Weekend Nature Activities: June 26–29

Happy summer! The lightning bugs are out and we’re all staying up later thanks to the looooong days! Enjoy these free* outdoor events in our beautiful #MNnature of Minnesota.

(*Free unless otherwise noted.)

Saturday

Basswood Bracelets
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Learn about a fun way to use trees as we spin a rope bracelet from the bark of a Basswood tree. Children under 10 years old need to attend with an adult. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Dragonfly Hike
1 PM to 2 PM Meet the naturalist at the St. Croix Lodge to take a hike. Catch dragonflies and damselflies and learn about their amazing life cycle. This 1/2-mile hike includes stairs, grassy areas and loose sand. Wear sturdy shoes and prepare for bugs! This program is good for all ages.
St. Croix State Park

Geocaching
1 PM to 2:30 PM Discover the fun of geocaching and how you can use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit to find hidden treasures at Minnesota State Parks. Bring your own GPS unit or use one of ours (we may not be able to provide technical help with your GPS unit). Registration required. Call 612-725-2724 to register.
Fort Snelling State Park

Rock Balancing on the Beach
2 PM to 4 PM Would you like to find balance in your life? Well, you can start at Tettegouche State Park with North Shore Artist, Lauri E. Olson-Hohman, where she will be sharing her rock-balancing passion and skills. It’s a fun and rewarding way to enjoy nature and solitude. Bring your camera.
Tettegouche State Park

Wildflowers of Afton
2 PM to 3 PM Stroll around the park’s trial to see what beauties are plooming park
Afton State Park

Bluestem Prairie Hike
2 PM to 3:30 PM
Located adjacent to Buffalo River State Park, Bluestem Scientific and Natural Area is one of the highest quality prairie sites in the U.S. Join the Scientific and Areas naturalist for a hike through this site. Photographs are encouraged! Participants are welcome to bring binoculars, field guides and cameras. Meet at the Nature Center located in Buffalo River State Park at 2:00 pm. Dress for tall grass, wood ticks and uneven ground. Please confirm your interest in attending by calling the park office at (218) 498-2124. Consider packing dinner and your swim suit to enjoy the picnic grounds and swimming beach at Buffalo River after the program. Event is free but there is a 5 dollar daily fee to enter the State Park unless you have an annual pass.
Buffalo River State Park

Archery in the Park
3 PM to 5 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 a number of different targets. Please meet at Group Campground on the campground side of Minneopa State Park.
Minneopa State Park

Owl Pellet Mysteries: Investigation Station
3 PM to 4 PM What secrets does an owl pellet reveal? Discover the answer during this ongoing station with simple tools and pellets on hand. Drop-in for this ten minute activity between 3 and 4 p.m. in front of the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Kids Activity: Pop Can Casting
3 PM to 4 PM Learn about fish that people like to catch in the Mille Lacs area, and take home a fishing rig that you will make from a pop can. Meet in Lakeview Picnic Area. In case of rain the program will be held inside the Lakeview Picnic Shelter.
Father Hennepin State Park

Feeding Frenzy
4 PM to 4:30 PM Come to the Interpretive Center to watch our wildlife ambassadors eat! Great for kids.
St. Croix State Park

Campfire Concert in the Amphitheater
6 PM to 8 PM We have a treat in store for campers of Tettegouche on Friday evening at the Visitor Center Amphitheater. Tim Eggebraaten just simply likes to entertain folks and you are encouraged to come spend an evening being entertained!
Tettegouche State Park

Owl Prowl
7 PM to 8 PM Have you ever heard a hoot in the night? Join the naturalist on a hike into the life of the owl on a guided walk. This walk will start at the Interpretive Center, travel through the woods and end by Lake Andrew. You can walk home to your Lakeview Campsite or travel back at your leisure.
Sibley State Park

Owls of Minnesota
7 PM to 8 PM Owls are fascinating birds. What other bird can rotate its head almost 270 degrees or have the ability to fly practically silent? Did you know that the right ear of the Bared Owl (photo) is higher than the left? Owls come in all different shapes and sizes. We will talk about the 12 owls that be found her in Minnesota including the Great Horned Owl, Bared Owl and Eastern Screech-Owl and some of their unique characteristics. There will also be a chance to see what an owl might eat by pulling apart an owl pellet. Meet at the Group Campground on the campground side.
Minneopa State Park

