Weekend Nature Activities: July 30–August!

What? It’s already August! OOOuuuuu! And it’s the blue moon! And summer is a slippin’ by  . . . so! Get out there and do somethin’ for fun and for free*! Our prime Minnesota weather is just around the corner. Enjoy all MN has to offer!

*All activities FREE unless otherwise noted. Be aware that for all MN state Park events a vehicle permit is required, and can be purchased at the park for $5/day or $25 for an annual permit.

 

———Friday———

Fishing Frenzy Fridays
9 am–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

Beauteous Bison *Special presentation at Bluestem Prairie SNA
9:30–11:30 AM 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. This program will be a walking adventure through Bluestem Prairie SNA and end at the Regional Science Center. Program will begin outside the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park

photo by Jessica Gehlhar

Mama and baby bison. (photo by Jessica Gehlhar)

Celebrate 100 Years! “Once in a Blue Moon Day”
10:30 AM–9 PM All Day! Some things only occur once in a blue moon like these special programs that celebrate 100 years of protecting natural resources at the park. Take a hike in an off-limits section of the park that protects endangered trees, learn about rare aquatic species making a come-back or discover more about a park that can only turn 100 years old – once! Check back for specific times, programs and meeting locations.
Jay Cooke State Park

Phenology Hike
10–11:30 AM Join a naturalist to learn plant and animal life cycle events and how they are influenced by seasonal variations in climate/weather. Find out what is happening around the park with wildlife and get some exercise while you are learning.
Afton State Park

Hemlock Ravine Hike *Special SNA Hike
10–noon Explore a place that few people get to see during this guided walk at the Hemlock Ravine Scientific & Natural Area. Learn about the endangered Hemlock trees growing in this SNA and what is being done to preserve them for the future. Space is extremely limited for this program. You must register ahead of time. Register in the office or call 218-384-4610 x. 227. We will meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center and then drive to the nearby SNA.
Jay Cooke State Park

hemlockravinesna

I Can Fish!
10:30–noon come and go at your leisure. Kids, bring an adult with you and learn the new skill of fishing. Suitable for ages 6-12.
Itasca State Park (Meet at the Itasca Fishing Pier, below Douglas Lodge)

Rock Talk on the Beach
11 AM–1 PM Drop in for an introduction to the geological forces that made the North Shore into the landscape that we see today. How were agates formed? What is this white rock and how did it get here? Ask these questions and many, many more while you cruise the beach, looking for chapters in the story of the history of Earth.
Tettegouche State Park ( On the beach at the mouth of the Baptism River)

Tall Grass Story Time
noon Families with children ages 2-6 are welcome each Friday for a short walk to the prairie followed by a story. We will sit on a blanket, read a story, and enjoy a snack (if you choose to bring one). This safe, stroller friendly walk is a great way to explore the park beyond the swimming pond. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program starts outside the Nature Center. In the event of rain, program will take place at the campground picnic shelter.
Buffalo River State Park

Slithering Snake Craft
noon–3 PM Ever wonder what a Garter Snake eats? How do snakes survive the winter? What species of snakes live in Minnesota? Do snake scales feel slimy? Learn all about native snakes and the benefits of having these reptiles in our ecosystems. Make and decorate fun snake crafts while we learn about these slithering serpents. Meet a live Western Fox Snake.
Tettegouche State Park (Located at the outdoor fireplace plaza)

Intro to Canoeing
1–2 PM Great program for kids: “Nature Time at the Beach”! Meet at the beach each weekday from 1–2 pm til Labor Day to learn about nature at Whitewater State Park. Each day will be a different activity.
Whitewater State Park

Oh the joys of canoeing. Oh Canada! This photo is for Alberta Tourism but it could just as well be here in Minnesota, ya know.

Oh the joys of canoeing. Oh Canada! This photo is for Alberta Tourism but it could just as well be here in Minnesota, ya know.

Day Hill Hike
1–2 PM Join the naturalist for a guided hike up to Day Hill. Pack a lunch and have a picnic on top while you enjoy the scenic vista, then hike down at your own pace. This hike includes steep inclines on dirt trails. Hiking shoes, water, and sun protection are recommended. Meet the bulletin board in front of the campground bath house.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Shoreline Fridays
1–3 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)

CCC History Hike
2–3 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. Join a Naturalist on a hike to explore the remains of the rich past that tell the story of these incredible young men.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the art column outside the visitor center)

Animal Tracks Scavenger Hunt
2–3 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 to find specially placed animal tracks but we are not giving away the I.D. of the animal who left the track. You must solve the riddles to figure out what animal made the tracks. Those that solve the mysteries correctly will get a prize!
Afton State Park (Meet in the visitor center)

