Weekend Nature Activities: July 18–19

The weekend activities this month are at State Parks to celebrate Park n Rec month! Check with your local county and city websites for other park events. (Copy below from DNR.) #JulyPRM30  #MNnature Free unless otherwise mentioned.


Heritage Day Celebration
10 AM to 5 PM Celebrate the various heritages of the Iron Range with surface mine tours, blacksmithing and rock knapping demonstrations, geology hikes, traditional food and music, archery in the park, and many other fun activities. The event takes place outside the visitor center. The program is free, but charges apply for underground tours.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Trout Hatchery Tour
10:30 AM to 12 PM Crystal Springs Trout Hatchery, just a few miles outside of Whitewater State Park, is home to many trout that are being raised to be distributed in Southeast Minnesota, in Lake Superior, and throughout the state. Come on this tour to learn more about the process of raising trout in this unique setting fed by Artesian spring water. Meet at the Visitor Center and bring transportation to get to the hatchery. Registration is required; call 507-932-3007, extension 226 or email sara.holger@state.mn.us.
Whitewater State Park

Archery in the Park
12:30 PM to 3:30 PM 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 the range by taking a turn shooting arrows at targets. Some come learn a new life long skill.
Glendalough State Park

Archery in the Park
12:30 PM to 3 PM Learn how to shoot a bow in a safe, supervised setting. The Archery in the Parks program is designed for families of all ages and skill level. Get hands-on instruction from a certified instructor along with experience with target practice. Learn a lifelong skill with this program that you can use for years to come. (All equipment provided. Open shoot, come during the class and you will get to shoot. Amount of shooting time varies on group size.). Please use the back (winter) entrance and park by the park office. The program is held outside, so dress appropriately.
Lake Vermilion, Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Intro to Dutch Oven Cooking at Carley State Park
1 PM to 2 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

Dutch oven cooking.

Guided Walk
1 PM This two hour guided walk will provide an opportunity to experience a 420 acre area containing an expansive dry hill prairie plant community. Enjoy a walk through this magnificent landscape referred to as the highland of the prairies. Bring your cameras and field guides to identify and document the plants found here.
Prairie Coteau SNA

Intro to Geo-caching
2 PM to 3:30 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

Arctic Relics
2 PM to 3:30 PM Lake Superior has an enormous impact on the weather of the region, but even more so, on the shoreline environment. Just after the last ice age, this region had an Arctic climate and the cold waters of the Big Lake have allowed several arctic plant species to remain, after many thousands of years. Join the park naturalist on a careful stroll along the shoreline, investigating many of the tiny arctic plants that remain.
Temperance River State Park

Is That an Eagle? Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM The warm air above the park is often filled with soaring birds, but which ones are eagles and which are something else? Drop by this ongoing activity to discover just who is flying up there. Activity takes about ten minutes.
Interstate State Park

What lives in the river: Macroinvertebrates
3 PM to 4 PM What in the world is a macroinvertebrate? Macroinvertebrates are aquatic bugs that we can see with our eye, have no backbone, and live in our rivers, lakes and wetlands. Discover how these aquatic bugs are special and where to find them. We will collect macroinvertebrates from the Cottonwood River and identify each of them using a simple identification key. Meet at the playground at the Day Use Area near the swimming pond.
Flandrau State Park

Surviving Winter
3 PM to 4 PM Scenic State Park is teaming with the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center to bring fun, hands-on programs to the park for you, your friends and family to enjoy! All programs will start at 3 pm at the historic Lodge near the swimming beach. For more information on a particular program, contact the park at 281-743-3362.
Scenic State Park

Meandering Through the Meadow
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM Come join us on a hike through the meadow and hear the fascinating tale of how the Whitewater River has created the beautiful landscape we see in the park today. We will also learn how people have impacted the valley and have helped to create a story from which we can all learn. Meet at the Nature Store!
Whitewater State Park

BeeFest Saturday July 18th
All day! 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Talkin’ Turtles
7 PM to 8 PM Did you know some turtles have a leathery shell? Join a naturalist and dip your feet into the amazing world of Minnesota’s turtles!
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center)

