Weekend Nature Activities: June 20–22

It’s summer in Minnesota—don’t forget your bug spray! Remember to ask the ranger at campground check-in for a list of events.
Hot this summer: Archery in the Park is back! And check out the new, Free (we like that!), “learn to fish” opportunities across the entire state!
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photo by Jessica Gehlhar

Learn to Fish! Free, equipment provided, no license required:
June 20, 10:30 a.m.–noon Itasca State Park (out-of-staters need license), Itasca Fishing pier
June 20, 1–3 p.m. Jay Cooke State Park, meet at River Inn Interpretive Center
June 20, 3–5 p.m. Fort Snelling State Park, meet at Snelling Lake fishing pier
June 20, 3–5 p.m. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, meet at interpretive center
June 20, 6:30–8 p.m. Bear Head Lake State Park, meet at fishing pier
June 21, 10 a.m.–noon Trout! Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (register 507-937-3251)
June 22, 11 a.m.–noon St. Croix State Park, meet at the lodge
June 26, 10 a.m.–12:30 Bear Head State Park, meet at fishing pier

[Events free, unless otherwise noted.]

FRIDAY, JUNE 20

June 20, Tree Trek
2–2:30 p.m.
Red or white pine? Paper birch or aspen? Join a naturalist to i.d. common trees.
Location: Itasca State Park, outside Forest Inn (across from Douglas Lodge)

June 20, Tree Detectives
1 p.m.
Kid-friendly presentation on tree i.d. Take home a small souvenir you make yourself.
Location: Father Hennepin State Park

June 20, Beaver Tales
7:30–8:30 p.m.
Learn fun facts about this large rodent. Marshmallows provided, bring a lawn chair or sit at a park bench.
Location: William O/Brien State Park, visitor center

June 20, Natural History of Minneopa
10 a.m.
Learn natural history and current state of the Minneopa Falls, Minneopa Creek and Minnesota River, including mussels, fish, and macroinvertebrates.
Location: Minneopa State Park
Also: 12:30 Scavenger hunt; 2 p.m. Geocaching 101

June 20, Cold-blooded Ectothermathon
Time? Contact 320-384-6615
Learn about bugs, reptiles and amphibians.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 20, Astronomy in the Park
8:30–10 p.m.
UofM Astro Dept. takes you on a tour of the night skies. Short talk then outside viewing with telescopes (provided).
Location: Afton State Park

June 20, Nature at the Beach
1–2 p.m.
Kid-friendly beach exploration with hands-on activities.
Location: Whitewater State Park

June 20, Monarch Butterflies
10 a.m.–3 p.m., stop by any time
See monarchs in all life stages, release a newly hatched adult or take a chrysalis home.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 20, Q&A with DNR Fisheries
1–3 p.m.
Unique opportunity to ask questions about fishery management and approach. Check out the electrofishing boat and sampling nets. Test your IQ with a fish i.d. game. And more!
Location:  St. Croix State Park

June 20, Renown Author and Educator
5–6 p.m. (reserve seat 320-384-6615)
Presentation by Larry Weber on spiders.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 20, Owls of the Night
8:30–9:30 p.m.
Presentation with park naturalist.
Location: Wild River State Park, amphitheater

June 20, Learn Orienteering
8–9 p.m.
Learn how to use a compass and read topo maps, then go on a treasure hunt!
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, meet at River Inn Interpretive Center

June 20, Natural History Presentation on the Root River
9–10 p.m.
Virtual presentation on history of the Forestville area.
Location: Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, amphitheater

June 20, BATS!!!
7:30–8:30 p.m.
Learn all about this incredible, flying, mosquito-eating mammal.
Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park, amphitheater

June 20, Create Fish Prints
23:30 p.m.
Create prints of Minnesota fish with washable paint and realistic plastic fish.
Location: Bear Head Lake State Park, picnic shelter

June 20, Intro to GPS Geo-caching
6:30–8 p.m.
Learn the sport of geo-caching. If you have a GPS unit you may bring, otherwise the park will provide.
Location: Whitewater State Park

June 20, Plant Hike
9–11 a.m.
Leisurely plant hike to discover plants growing in park. Printed guides provided.
Location: Tettegouche State Park, Cart-in site parking lot

June 20, Photo Scavenger Hunt
4–5 p.m.
Cameras provided, or bring your own. Snap shots of finds.
Location: Temperance River State Park, visitors center

June 20, 5 in 5 Nature Cart: Fish
1:30–3:30
A unique station at the headwaters of the Mississippi.
Location: Itasca State Park, porch of Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center

June 20, Critters at the Campfire
7:30–8:30 p.m.
Enjoy a glowing fire and learn about fisher, otter, mink and more. Bring your own S’mores!
Location: Itasca State Park, amphitheater (cancelled if rain)