Prairie Wonders
2:30–4 The prairie is an amazing place. Have you ever walked in one? They are full of beautiful flowers, insects, birds, and mammals. The naturalist will be roaming around the campgrounds and day use areas to show you some of the wonders of the prairie. If the naturalist is walking by, wave them over. They will even tell you where you too could walk in the prairie. A MN state Park vehicle permit is required to attend this event, and can be purchased at the park for $5/day or $25 for an annual permit.
Lake Carlos State Park

Tree Doctor
3–4 PM Did you know trees can get sick just like us? Build your doctor skills by learning how to examine trees for signs of illness, along with what you can do to help them out. This hands-on program is fun and educational for all ages! Start the diagnosis near the visitor center. This ongoing activity takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Interstate State Park

I Can Fish!
3–5 PM Let’s go fishing! Join us as we learn all about fishing – identifying species, casting and more. We provide the bait, poles and instructors. Then, take your skills and fish with us from the bank of the Rum River. Minnesota residents do not need a fishing license for this activity. Meet at the interpretive center. We will walk a short distance, fish until 4:30, then finish up back at the interpretive center by 5 p.m.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Blue Moon Paddle – FULL – $$$
6–9 PM Hit the scenic St. Croix River under the light of the full moon this summer while hearing the tales of the seasons along the way. We’ll paddle the 9 miles from the Sunrise Landing to the main park landing. 7 Canoes are available for free for first registrants, but you’re welcome to bring your own. The paddle is limited to 10 canoes/kayaks. Registration required by calling (651) 583-2125 x227. Cost $10 per person for shuttle. REGISTRATION IS FULL. Contact the park for more paddle programs.
Wild River State Park

Campfire Program: Creatures of the Night
7 PM At this talk and demonstration we will discuss owls, raccoons, skunks, bats and other nocturnal wildlife. Meet at the Council Ring in Lakeview Campground. In case of rain the program will be held in the Lakeview Picnic Shelter. (45 minutes)
Father Hennepin State Park

Grunts, Chuckles, Snores and More
7–8 PM Hope over to the visitor center where you can learn about frogs and toads that call Minnesota home. We will learn all kinds of cool amphibian facts and listen to frog and toad calls. Then we will go for a walk to see if we can hear and see them. We will also make origami frogs that you can take home.
Afton State Park

Campfire Stories
7 pm These nature themed, family friendly programs are a great way to enrich your day. Programs topics change regularly. Call the park for current topics at 320-852-7200 or check the events calendar for a specific date. Programs last from 7:00pm – 8:00pm and children must be accompanied by an adult. Programs will be held at the Visitor Center on nights of poor weather conditions.
Lake Carlos State Park

Summer Bat Count
7–9 PM So what?s up with those awesome bats? Well come and find out!! Recently the world that Minnesota?s bats live in has dramatically changed. A new threat is on the horizon unlike anything we?ve seen before. During this program you will get a chance to learn a little bit about Minnesota?s bat population and the dreaded White Nose Syndrome that threatens their world. After an introduction at our visitor center, we will go out and count the resident bat population. This amazing experience will not only be fun for everyone, but will also help us understand changes to our local bats in the years to come.
Whitewater State Park

Special Places at Jay Cooke State Park
8–9 PM For 100 years, Jay Cooke State Park has awed and inspired its many visitors. Join us to discover some of the special places that make this park so unique and keep visitors coming back year after year. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new favorite place of your own! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Reptiles and Amphibians
8–9 PM How do turtles stay underwater so long? Why are frogs slimy? Explore these oddities and more as we explore the lives of reptiles and amphibians of Minnesota.
McCarthy Beach State Park

Full Moon Hike Along Lake Superior
8:30–9:30 PM The Full August Moon is named the Manoominike-giizis by the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) Peoples. What does this mean? Find out that and more about our humanly connection to the moon on this guided night time hike. Flashlight or headlamp suggested. Be prepared to walk over rocky terrain.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at Lakeview Lodge)

Full moon at Split Rock Lighthouse.

Full moon at Split Rock Lighthouse along Lake Superior.

