naturalist will be at the Falls Area for a couple of hours 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.
Minneopa State Park

Stories in Stone
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Jay Cooke State Park has been shaped by many natural events over time. Join us on this geology walk along the river as we discover the stories left behind in the stone.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Paws on the Path, Dog Walk
10:30 AM to 12 PM Did you know evidence of domestic dogs were uncovered in the 8,000 year old bison kill site? Bring your best friend (and dog) on a beautiful walk through our park as we explore how dogs were used traditionally for hunting, transportation, companionship, and much more.
Note: This hike is designed for dog owners, but anyone is welcome to attend! All pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Hike follows the Schoolcraft Trail. Bring insect repellant, sunscreen, water and a hat.
Itasca State Park (Meet at the compass rose under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center)

Happy dogs at the park!

Happy dogs at the park!

Birding on the North Shore
11 AM to 1 PM The North Shore is excellent for bird watching! Warblers, Song Sparrows, Chickadees, and more are calling in the woods. Join a naturalist on a guided hike along the Shovel Point trail to search for feathered friends. Learn how to use binoculars and field guides to observe and identify birds. All ages welcome. Binoculars provided.
Tettegouche State Park (Meet by the Interpretive Hall in the Visitor Center)

I Can Fish Lake Andrew!
12 PM to 2 PM The Park Naturalist along with DNR Fisheries will be hosting I Can Fish along the shores of Lake Andrew. All you need to bring is your desire to fish! Fishing poles providing, but there is a limited number. All ages and abilities are welcome. Fridays starting the second Friday in August. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license.
Sibley State Park

Intro to Canoeing
1 PM to 2 PM Meet at the beach to try your hand at canoeing. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Whitewater State Park

I Can Fish Shoreline Fridays
1 PM to 3 PM 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 (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Digital Nature Photography for Kids
1 PM to 2 PM Photography is a great way to take some memories home with you after your visit to a state park. Kids will get a chance to learn how to use a digital camera and shoot photos of what interests them. Digital cameras are provided and the kids will be able to print one photo to take with them. Limit of 20 kids (must be 8 years of age and children must be accompanied by an adult). Please sign up at the park office (prior reservation required).
Minneopa State Park (Meet at the waterfalls area.)

Animal Tracking at Frenchman’s Bluff —Junior SNA Naturalist
2 PM to 4:30 PM Young scientists, ages 10-14, are welcome to participate in the Junior Scientific and Natural Areas Naturalist program each Saturday. Topics and activities are designed to explore native prairies and introduce families to SNA sites located near Buffalo River State Park. This week we will visit the Felton Prairie SNA and look for animal signs. Please confirm your interest in attending by calling the park office at (218) 498-2124. Dress for tall grass, wood ticks and uneven ground and bring plenty of water. There is room in the naturalist’s van to travel to the site. Please call ahead to reserve a seat.
Buffalo River State Park (Meet at the park office located in Buffalo River State Park at 10 am)

Animal Tracks Scavenger Hunt
2 PM to 3 PM Animal signs are everywhere if you look closely. Bring the family out to solve animal track mysteries. You will learn how to use a GPS unit to find specially placed animal tracks. But we are not giving away the identification of the animal who left the tracks. You must solve the riddles to figure out what animal made the tracks. Those that solve the mysteries correctly will get a prize! Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

Learn to Speak Ojibwemowin! —JR Naturalist
2 PM to 3 PM Kids, learn how to say ‘Hello’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Thank You’, and introduce yourself in Ojibwe! Learn numbers and colors through songs and stories as you learn basic Ojibwe. Make a craft using images of animals, colors, paw prints, with Ojibwe words.
Itasca State Park (Meet in the North Picnic Grounds near the Indian Mounds; If raining, in the lakeside museum located below Wegmann’s cabin in the main picnic grounds)

Awesome Owls
2 PM to 4 PM Stop by the nature cart to discover what makes owls some of the best nocturnal hunters. Explore real owl wings, skulls, talons and more. Make an awesome owl mask to take home!
Tettegouche State Park (Located in the Interpretive Hall of the Visitor Center)

Teach Me Tree I.D.
2 PM to 3 PM Come stop by the trail center and take a nature hike from 2-3 p.m. to learn about the different trees and plants that Northern Minnesota has to offer. Dress for the weather!
Bear Head Lake State Park

Ash tree

Norway maple trees are common boulevard trees.