June 20–21, Birds and Bogs
$35, 4 p.m. (Register 651-296-6157, fee includes lodging and instruction, meals are potluck)
Hike with two outstanding birding and bog plant i.d. experts. See 58 species of birds!
Location: UM Cedar Creek Reserve (East Bethel)

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 21

June 21, Science Saturday: Odonata Survey Project
8–10 a.m.
Join Kurt Mead to catch and i.d. odonata species (think dragonflies and damselflies) at Lake Vermilion.
Location: Soudan Underground Mine State Park, visitor center

June 21, Trout Hatchery Tour
10 a.m.
Crystal Springs Trout Hatchery is home to trout released in southeast MN, Lake Superior, and elsewhere throughout state.
Location: Whitewater State Park, visitor center

June 21, Orchid Walk
4:30–5:30 p.m.
42 species, including Showy lady’s slipper, are in Minnesota. Joint a naturalist to discover orchids on a walk through the park.
Location: Itasca State Park, Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom

June 21, Pollinator Workshop
1–3 p.m. (register 320-384-6615)
Join landscape designer to learn how to support pollinators on your property.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 21, Snakes of the Blufflands
8–9 p.m.
16 of MN’s 17 kinds of snakes call bluffs their home. Learn how to live, work and play alongside these awesome creatures. See and touch live snakes!
Location: Whitewater State Park
Also: 2–3 p.m. at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, amphitheater

June 21, Starlight Starbright
9 p.m.
Join amateur astronomer to take a tour of the night sky. Start indoors then head outside to view with provided telescope.
Location: William O’Brien State Park, visitor center

June 21, River Fishing
1–3 p.m.
Learn about fish! Family-friendly, kid-friendly event.
Location: Fort Snelling State Park

June 21, Aquatic Invertebrate Sampling
10–11:30 a.m
Learn how to i.d. fresh water insects. Bring waders or rain boots/water shoes. Other equipment provided.
Location: Fort Snelling State Park, Snelling Lake fishing pier

June 21, Night Hike
9–10 p.m.
Many insects and animals thrive in the dark. Take a guided hike to immerse yourself into their world. Stick around after the hike to help study the fireflies. Flashlight recommended.
Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park, amphitheater below Lady Slipper Lodge

June 21, Wildlife Mystery Geocaching
3–4 p.m.
Put your sleuthing skills to the test as you use park GPS units to find hidden wildlife clues. Instruction on how to use the GPS.
Location: Interstate State Park, visitor center

June 21, Pre-school story and activity time
10–11 a.m.
Location: Lake Carlos State Park

June 21, Geology History Walk
1–2 p.m.
Walk along river to learn of the stories left behind in stone.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, River Inn Interpretive Center

June 21, Junior Naturalists Learn About Beavers
4–5 p.m.
Discover the amazing adaptations of one of the best animal architects—the beaver! Includes short walk to see where local beavers have been working.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, amphitheater (Behind park office)

June 21, Pre-school story and activity time
10–11 a.m. (to bring a large group, call 507-932-3007)
Location: Whitewater State Park, visitor center Discovery Room

June 21, Make a Walking Stick
1–3:30 p.m.
Hands-on activity. Transform invasives (like buckthorn) into a practical tool. Learn about stopping the spread of invasives.
Location: Whitewater State Park

June 21, Build a Bug
11 a.m.–3 p.m. (stop by any time)
Using modeling clay or paint create a pair of wings to wear.
Location: St. Croix State Park, lodge deck

June 21, Birding
Listen and look for birds on a guided walk. Limited binocs provided, or bring your own.
Location: Bear Head Lake State Park, meet at trail center

June 21, Turtle Day
10–11 a.m. (donations will be accepted)
Join Herptologist Jim Gerhold to learn about and discover turtles inhabiting Lake Maria.
Location: Lake Maria State Park

June 21, Archery in the Park
3–4 p.m., 8+ yrs old (15 under must be with adult)
Learn the basics from a certified instructor and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: Red River State Rec Area, Sherlock Campground across from playground

June 21, Archery in the Park
10 a.m.–11:30 (show up any time), 8+ yrs (15 under must be with adult)
Learn the basics from a certified instructor and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: Father Hennepin State Park, picnic area

June 21, Archery in the Park
1–3 p.m.
Learn the basics from a certified instructor and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: William O’Brien State Park, picnic grounds

June 21, Archery in the Park
1–3:30 p.m.
Learn the basics from a certified instructor and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: Soudan Underground Mine State Park, at winter entrance