Astronomy in the Park
8:30 PM The University of Minnesota Astronomy Department will be taking you on a spectacular tour of the night skies. After a short talk on the evening skies, they will take you outside to view some of these celestial sights through telescopes. The moon, planets and more will be discovered on this special night in the park. If it is cloudy, we will still have the indoor presentation. Meet at the Visitor Center.
William O’Brien State Park

Blue Moon Hike
9–10 PM July gifts us with two full moons, the second being called a blue moon. Enjoy a walk around the pond view trail by moonlight while hearing the story of earth’s moon.
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center)

Blue Moon Songs on the Prairie
9–10 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

 

———Saturday———

Science Saturday: Mushrooms of Minnesota
8–10 AM Join author and naturalist Larry Weber as we explore the wonders of mushrooms. We will hike the park and learn about the various mushrooms that are common to northern Minnesota. Meet at the Soudan Underground Mine visitor center and be prepared to be outside. Mark your calendars for Aug. 15: Monarch Watch and butterfly survey.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Morchella esculenta 23

Morel mushrooms are found in early spring.

Family Canoeing $$$
9–11 AM $15 Designed around having fun, being safe, and learning proper technique. Learn water safety, entering and exiting, and paddle strokes. Paddlers must be ages 8+; children ages 5-8 may ride along. Ages 8+
Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague

The Many Biomes of Kilen Woods
9–10:30 AM Every Saturday From July 18th to September 5th. Join Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer Nancy Warren for a hike over the prairie, through the woods, and to the river! Along the way you will discover the 3 unique habitats that meet at Kilen Woods State Park and create an amazing diversity of wildlife and nature. Hike is an easy 2 miles over mostly flat trails with a few slopes.
Kilen Woods State Park (Meet at the Chalet)

Eye Spy Photography
9–noon Come join us as local photographer John White attempts to help participants understand the visualization of composition in a natural setting. The program will begin at 9AM Saturday August 1st, at the Bonanza Learning Center. Program is open to all ages, but it is intended as a beginners and introductory level program. No registration is necessary. The park will provide all equipment needed, but some sharing may be necessary depending on number of participants.
Big Stone Lake State Park

Women’s/Girl’s Archery in the Park
9:30–noon This program is designed for beginners. Girls 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bows and safety harnesses, and other equipment are provided during the program. Personal archery equipment is not allowed due to weapons rules in Minnesota State Parks. Participants will be outside for the program. Be prepared for standing in the sun. Bring along sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, insect repellant and water.
Itasca State Park (Meet in the back lot of the Indian Mounds/North Picnic Grounds Parking Area)

Women’s and Girl’s Intro to Archery
9:30–noon AM Join certified archery instructors for hands-on training and coaching on compound bows and then try your new skills out. Girls 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. This program is held outside and will be cancelled in the event of bad weather.
Itasca State Park

Digital Scavenger Hunt
9:30–11 AM Grab your digital camera and a team of up to 5 people to explore and take pictures of the nature?s beauty in the park. There will be a beginners division and an advanced division. The first 3 teams in each division back to the registration table within the allotted time with the most correct pictures will earn a prize. Registration from 9:45 am-10:00 am will be held at the Campground Host site, with the scavenger hunt beginning at 10:00 am.
Maplewood State Park

Cherry Grove Blind *Special SNA Outing
9:30–11:30 AM Join us for a hike through Cherry Grove Blind Valley Scientific Natural Area, a place where snow melts on the coldest of winter days and where whirlpools and waterfalls form one day and are gone the next. We’ll observe and discuss dramatic sinkholes including a rare bedrock collapse sinkhole. Find out why this land is protected and learn of current restoration efforts. Meet at the amphitheater for an introduction and then follow the naturalist in your own vehicle to the SNA. Sturdy shoes are advised.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Majestic Monarchs
10–11 AM Orange, black and white, they bring smiles to the faces of almost anyone who catches a glimpse of a Monarch butterfly. Join the seasonal naturalist from Afton State Park to discover these incredible insects. You will also learn what flowers you can plant to attract them to your home, and how you can get involved in protecting them. We will go for a walk to see if we can find some eggs, caterpillars, and maybe an adult Monarch.
William O’Brien State Park (Visitor Center)

monarch

Monarch butterflies spend the summer in Minnesota then migrate south in the fall.

Nature Hike
10 am Take a guided hike along our popular trails with volunteer naturalist, Bruce Ause. Hikes are family-friendly and the trails vary weekly.
Frontenac State Park (Meet at the amphitheater in the campground across from the sanitation building.)