Whose Scat is That? Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM Everyone does it…but who left behind what? Learn how you can tell which creature left behind which evidence during this drop-in station with the naturalist. This ongoing station takes about ten minutes. The station will be located in an area with even, paved surfaces.
Interstate State Park

Mammal Jam Weekend
08/28/2015 to 08/30/2015 Celebrate all your favorite furry critters at St. Croix State Park’s 4th annual Mammal Jam Weekend! Enjoy three days of mammal-themed programs including animal tracking, bat house building and a live animal program!
St. Croix State Park

Wildlife of Mille Lacs
4 PM At this talk we will discuss loons, eagles, bears, owls and other wildlife of Father Hennepin State Park and the greater Mille Lacs area. 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

Fishing 101
5 PM to 7 PM Learn the basics of fishing. Stop by anytime during the program at the fishing pier. All ages welcome. It does take place outdoors, so dress for the weather.
Bear Head Lake State Park

A Wilderness Experience Close to Home
6 PM to 7 PM Afton State Park is in close proximety to the twin cities, so you do not have to travel far for a wilderness experience. Come learn what makes Afton State Park unique. Learn about it’s past, present and future. Learn about it’s natural history.And learn about all the recreational opportunities that are available for you to explore.
Afton State Park (This slideshow program will be held in the visitor center)

Beavers at Sunset
7 PM to 8 PM Come learn about the important role that beavers play in the natural world. We’ll dress up a participant as a beaver to learn about beaver adaptations and we’ll take a short stroll to look for beaver signs and hopefully observe active beavers at sunset.
Whitewater State Park (Meet at the Nature Store amphitheater.)

Kanuti_Lake_beaver_with_willow_branch

Beauteous Bison
8 PM to 9 PM Bison provided food, shelter, tools, and clothing for people on the prairie but were hunted to near extinction. Join us to learn about the cultural importance of the bison and how their demise changed the landscape forever. Program begins at the picnic shelter by the camp ground.
Buffalo River State Park

photo by Jessica Gehlhar

photo by Jessica Gehlhar

Rad Bats!
7 PM to 8 PM hat is the only mammal that has mastered the art of the air? Dart and dive into the world of bats with a naturalist to learn more about these amazing creatures.
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center Amphitheater)

Powwow: Everybody Dance Now!, Evening Talk
7 PM to 8 PM Discuss the evolution of traditional gatherings to the contemporary powwow. Learn about the different kinds of dancers, the drums and music, the purpose of a powwow, etiquette for visitors, and more.
Itasca State Park (Meet in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center Classroom)

Signs of Bigfoot
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Animals leave behind clues that can tell us a great deal about the animal. Come and explore the park in a unique and interactive way that allows you to gather information about the hidden creatures of Gooseberry Falls. Try your luck in an inquiry based hunt for the allusive Bigfoot and see what you can learn about this legendary creature.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the amphitheater next to Lady Slipper Lodge for some squatchin)

Bats Incredible
7:30 PM Separate fact from fiction of these night flying mammals! We will use a bat detector to see what kind of bat species are flying around the Visitor Center!
William O’Brien State Park

Full Moon Owl Hike
8 PM to 9 PM The full moon provides the perfect setting to go “owling.” Join a naturalist and discover “who’s calling” on this moonlit evening walk.
Afton State Park (Meet at the visitor center)

Building Bridges – Swinging for 90 Years
8 PM to 9 PM Visitors to the park have been laughing, screeching and silently holding their breath as they have crossed the iconic Swinging Bridge for more than 90 years. And for all that time we have been building new bridges as it occasionally loses its battle with nature. Join us as we share the stories of the Swinging Bridges rise and fall through photos, blueprints and rarely seen video of its early years.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Little Songs on the Prairie
8:30 PM to 9:30 PM No cell phones, no video games…What did Minnesota’s European settlers do for fun?!? Join us at the amphitheater for an evening’s entertainment – games, stories, and especially music – to get a taste of what life and leisure were like around Forestville over 100 years ago. In the words of pioneer and author Laura Ingalls Wilder, “If you want the spirit of those old times, you should hear these old songs.”
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

 

————08/29/2015————

Warbler Walk —Unique SNA Experience!
8 AM
Warblers are often plentiful during fall migration. Bring binoculars and bird books.This event will be led by Bill and Esther Marengo and the Friends of Wolsfeld Woods. See the Wolsfeld Woods SNA web page for a map and description of the site.
Wolsfeld Woods SNA