June 21, Archery in the Park
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Learn the basics from a certified instructor and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: Temperence River State Park, follow signs from overflow parking lot

June 21, Fly-fishing Workshop for Women
9 a.m.–noon, Call for class availability (limited) 218-308-2300
Presentation then practice. Bring your own waders!
Location: Lake Bemidji State Park

June 21, Geocaching 101
10:30–noon
GPS units available, or bring your own. Learn then set out on a treasure hunt.
Location: William O/Brien State Park

June 21, Geocaching 101
1–3 p.m.
GPS units available, or bring your own. Learn then set out on a treasure hunt.
Location: Afton State Park

June 21, Geocaching for S’mores
$8, 9–11 a.m.
Learn the basics while searching for delicious treasures.
Location: Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park (New Prague)

June 21, Fly-fishing Workshop
9–noon
Presentation on equipment, casting and then practice at Lake Bemidji. Bring your own waders or water shoes.
Location: Lake Bemidji State Park

June 21, Antique and vintage snowmobile tour
3–4:30 p.m.
View a collection of 40 snowmobiles, including 1962 rear-engine Polaris.
Location: Big Bog State Park (meet then drive to nearby site)

June 21, Power of Glacial Meltwater
11 a.m.–noon, reserve a space 651-465-5711 x225
Intrigued by geology? Join Professor Chad Wittkop for an explorative hike through glacial potholes.
Location: Interstate State Park

June 21, Frogs Up Close and Personal
7–8 p.m.
Entertaining program.
Location: Interstate State Park, picnic area at park entrance

June 21, Lumber Legends
8:30–9:30 p.m.
Presentation, stories.
Location: Wild River State Park, visitor center

June 21, Frog Pond Splash!
1–3 p.m.
Prepare to get wet! Meet at the frog pond to learn all about frog habitat and then catch yurself from frogs! Wear shoes that you’re okay getting muddy.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 21, Reptile Program
5–6 p.m.
Professional reptile educator Jim Gerholdt and his 10 scaly friends will meet and greet. Learn about turtles, lizards and snakes.
Location: St. Croix State Park, Council Ring

June 21, SNA Bird Hike
7:30 a.m.–noon
Unique location, excellent birding! Lots of hiking on uneven terrain. Consider packing lunch and your swim suit to enjoy all the park has to offer.
Location: Buffalo River State Park

June 21, Night Hike
7–8 p.m.
Hike to discover creatures of the night.
Location: St. Croix State Park, lodge

June 21, Nature Photography Day
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Digital photography training for adults and youth; wildlife photography presentation
Location: Itasca State Park, Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom

June 21, Annual Parsnip Pull
Pull wild parsnip.  This is a service project combined with a fun social atmosphere (lunch provided). Activities and entertainment focused on invasive species. No experience is necessary, but volunteers must be able to bend over and carry spades, shovels or other tools necessary for removing parsnips. Email Sara.grover@state.mn.us
Location: Whitewater State Park

June 21, Constellations through Ojibwa Legend
8–9 p.m.
Learn of the legends around a cozy campfire.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, amphitheater (behind park office)

June 21, Fireflies
9–10 p.m.
Learn what lights these fanciful, magical creatures up in June and July.
Location: Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, amphitheater

June 21, Casual Organized Bicycle Ride
9 a.m., 3rd saturday of every month June–Sept.
1–2 hour ride. Length of ride increases each month. In Sept. there will be a celebratory ice cream social.
Location: Central Lakes State Trail, meet at Big Ole in Alexandria

June 21, Lake Itasca Pioneer Farmers Tour
10 a.m.–noon
Get a feel for the 1900s community that lived near Lake Itasca. See a historic sawmill, explore various buildings from a country school, log house, and logging museum. Guided.
Location: Itasca State Park, meet at Levorsen Building (near Pioneer Farmer showgrounds)

June 21, Wildlife Presentation
10:30 a.m.
Learn about loons, woodpeckers, deer, porcupines, and more.
Location: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, interpretive center

June 21, Pop-Can Casting
2–3 p.m., kids 7+ (younger welcome but will need help from an adult)
Take home a fishing rig that you make. Learn about the fish in the lake.
Location: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, interpretive center

June 21, 5 in 5 Nature Cart: Bobcats
1:30–3:30
New naturalist station at the headwaters of Miss. where you can stop by to learn five facts in five minutes.
Location: Itasca State Park, near headwaters (under porch of Mary Gibbs Miss. Headwaters Center if rain)

June 21, Intro to Geocaching
4 p.m.
Location: Father Hennepin Staet Park, picnic area

June 21, Campfire “Frogs and Turtle” Discussion
7:30–8:30 p.m.
Bring S’more fixins to enjoy after the talk!
Location: Itasca State Park, museum/aphitheater (below Wegmann Store Ruins)