Story Time
10–11 AM Come out to the park for a nature themed story time and activity. Each Saturday will have a new theme, so come enjoy them all! We will read a book and then do an activity to follow. Activities very each week from short nature hikes to crafts. This program is designed for pre-school to early elementary school students. Call the park for more information regarding exact details of this program or directions to the park.
Glacial Lakes State Park

Fungus Among Us: An Introduction to Mycology
10–10:30 AM Come explore the mystical world of mushrooms at the park! This hike will include an introduction to basic mushroom identification and an exploration of what’s out in the park.
Fort Snelling State Park

Archery in the Park
10 AM–2PM Join certified archery instrutors for hands on coaching and give this family activity a try. This activity is suitable for anyone 8 or older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adault. Archery equipment to fit all ages and sizes will be provided. Personal archery equipment is not allowed. There is no fee or pre-registration for this program.
Archery area is located in Sherlock Campground across from playground. Beginners are welcome!
Red River State Recreation Area

Minnesota River Paddle
10 AM–3 PM Take an 8-mile paddle on the Minnesota River from the Riverfront Park in Mankato to Seven Mile Creek Park. We will lead the paddle and provide the canoes, life jackets, paddles and transportation back to the put-in point at River View Park. The Minnesota River flows for 317.9 miles from Big Stone Lake to the confluence with the Mississippi River near Fort Snelling. On this stretch of the Minnesota River we will be paddling in a mostly northern direction through a forested floodplain. Please sign up at the park office (prior reservation required).
Minneopa State Park (We will meet at the River View Park in Mankato)

Junior SNA Naturalist: Bison at Bluestem Prairie
10 AM–noon 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 practice animal tracking and search for clues left by North America’s largest mammal. Dress for tall grass, wood ticks and uneven ground and bring plenty of water. Please confirm your interest in attending by calling the park office at (218) 498-2124. In the event of rain, program will take place inside the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park (Meet at the Nature Center located in Buffalo River State Park at 2:00 pm.)

I Can Fish: Trout Fishing
10–noon Please use the back (winter) entrance and meet by the Alaska Shaft.
Carley State Park

Fly fishing in Minnesota.

Fly fishing in Minnesota.

Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Tour
10–noon 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

Digital Photography for Kids
10–11:30 AM Hey kids, come learn how to use a digital camera to photograph plants, animals, insects and other nature subjects. We?ll have fun on a digital photography scavenger hunt. All equipment will be provided. Ages 8 and older. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.
Whitewater State Park

Turtle Crossing
10:30 AM A talk and slide show about turtles of Mille Lacs Kathio State Park will be followed by a visit from our friend Shellby the turtle. Meet at the interpretive center. (45 minutes)
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Bugs and Blooms
10:30 am Itasca State Park is noted for its diverse plants and animals. Join us on this walk as we discover which flowers are blooming and what common and uncommon critters are pollinating them.
Itasca State Park

Prehistoric Pottery —Kids Activity
10:30 AM Kids! Bring your parents along to this program. Learn how craftspeople of ancient Minnesota made and used pottery, how archaeologists study prehistoric ceramics, and take home a small clay pot you make yourself. The information and activity are designed for kids age 7 and older, but it’s also good for younger children who have help from parents. Look for the activity table in the Picnic Area, 1/4 mile west of the park office. In case of rain this program will be cancelled.
Crow Wing State Park

Tree Detective —Kids Activity
10:30 AM Learn how to use the right “clues” to tell “who’s who” among trees of the forest…and take home a small “souvenir” you make yourself. In case of rain this program will be cancelled. Meet in Lakeview Picnic Area. (35 minutes)
Father Hennepin State Park

Savanna Portage Hike
11–noon Grab your hiking boots and join us for a naturalist lead hike along the Savanna Portage trail! Learn about the life of a voyageur and the importance of this trail during the fur trade era!
Savanna Portage State Park (Meet at the parking lot across from the Savanna Portage trail head, located north of the Information Office along the main park drive)

Fishing 101
1–3 PM Do you want to participate in one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities, but you are not sure how to bait a hook or cast your line? Join our fishing gurus and learn the basics of fishing. Feel free to stop by anytime during the program. All ages welcome. A limited number of fishing poles are available. Meet at the fishing pier. There is no cost for this program. It does take place outdoors, so dress for the weather.
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Accessible Stroll among the Plants
1–2 PM Join a naturalist for a guided stroll on a paved ADA Accessible trail to discover what?s doing the blooming in the park. Come see some of the plants that call the park home and discover some unique qualities of these local plants.
Gooseberry Falls State Park ( Meet at the art column outside the visitor center.)

Go In Seine
1–2 PM Many small creatures live at the beach. Come get wet and wild as we use a seine (net) to search for some of Whitewater’s miniature water monsters!
Whitewater State Park (Meet at the beach)

Mammals of the North Woods
1–2 PM Drop in anytime. Do you know who else is roaming around McCarthy Beach State Park this weekend? You might see tracks and other signs of these animals of the north woods.
McCarthy Beach State Park (just south of the beach changing house)

Busy Bees!
1–2 PM Have you ever seen a queen bee up close? Now is your chance! Earl Brunson will share amazing honey bee facts with us and let us taste some of their hard work. Bring the whole family to the visitor center for the sweetest program around!
Big Bog State Park

Bee in Northern Minnesota, near Grand Portage (photo (c) Jennifer Gehlhar)

Bee in northern Minnesota, near Grand Portage.