Trail Monkey Running Club
9 AM Get together with other runners to explore Lake Bemidji State Park! Local long-distance trail runners Cris and Jill Bitker will lead the way with tips for getting the most out of off-the-pavement miles. This week participants will decide the route–time to explore someplace new? This run will wrap up our summer series–but Cris and Jill will fill us in on events coming up this fall. Meet at the Visitor Center at 9 am. Wear comfortable running clothes; water and powerade supplied. No fee for activity; vehicle permit ($5 daily/$25 annual) required to enter the park.
Lake Bemidji State Park

The Many Biomes of Kilen Woods
9–10:30 AM
Kilen Woods State Park

I Can Climb $$$
9 AM to 5 PM Cost is $10 per climber. For ages 10 and older. If you or the kids are looking for a little more adrenaline, head to stunning Tettegouche State Park. Climbers are lowered from the top of the cliff to just above Lake Superior and then climb back up. No experience is necessary. Climbers under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration is required — Contact Kurt Mead at (218) 353-8809 or by email at kurt.mead@state.mn.us.
Tettegouche State Park

9th Annual North Country Trail Hiking Festival
9:30–6:30 PM
Itasca State Park

Prairie Hike
10 AM to 12 PM This Master Naturalist led hike will take you on the newly added Prairie Trail to explore the plants adapted to sunshine and wind. Some seed collecting for planting back into the park will occur during this hike. Hiking attire recommended.
Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
10 AM to 12 PM 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. LIRPF volunteers will guide you on this tour. www.itascapioneerfarmers.com
Itasca State Park

Explore Lake Life by Canoe PROGRAM FULL (Call to get on a wait/cancellation list)
10 AM to 12 PM Explore Lake Life by Canoe. 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. Please meet at Snelling Lake Beach. Registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

Blanding’s Turtle Rescue Field Trip
10–2 PM
Whitewater State Park

Miniature Worlds Magnified —Junior Naturalist
10–10:30 AM
Interstate State Park

Meet the Weasel Family
10–11:30 AM
Wild River State Park

Archery in the Park
10 AM to 2 PM Learn a life-long skill at this hands-on introductory archery program. Certified instructor will guide you in safe handling and shooting of a bow. All equipment is provided and no experience is necessary; personal archery equipment is not permitted. Must be age 8 or older. Held at the Mystery Cave picnic grounds.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Campfire COOK!
10:30 AM to 12 PM June 13, 27, July 4, 25, August 15, 29
Cooking over an outdoor campfire can be something of an art. From building a fire to cooking with cast iron we will cover it all with a different focus each time. Join us for one or all of these programs to learn some skills or pass on your favorite recipes. August 29 will be a COOK! Off potluck to show off your skills.
Afton State Park

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Kids’ Activity: All about Fish
10:30 AM
Father Hennepin State Park

Water(color) Under the Bridge
10:30–11:30
Jay Cooke State Park

Food for the Forest… & More
10:30–11:30
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Introduction to Hunting $$$
11:30 AM to 5:30 PM Cost: $10/person or $15/family This year we are combining how to hunt for upland birds and deer in this introduction to hunting day. This class is open to men, women and families with children ages 10 and older. Our deer day and upland bird days have received incredible reviews over the past several years! We will begin with a pheasant hunt and bird cleaning demonstration. Hands-on stations include: rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, tree stand safety, how to hunt a field and how to find hunting land. This class is open to families and children ages 10 or older with guardian. Registration: You can obtain a registration form by calling the MN DNR at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367. More info: Contact MN DNR at 651-296-6157 or 1-888-646-6367
Forest Lake Sportsman’s Club, Forest Lake

Nature Table: Turtle Crossing
11:30–1 PM Drop-in
Father Hennepin State Park

Archery in Parks
1 PM to 3 PM Picnic Shelter #2
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. come to Picnic Shelter #2
William O’Brien State Park

Thomson Cemetery Tour
1–2 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

Slithering Snakes
1–3 PM
Tettegouche State Park

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Archery in the Park
1–4 PM Equipment and training provided.
Lake Carlos State Park