Help Wanted! In the 1800s
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Martin Mower, owner of the Arcola Lumber Mill and Manager of the St. Croix Boom Company, will take applications for positions at the Arcola Mill and Boat Yards, Martin’s Dry Goods in Arcola, sales assistance at the Mower Block in Stillwater, construction workers at the Territorial Prison construction site, and River Rats at the St. Croix Boom site. Wages start at $1.00 per day. Mr. Mower will explain the operations of his numerous enterprises in the valley. All persons welcome—any age or gender considered. Apply in person, at the Visitor Center fire-ring, to Martin Mower.
William O’Brien State Park

Sunset Hike at Bluestem Prairie SNA
8 PM to 9:30 PM Enjoy a peaceful sunset overlooking the majestic tall grass prairie. Participants will learn about the history of the landscape, hear a story or two, and watch the sun set. Bring a chair and your favorite friend. This program begins outside the Nature Center. In the event of rain, we will meet at the picnic shelter in the campground.
Buffalo River State Park

Night Hike
8 PM to 9 PM Join us for a sensory-filled hike exploring Whitewater State Park at night. We?ll start with a presentation at the Visitor Center then head out to listen and look for creatures of the dark. Bring your own flashlights.
Whitewater State Park

Itasca’s Presenters Under the Pines: Wolves of Minnesota
8 PM to 9 PM Meet at the Museum Amphitheater/Campfire Ring below Wegmann’s Cabin, in the picnic grounds. (If raining- Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center) Explore Minnesota’s wolves in this evening program with Tom Stursa from the Park Rapids Area MN DNR Wildlife Office. Tom will share interesting facts about the natural history of gray wolves and interesting stories of monitoring wolf populations. NOTES: An optional howling tour will follow the program. Space is limited for the howling tour and sign-up is required. Howl portion is dependent on weather. Bring your own vehicle and insect repellent. Stop by the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center or call 218-699-7251 to sign-up for the howling session.
Itasca State Park

The People’s Bat Count-2015
8:30 PM to 9:30 PM Help count dozens of bats as they exit their daytime roosts. Data you collect from this event is an important component of measuring local bat populations. Meet at the picnic shelter for a short talk followed by a walk to the count area. Bring flashlights. Accommodations are available for those with mobility concerns by calling 507-937-3251.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Universe in the Park
8:30 PM Join the Institute of Astrophysics for Universe in the Park. After a short introduction to galaxies and nebulas, take a short walk to the Sky Observation Area to view the sky through 8-inch reflecting telescopes with professional guidance through the constellations.
Wild River State Park



I Can Climb $$$
9 AM to 5 PM $10 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. Cost is $10 per climber. For ages 10 and older.
Tettegouche State Park —Must register: Contact Kurt Mead at (218) 353-8809 or by email at kurt.mead@state.mn.us.

Continental Divide Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Did you know there is more than one continental divide in North America? Join us for a walk on the continental divide trail right here in the park! This naturalist led hike will be fun for the whole family and includes beautiful views and fun facts about Minnesota’s land.
Savanna Portage State Park (Meet at the continental divide trail head along the main park road, north of the Information office near Savanna Lake)

You Do What for a Job?!
2 PM to 3 PM The DNR offers a variety of jobs across its different divisions that can be fun and rewarding. Come and learn about some of the positions such as wildlife biologist, conservation officer and others that you might not have heard of. Explore more about what people in these fields do and the services they provide as well as opportunities for participants to experience some of these different fields.
Fort Snelling State Park

Old Timer’s Cabin, Open Tour
2 PM to 3:30 PM 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

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

St. Louis River Hike
4 PM to 5:30 PM Hike along the St. Louis River to explore its many fascinating features. Learn about the plants, animals and history as we enjoy the beauty of the river. This trail is not suitable for strollers. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Campfire Program – The Bears Around Us
8 PM to 9 PM The most asked about creature in the park is one that is rarely seen. Come discover the world of the Black Bear and how to make living with these incredible animals bearable. Meet at the amphitheater in back of the Park Office.
Jay Cooke State Park

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