Stories in Stone
1–2 PM 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. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

The Lost Ladybug Project
1–3 PM Across North America ladybug species composition is changing. Over the past twenty years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low. Join the park naturalist in a hunt for ladybugs in Tettegouche State Park. We will submit our findings to The Lost Ladybug Project via digital photos. Come do REAL SCIENCE at Tettegouche! Insect nets and digital cameras will be available to use during the program.
Tettegouche State Park (Meet on the plaza behind the Visitor Center.)

The Amazing Park Park Race
1–3 PM Grab a partner, or your family, as we go on an amazing race in the park! Just like the show, there will be puzzles to solve and activities to complete to get the next clue! Finish the activities first and arrive at the pit stop and you could be the winner! Prizes will be given, so sign-up at the Main Park office to start your Amazing Park Race! We will meet at the Riverside Amphitheater in the picnic grounds.
William O’Brien State Park

Nature Hike
1–3:30 PM Join a park naturalist for a 2 mile guided hike on some of Fort Snelling State Park’s trails. This will be a great
opportunity to get some exercise while being out in nature.
Fort Snelling State Park

Weather Watch
2 PM Join the naturalist and uncover what makes the wind blow and why does it snow?
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center and get ready to get outside and take a look! Sunscreen and water bottle recommended.)

Outdoor Kids- Big Beak, Little Beak
2–3:30 PM Kids of all ages come out and explore nature at your leisure and have fun at Itasca while hanging out at the swimming beach or playground. This program series allows kids to connect with nature through crafts and other hands-on activities. Topics vary with many of the programs focusing on life around the lake. Join us as we learn about bird beaks!
Itasca State Park (Meet by the Swim Beach/ Playground, at the south end of the picnic grounds on Lake Itasca)

Fun with Fossils: Investigation Station
2–3:30 PM Drop by to explore the clues that ancient sea creatures left behind in Minnesota. See examples, chat with an expert and create your own fossil replica with a naturalist. This ongoing activity takes about ten minutes to complete.
Interstate State Park ( Find us near the visitor center.)

Animal Antics
2–3 PM Drop by and explore an animal topic or game! This informal activity is designed for all ages. Look for the naturalist’s cart by the swimming pond. In the event of rain, program will take place in the picnic shelter by the camp ground.
Buffalo River State Park

Indigenous Tools
2–4 PM Stop by anytime for some quick facts in five minutes or less. Meet near the Mississippi Headwaters (under the porch of the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center if rain.)
Itasca State Park

Archery in the Park
2–4 PM Archery has been a life skill and a fun sport for centuries. Join certified archery instructors for hands-on learning and have a try at our temporary archery range. Participants must be age 8 and older. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Equipment is provided. Personal archery equipment is not allowed due to state law. In case of rain this program will be cancelled. Stop by the interpretive center any time between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

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Practicing the art of archery at 8 years old.

Inspirational Topics Hike
3–5 PM Join a naturalist on an inspirational nature hike, literally, as we hike to Inspiration Point, the only overlook in the park where you cannot see any signs of civilization. You’re in store for some amazing views, historical clues, and some of nature’s beautiful hues on this relaxing hike. Meet at the Chimney Rock Trailhead near the beach.
Whitewater State Park

Shaped by Ice —Junior Geologist
3–4 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! Other upcoming presentations: Saturday, August 8 – The Timeless Testament of Trees; Saturday, August 15 – Weird Weather; Saturday, August 23 – The 6th Great Extinction; Saturday, August 31 – How Old Am I? ; Scenic State Park
Interstate State Park

Learning to Fly —Junior Naturalists
4–5 PM Birds go through many changes in the short time before they leave the nest. Kids will explore the many stages of a bird from egg to fledgling through fun activities. No flying experience necessary! Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Campfire Cooking
4 PM Learn some great tips on how to take the work out of campfire cooking as well as sample some tasty campfire foods. Class is open to the whole family children must attend with parents. Class size is limited to 25 please register in the park office (218)863-8383. Class held at the campground host site in the main campground.
Maplewood State Park

campfirecooking

You may be surprised just how good a campfire meal can be!

Story time: The Salamander Room
5–5:30 PM Bring a comfy blanket to sit on and join us for a nature story! After the story we will make a habitat and meet a live Western Fox Snake!
Tettegouche State Park (Meets next to the campground shower building.)