Summer Bat Count
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM 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

Life of the Voyageur
7 PM to 8 PM Meet inside the St. Croix Lodge to learn what life was like for fur traders working here 250 years ago. Best for adults.
St. Croix State Park

Tall-Tales and Sing-along Songs Campfire!
7:30 PM A campfire isn?t complete without tall tales and sing-alongs! Join the naturalists for a fun-filled evening of laughter and storytelling for all ages. Find out who was victorious in the battle of the pickle and the dragon. No singing experience necessary, and marshmallows provided!! Bring a lawn chair or grab a picnic bench at the Visitor Center fire-ring!
William O’Brien State Park

Creatures of the Night Hike
8:30 PM to 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. Meet at the amphitheater near Lady Slipper Lodge.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

St. Louis River Trivia!
8 PM to 9 PM Join the park naturalist to learn about the animals, history and water of the St. Louis River with a mix of entertaining trivia questions. Excitement and prizes are included. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Straight and True Archery
9 PM to 10 PM Are you interested in finding out more about archery? Come and learn about the history of archery and bow hunting in America. We will explore the development of the sport of archery, equipment, and the challenges of hunting with a bow and arrow. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

 

Sunday

Big Spring Falls Photography Workshop
8 AM to 11 AM So you have a great camera, but you always keep it in automatic mode. Want to change that? Join the naturalist to learn and practice new skills along the cool rocks and dashing waters of the Kettle River. Please register for this program by June 26. Think about bringing your camera, lenses, filters, tripod, water, snack and emergency toilet paper (there are no facilities out there!)
Banning State Park

BOW – Early Summer Hike
10 AM to 11:30 AM Course details: Explore Fort Snelling State Park with a park naturalist. We’ll look for wildflowers, listen for frogs and toads and learn about all sorts of plants and animals that make their home in the park. A park vehicle permit is required. Course dates and times: June 27, 2015, 10a.m. to 11:30a.m.
Fort Snelling State Park

Family Canoeing $$$
1 PM to 3 PM Course details: 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+ Course dates and times: June 27, 2015, 1p.m.-3p.m. Cost: $15/person
Clearly Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Archery in the Parks
2 PM to 5 PM Ever wanted to try archery? Join us for an introductory program to learn the basic skills and safety information that will help you become comfortable using a bow. All equipment will be provided. Children must be age 8 or older and must be accompanied by an adult.
Big Island State Park

Movie: The Stream is Alive
2 PM to 4 PM The park streams are loaded with invertebrates that tell a story about the condition of the water. Find out why fish thrive in the park streams as you help a park naturalist capture and identify the stream life. Wear old shoes that can be worn in the water or water shoes, flip flops are not recommended and shorts are advised for this program. Meet at the amphitheater.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

I Can Trout Fish!
4 PM to 6 PM Learn how to fish at this introductory program. Limited fishing gear will be provided and fishing license requirements are waived for this educational program. Learn about the trout, the food they eat, and how to catch and release them. Participants will need to drive their own vehicle for this program. To register, call 507-937-3251
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Wild About Wildlife
7 PM to 8 PM What are some of the cool animals that can be found at Fort Ridgely 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 Campground Picnic Shelter.
Fort Ridgely State Park

Snake, Rattle, and Roll!
7 PM to 8 PM Explore the amazing snakes that call Minnesota home with special scaled guests from Snake Discovery. Our guest presenter will entertain you with examples of what it takes to survive as a snake and give you the chance to meet a few up close (if you choose). Meet at the stone picnic shelter in the park’s picnic grounds. The program will begin promptly at 7 PM.
Interstate State Park

Birding at Bear Head
8 AM to 10 AM Meet at the park office for a guided walk to listen and look for the variety of bird species within the park. A limited number of binoculars will be available for free checkout or bring your own. Dress for the weather, insect repellent is recommended. Current Minnesota State Park vehicle permits are required. Questions call park office 218-365-7229.
Bear Head Lake State Park