Floating Bog Walk
1–3 PM
Tettegouche State Park

Strolling with Plants
1–2 PM
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Mussel Mania Sidewalk Stop
1–2:30 PM
Wild River State Park

Cryptic Critters and Marvelous Mimics
1–2 PM
Afton State Park

Archery in the Park
2–4 PM
Rice Lake State Park

Kids’ Activity: Prehistoric Pottery
2-3 PM
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

CCC History Hike
2–3 PM
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Day Hill Hike
2–3 PM
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Have You Seen Our Mussels? Investigation Station
3–4
Interstate State Park

Tag a Monarch —Volunteer Opportunity
4–5 PM Learn about our amazing native butterflies. After a power point presentation, we will take a short hike to catch, tag and release monarch butterflies. You will be part of on-going research to study the migration of these incredible insects. If you have a butterfly net of your own, bring it along.
Whitewater State Park

Nature Photography —Junior Naturalists
4-5 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

Reptiles and Amphibians Evening Campfire Program
7–8 PM
Lake Carlos State Park

Wise Old Owls
7:30–8:30 PM
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Story time: The Salamander Room
5–5:30 PM
Tettegouche State Park

Batty About Bats
7–8:30 PM
Tettegouche State Park

Full Moon Owl Prowl
8 PM to 9:30 PM We often hear them calling in the dark of night, but most of us are unfamiliar with the elusive creatures known as owls. At this program, you will learn how to identify the owls of Whitewater State Park by their calls as well as by their appearance and habitat needs. After a presentation, we’ll go call to the owls. This birding program is guaranteed to be a “hoot” for all ages!
Whitewater State Park

Zumbro Hill Pioneer Cemetery Hike in the Pale Moonlight
8–10 PM
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Northern Nights
8–9 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

Star Gazing
8:30 PM to 9:30 PM The North Star, Big Dipper, Milky Way, or Northern Lights! Join us for a night of watching the skies to see what you can discover. Learn about the stars as well as how to spot different constellations in the night sky! Located in the parking lot across from the Savanna Portage trail head (north of the Information Office along the main park drive). Feel free to bring a blanket or a lawn chair.
Savanna Portage State Park

The Truth About Turtles
8 PM
Wild River State Park

 

—————08/30/15—————

I Can Climb $$$
9 AM–5 PM
Tettegouche State Park

Lost in the Woods
9–11 AM
Fort Snelling State Park

Picnic Hike to the Cascades
11–1 Join a park naturalist on a 1.5 mile, round-trip, hike to the Cascades. Bring a picnic lunch to eat below the waterfall. We’ll check out what’s going on in the forest on the way there and back
Tettegouche State Park

I Can Fish: Trout Fishing
10–noon
Whitewater State Park

Archery in Parks!
10–noon
William O’Brien State Park

South Forestville The Lost Town site Interpretive Hike
10–11 AM
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Return of the Eagles
10:30 aM
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Wild Side Woodpecker Walk
11–noon
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Grinding Day
11–4 PM
Old Mill State Park

Wild About Wolves!
11–1
Tettegouche State Park

Bird Banding Demonstration
12:30–2 PM
Whitewater State Park

DNR Days with the Twins
DNR is teaming up with the Minnesota Twins to offer fans, who have a 2015 Minnesota hunting and/or fishing license, a special offer on tickets to select games and for the first 500 ticket holders a FREE camo Twin’s logo cap. Offer only available online. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.mndnr.gov/twins. Due to extremely high demand, seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis only. Advance purchase only. Phone orders cannot be accepted. Only orders purchased together will be seated together. Game time subject to change. No refunds or exchanges.

Game dates
May 29 Toronto 7:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
June 7 Milwaukee 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $47, Upper Level Ticket – $25
June 21 Chicago Cubs 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $55, Upper Level Ticket – $32
August 30 Astros 1:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
September 19 Angels 6:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
October 3 Kansas City 6:10 pm Lower Level Ticket – $40, Upper Level Ticket – $20
Target Field – Minneapolis

 

Tree-mendous Trees
1–2 PM
Fort Snelling State Park

Geocaching 101
1–2 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

River Animals —Junior Naturalists
1–2 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

Nature Crafts
2–4 PM
Tettegouche State Park

Making Mountains out of Ant Hills – Ant Mound Hike
4–5 PM
Jay Cooke State Park

Gooseberries and More along the North Shore
7:30–8:30 PM
Gooseberry Falls State Park