Birding In Minnesota State Parks
6:30–7:30 PM Join Bob Janssen, expert birder and author of the new book, Birding in Minnesota State Parks, as he takes you through photos and stories of the hot spots to go birding in MN State Parks and especially on the North Shore! There will be a question and answer period after the talk. We will also have his new book for sale, if you would like an autographed copy. Join us at the Visitor Center’s Amphitheater for a special night you do not want to miss.
Tettegouche State Park

Astronomy and Stargazing
Dusk. Join the Glacial Lakes Astronomers and Stargazers Society (GLASS) at Glacial Lakes State Park every Saturday from May 16 through September 26 at dusk. You will get the chance to look through a variety of telescopes and binoculars as GLASS members answer your questions about your night sky. Info. call (320) 239-2860.  No equipment necessary. Feel free to bring binoculars or telescope! www.glass.glaciallakesmn.com
Glacial Lakes State Park (Meet at the Horse Camp)

Evening Campfire Nature Program
7–8 PM Join a naturalist at the fire ring on Sunset Lake at 7:00pm for a nature program by the campfire. These nature themed, family friendly programs are a great way to enrich your day. Programs topics change regularly. Call the park for current topics or fore more information. Programs last from 7:00pm – 8:00pm and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Glendalough State Park

Wild About Wildlife
7–8 PM What are some of the cool animals that can be found at Minneopa State Park? How about one that climbs trees to escape predators and uses its ears to hunt prey? Learn how these animals have adapted to survive in their natural environment and some of the more interesting characteristics. We will look at fourteen different animals like the beaver, skunk and coyote. Meet at the Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Whitewater’s POW Camp
7–9 PM  Whitewater State Park was once home to German prisoners of war. Come learn about one of lesser known parts of Minnesota 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

Ask a Naturalist
7 PM Naturalist on site to talk about the flora and fauna of the park, native culture, and much more!
Cascade River State Park (Located at the Cascade River Trail Center)

Go Batty for Bats
7–8 PM Swoop into the incredible world of the insect-eating machines known as bats. We’ll use activities, games and demonstrations to highlight just what makes these nocturnal hunters so wonderful and what you can do to help them. Meet at the stone picnic shelter in the picnic grounds.
Interstate State Park

Evening Stroll
7–9 PM Over time, there have been many individuals that have made an impact on Itasca with their courage, strength, and forward thinking. Come explore some of Itasca’s great stories as we walk through time to meet some of these amazing people.
Itasca State Park (Meet by the Lakeside Museum in the picnic grounds)

Snakes Alive!
7 PM Snakes are known for their flicking tongues and shedding skins, but what else makes them so unique? Find out as Emily Roberts from Snake Discovery brings out her live snakes for you to see and touch. Get a chance to interact with many of Minnesota’s native snakes. Program will take place at the amphitheater.
Wild River State Park

Night Walk
7:30–8:30 PM As humans we tend to flock towards the light at night, but the darkness is an inviting time for many animals to begin their night!  Join the naturalist on .7 mile walk on a gravel trail.
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Interpretive Center Theater)

Batty for Bats
7:30–9:30 PM
Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

Signs of Bigfoot
7:30–8:30 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 located next to Lady Slipper Lodge)

A Hardwoods Home Companion [Performance]
8:30–9:30 PM Get ready for a fun program featuring music, skits, famous guests and lots of laughter! Join us for our 11th season of the Hardwoods Home Companion, featuring naturalists who make learning about the outdoors very entertaining! All ages will enjoy this program.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Astronomy in the Park
8:30–10 PM Enjoy an evening learning about and viewing the night sky. University of Minnesota graduate students will begin the evening with a powerpoint astronomy program. If skies are clear, participants will move outdoors to view the night sky with telescopes. Be sure to bring a flashlight and insect repellent.
Lake Maria State Park

Cats on the Prowl
8–9 PM Minnesota is home to three different wild cats which are easy to confuse. Join us to learn more about these elusive cats and tips on how to tell one from the other. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Archaeology Close to Home
8–9 PM This talk and slide show will highlight some fascinating archaeological sites unearthed by archaeologists in nearby Minnesota State Parks. Meet at the Amphitheater. In case of rain the program will be held in the picnic shelter, located next to the picnic area parking lot, 1/4 mile west of the park office.
Crow Wing State Park

 

———Sunday———

Birds, Bugs and Buds on the Prairie
9–10 AM The prairie is a busy place. Learn what birds and bugs live on the prairie and see some beautiful blooming flowers. By attending this program you can recieve the Call of the Wildflowers 2015 Special Edition Program Card. Join a naturaist for this prairie walk. Meet at the visitor center.
Afton State Park