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 22

June 22, Gateway Trail Bicycle Tour
Free, 1–3 p.m.
Bike with naturalist along this historic railroad corridor (approx. 12 miles).
Location: Afton State Park

June 22, Backwaters Paddling Field Trip
Free, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Presentation then explore the backwaters of the Mississippi near Weaver Bottoms (approx. 15 miles). Equipment provided.
Location: Whitewater State Park, at Whitewater Valley Visitor Center

June 22, Music in the Gardens
Free, 2–3 p.m.
Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra performs
Location: UofM Landscape Arboretum, Trex Deck

June 22, How to Canoe
2–4 p.m., 8+ with adult, must register (limited space): call 218-753-2245
Learn the basics. Canoes and equipment included. Bring a snack.
Location: Lake Vermillion State Park, park visitor center

June 22, Bird Banding Demo
12:30–2 p.m.
Handle and release birds. Study and observe and band birds.
Location: Whitewater State Park

June 22, Women’s Bike Ride
1–3 p.m., must register: 651-231-6968
Ride along railroad corridor and discover some  really great places. Approx. 12 miles.
Location: Gateway State Trail.

June 22, Archery in Parks
10 a.m.–noon
In park lesson and practice. Equipment provided.
Location: William O’Brien State Park

June 22, Itasca’s Music Under the Pines
Folk and folk rock songs. Stories.
Location: Itasca State Park, Forest Inn (across Douglas Lodge)

June 22, Mussel Info.
3–4 p.m.
Some mussels are protected species, some are invasive. Learn about all mussels that make the St. Croix River in Minnesota their home.
Location: Interstate State Park

June 22, Trout fishing
10:30 a.m.–noon
Learn to fish for trout! Equipment provided. Bring your own bait (worms work best). License not required during program.
Location: Whitewater State Park, south picnic area

June 22, Canoe Trip
$$ 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., reservation 320-384-0508 (fees vary by type of boat rental)
Guided 5-mile paddle down St. Croix River. Observe turtles and look for other ectotherms along the way.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 22, Learn About Fishing
How to tie a knot, cast a line, then check out a free fishing kit to test your new skills.
Location: St. Croix State Park

June 22, Retro Reels Movie Night
5–6 p.m.
Bring your own popcorn and snacks and watch retro nature films. What?! Far out!
Location: St. Croix State Park, lodge

June 22, Invasive Plant Walk
10–11:30 a.m.
Learn about invasives at the park while hiking. Plant i.d.
Location: Fort Snelling State Park

June 22, Nature Journaling
2–3:30 p.m.
Learn the basics of nature journaling. Supplies provided. Exploration to practice will follow.
Location: Buffalo River State Park, Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

June 22, Take a Lichen to Hikin’
10:30–1:30
Discover the little things with a naturalist.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, amphitheater

June 22, Monarch Presentation
1–2 p.m.
Learn the lifecycle. Create a caterpillar craft to take home. Kids program.
Location: Jay Cooke State Park, River Inn Interpretive Center

June 22, Rocks and Lava History Presentation
7:30–8:30
Learn about rocks, waterfall, agates!
Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park, amphitheater (near Lady Slipper Lodge)

June 22, Naturalists Along the Trail
10:30–noon, 1–2:30
Travel along trails to find a naturalist ready to share some facts facts.
Location: Gooseberry Falls State Park

June 22, Tree Trek
9–11 a.m.
What’s that tree? Learn as you hike!
Location: Tetteouche State Park, meet at High Falls Trailhead
Also: For juniors (14 and under): 1–2 p.m. Learn about trees presentation.

June 22, Geocaching 101
10 a.m.
Learn how to use GPS units for this fun treasure hunt/game.
Location: Lake Carlos State Park, visitor center

June 22, Movie: Bears
10:30–11 a.m.
Nature film on bears.
Location: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, interpretive center

June 22, Historic Walk through Douglas Lodge
2–2:30 p.m.
Learn about early 1900s and 1930s buildings in the historic Douglas Lodge resort area. Stops include Douglas Lodge, Four-plex, and Forest Inn.
Location: Itasca State Park, meet outside Douglas Lodge
Also: 2:30 –4 p.m. Meet outside Forest Inn

Every day through August 17, 2014, Butterflies: Beauty in Flight
$3 (2+ yrs, otherwise free), 10 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Free days for members 6.16, 7.20, 8.17 (no strollers)
See butterflies of all ages up close. At 10 a.m. on Saturdays watch or help release butterflies into the wild (must register to release, click HERE)
Location: UofM Landscape Arboretum, Meyer-Deats Conservatory, Snyder Building