Snake’s Alive
10–11 AM William O’Brien is home to several MN snake species, particularly the fox snake. We will debunk some of the common snake scares, and unravel the lives of snakes before getting an up-close look (and feel) of our resident hog nose snake before its weekly feeding.
William O’Brien State Park (Visitor Center)

Trout Fishing
10–noon 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 6.
Whitewater State Park

Snakes of Forestville
10–11 AM Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is home to many different kinds of snakes. Come to this program to learn which one are here, why conservation measures are necessary to protect snakes, and how you can help. You will have an opportunity to see and hold Gary the garter snake! Meet at the amphitheater for this live animal program.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Wild Side Hike: Beaver Builders
11–noon Come learn all about nature?s engineer, the beaver! Join us as we go for a hike and investigate all of the clues left behind from Gooseberry?s very own resident beaver and learn how their building can impact the world around them. Meet at the Art Column outside of the Visitor?s Center. Please be ready to walk up and down stairs and along uneven trails.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Minnesota’s Birds of Prey
noon–1:30 Eagles, Osprey, Hawks, Falcons, and Owls all call Minnesota home. Learn about the adaptations that raptors use to catch their live prey, what species live along the North Shore, and how to tell them apart when all you can see is a silhouette against the sky. Make a raptor silhouette to protect migratory birds from hitting windows.
Tettegouche State Park (Located in the Visitor Center meeting room)

Bird Banding Demonstration
12:30–2 PM Join Master Bird Bander, Greg Munson, 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. Find out how this scientific tool helps wildlife researchers learn more about bird populations and their natural history, including where they go and how long they live.
Whitewater State Park

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Bird banding.

Bad Bugs –featruing the Emerald Ash Borer
1–2 PM It is here! The Emerald Ash Borer is here in Minnesota. What is the big deal about these shiny green bugs? Learn why all Minnesota’s Ash trees should be quaking their leaves in this program. Stop by the naturalist tent for a short chat with a naturalist to learn more. The naturalist tent will be in the picnic area closest to the parking lots
Afton State Park

Junior Park Naturalist: Animal Track Down
1–2 PM Who made those tracks? Join a naturalist to discover the identity of some common animals at Gooseberry based off their tracks. Make a track flip book to help you identify the tracks in the future and be on your way to becoming a Junior Park Naturalist. Kids age 5 and up are welcome. Keep looking for the tracks.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Art column outside the visitor center)

Nature Table: Frogs
1–2:30 Visit with a Naturalist and learn about frogs, including life cycle, what species live in the area, what their calls sound like, and more. In case of rain this program will be cancelled. Look for the Nature Table in the Beach Area from 1–2:30 pm.
Father Hennepin State Park

Historic CCC Buildings Walk
1:30 Learn about the ‘boys’ that built Forest Inn, Old Timer’s Cabin and more. Come for the walk as we talk about the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on this walking tour of buildings around the Douglas Lodge area, ending at the CCC Old Timer’s Cabin.
Itasca State Park (Meet outside Forest Inn, across from Douglas Lodge)

Prairie Enthusiasts Hike
1–2:30 PM Prairies are home to wide diversity of animals and other critters including bees, butterflies and dragonflies. In the summer the prairie practically buzzes and hums with activity. We will take a hike into the prairie to hear about some of the iconic animals that have made their home here. We will go off the well-traveled path to see what can be found among the native grasses and wildflowers. This is a family-friendly event designed to explore, experience and get down to see what is happening with all the different animal and critter life.
Minneopa State Park (Please meet at the Group Campground parking lot on the Campground Side of Minneopa State Park)

Archery in the Park
1–3 PM Join certified archery instrutors for hands on coaching and give this family activity a try. This activity is suitable for anyone 8 or older. Children age 15 and under must be accompanied by an adault. Archery equipment to fit all ages and sizes will be provided. Personal archery equipment is not allowed. There is no fee or pre-registration for this program.
Archery area is located in Sherlock Campground across from playground. Beginners are welcome!
Red River State Recreation Area

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Learn the basics of archery, then try it out!

Skins and Skulls
1–2 PM All animals are uniquely adapted for their survival. Learn about the adaptations of various animals that live in the park by examining their skins and Skulls.
Fort Snelling State Park

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

Have You Seen Our Mussels? Investigation Station
2–3 PM What makes mussels so magnificent? Who’s 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.
Interstate State Park

Geocaching Challenge
2–3 PM Join the naturalist for this high tech treasure hunt and learn the basics of this new worldwide recreational sport. GPS units are provided but call the park office to reserve one for you and your family. This program counts towards earning the Call of Wildflowers special edition program card. Limit of 20 people (must be 8 years of age and children must be accompanied by adult). Program begins outside the Nature Center.
Buffalo River State Park

Splendid Spiders —Jr. Naturalist
2–3 PM What makes a Spider different from an insect? Not all spiders are the same. Do they all make webs? Discover cool adaptations spiders have and create your own spider craft!
Itasca State Park (Meet by the Museum Amphitheater, below Wegmann’s Store; If raining, in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom)

Ethnobotany of the Dakota and Ojibwa Tribes
2:30–4 PM Learn about common plants found throughout Fort Snelling State Park and their historical uses by Native Americans. We’ll explore the edible, ceremonial and practical uses of these resources with an indoor presentation followed by a nature walk.
Fort Snelling State Park

An Intro to Birding
3–5 PM Are you a bird watcher who could use some help getting to the next level? A bird feeder who would like to know more about who you are feeding? There are a lot of bird species in Minnesota and it can be daunting to think about having to learn them all, but Margie Menzies of the nearby Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center will give you a gentle introduction to getting started in this lifelong activity. Tettegouche will provide some loaner binoculars and other resources if you bring along a bird book, if you’ve got one, and your enthusiam and interest!
Tettegouche State Park

Incredible Insects –Junior Naturalists
4–5 PM Discover the fascinating world of the insect during this children’s program. After learning some incredible facts, we’ll explore the woods for insects with our nets.
Jay Cooke State Park (Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center)

Itasca’s Music Under the Pines: Bill and Julie Kaiser
7–9 PM Meet inside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge) Bill and Julie Kaiser, members of Alabaster Falls will be performing inside historic Forest Inn. Alabaster Falls is an acoustic “folkgrass” band based in the Minnesota Northwoods. This group has found a way to put their unique stamp on music from bluegrass to folk to originals.
Itasca State Park

Eagles: Rulers of the Sky
8–9 PM Come learn about the majestic eagle and learn why this bird soars above the rest. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

National Eagle Center, Minnesota

National Eagle Center, Minnesota

Creatures of the Night Hike
8:30–9:30 PM As humans we tend to flock indoors and turn the lights on at night. Tonight, experience night like the animals do by joining the naturalist for a night time stroll in the dark. Discover the secrets to how some animals thrive during the night and how others survive. Bring a flashlight and dress appropriately.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

 

Upcoming . . .

08/05 — Beginning Canoeing
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM Meet at the fishing dock at Molly Stark Lake every other Wednesday in June, July and August to learn canoeing basics from a Naturalist. We will cover safety, parts of the canoe and paddles, and learn strokes before heading out on to the water to practice our skills. Equipment will be provided, so come enjoy a paddle on a quite lake.
Glendalough State Park

08/12 — Beginning Canoeing
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM Meet at the boat access near the beach every other Wednesday in July and August to learn canoeing basics from a Naturalist. We will cover safety, parts of the canoe and paddles, and learn strokes before heading out on to the water to practice our skills. Equipment will be provided, so come enjoy a paddle on a quite lake.
Glacial Lakes State Park

 

Seasons

04/18/15 – 09/14/15 Stream Trout in streams SE – 2015 season
04/18/15 – 09/30/15 Stream Trout in streams, except SE – 2015 season
04/25/15 – 02/28/16 Bowfishing – 2015 season
04/25/15 – 02/14/16 Bullhead, Redhorse, other rough fish Spearing – 2015 season
04/25/15 – 02/28/16 Sucker Spearing – 2015 season
05/09/15 – 02/28/16 Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass – 2015 season -North and East of U.S. Hwy 53 from Duluth to International Falls and Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis Co.
05/09/15 – 02/28/16 Walleye, sauger, northern pike – 2015 season
05/09/15 – 09/30/15 Lake Trout (summer) – 2015 season
05/23/15 – 09/13/15 Smallmouth Bass – 2015 Season -South and West of U.S. Hwy 53 from Duluth to International Falls except Pelican and Ash lakes in St. Louis County
05/23/15 – 02/28/16 Largemouth Bass – 2015 season -South and West of US Hwy 53 from Duluth to International Falls except Pelican and Ash Lakes in St. Louis County
06/06/15 – 12/01/15 Muskellunge (Muskie) – 2015 season

Youth Deer Hunt Sign-Up NOW! Lake Bemidji State Park’s annual youth hunt will be held October 16 thru 18. This hunt is a lottery and applications must be made by August 14. More information can be found online http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/deer/index.html.