Weekend Nature Activities: Oct 16–18

Ahhh– Fall has arrived, and Minnesota is gorgeous! Why? Because of all the beautiful trees and great weather! So, get outside! Plant a tree! Keep the beauty going for years and years to come . . . You know the drill, all of these super cool events are free unless otherwise noted. So––– ENJOY!

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———————FRIDAY, Oct 16———————

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Moose Madness Family Festival
All day Sat. and Sunday See website for details.
Grand Marais

Fall Colors Fun for Families
12 PM to 4 PM The leaves may be falling, but there is still plenty of seasonal fun to be had at the park. Stop by the visitor center for ongoing scavenger hunts, crafts, and self-guided activities between 12 and 4 PM on Thursday and Friday.
Interstate State Park

Youth Deer Hunt $$
10/16/2015 to 10/18/2015 The 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 on the DNR Website.
Lake Bemidji State Park

Intro to GPS and Geo-caching
1 PM to 2:30 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

CSI: Wild River Mysteries
1 PM to 2:30 PM Be there when the Naturalist opens the big bag of bones! Play a game of CSI to determine who the bones belong to and speculate how they got here. You will also help solve the mystery of what the owls have been eating as you scientifically check out their pellets.
Wild River State Park

Campfire Cooking 101
5:30 PM to 6:30 PM Get ready to cook on the wild side and sample your chef creations! Whether you are a seasoned cook or new at campfire cooking discover some new recipes and try your hand at cooking them! We’ll introduce you to a few and have everyone try at least one! Bring a camping chair if you want and a campfire stick for roasting.
Sibley State Park (Meet at the Cedar Hill Shelter)

Tree Planting —Volunteer Opportunity
5 PM to 7 PM Join MN Nature to plant trees! We’ll be in the Little Bohemia Neighborhood of West 7th along the bluffs on the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Fall is a great time to plant trees and the U of M has donated five unique species that we’ll be planting today. There will be a “proper planting” demo followed by tree planting. Tools provided. Join us! Come early or stay late to explore this fun neighborhood. Dress warm and wear appropriate shoes/boots!
Location: 244 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102 (MNDOT land adjacent to Burger King parking lot)

Owls of St. Croix
5 PM to 6 PM Meet the naturalist inside the St. Croix Lodge to learn about adaptations that make owls such great hunters.
St. Croix State Park

Natural History of the Black Bear in Minnesota
7 PM to 8 PM The only species of bear found in Minnesota, the black bear is an incredible animal, performing amazing survival tactics such as migrating and hibernating. Throughout the ages, people have harbored many misconceptions about black bears. Join Diana Weinhardt-Treangan, Director of the Houston Nature Center, to get the facts about the natural history of these adaptable and intelligent creatures.
Whitewater State Park

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———————SATURDAY Oct 17———————
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Let’s Go Birdwatching
9 AM to 10:30 AM Watching birds can be a lifelong pursuit. Whether you are just starting and have acquired a long list, join us to share this fun recreational opportunity.
Afton State Park

Intro to Geocaching
10 AM to 12 PM Course details: 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 personal GPS unit). A park vehicle permit is required. Registration: For questions or to register call Fort Snelling State Park at 612-725-2724.
Fort Snelling State Park

Fossil Field Trip
10 AM to 12 PM On this trip you will find, and can keep, fossils of plants and animals that lived here hundreds of millions of years ago. They were on earth long before the dinosaurs! What can they tell us about this area’s past? Fossil cards, to display your collection, will be distributed. Bring transportation, as the site is nine miles from the park.
Whitewater State Park

Women’s Introduction to Geocaching
10 AM to 12 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

Geocaching 101
10:30 AM to 12 PM Join Andy McCracken, expert geocacher, and discover the fascinating challenge of geocaching and how you can use it to explore Minnesota State Parks’ hidden treasures. You will learn how to use a GPS unit, and then head out in the park to find some specially placed caches. Then try your hand at the new Wildflower geocaching program in MN State Parks! A limited number of GPS units will be available for this modern-day treasure hunt. So please call the park office to sign up.
William O’Brien State Park (Meet at the Visitor Center!)

Geology Rocks Gooseberry
10 AM to 11 AM Listen to the rocks as they tell of lava flows, glaciers and roaring rivers on this hike of discovery. Unearth the land’s history from the rock’s point of view. Join the Naturalist on this hike of exploration for all ages.
Meet at the Art Column outside the Visitor Center.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Apple House
10 AM and many other regularly scheduled weekend activities throughout fall. Visit their website.
Minnesota Arboretum, Chanhassen

Junior Naturalist: Miniature Worlds Magnified
10 AM to 11 AM Kids and your adults, a strange and incredible world is hidden among the rocks and logs of the park. To see it, you’ll need a magnifying glass. Decorate your own mini magnifying glass to keep and then explore with it during a short, naturalist-led walk. Meet at the Campground Clubhouse. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The walk will be less than a half mile in length.
Interstate State Park

Snakes of Wild River State Park
10 AM to 11 AM Learn about the snakes found in this park and get an up-close look (and feel if you dare) at our live resident garter and bull snakes. We will even feed the snakes in front of your own eyes at the end of the program! See that there is nothing to fear from these amazing reptiles.
Wild River State Park

Trail Walk: Autumn in the Forest
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM On this 1/2-mile trail will we will see and discuss autumn changes taking place in the hardwood forest, pine stands, marshes, swamps and bogs of Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. Meet at the interpretive center.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Thomson Cemetery Tour
11 AM to 12 PM Celebrate 100 Years! at the park with one of our centennial programs this weekend. Join us on tour of the Thomson Cemetery and discover the history behind the first settlers who called this area home. Meet at the Thomson Cemetery parking lot, which is 1/2 mile west of the campground.
Jay Cooke State Park

Kids Fall Color Lab
11 AM to 12 PM Explore the reason for the season with hands on activities! Meet in the Interpretive Center theater for an hour of science experiments, art and a guided hike.
Sibley State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM Join the naturalist as we explore the glacial pothole area of the park for unique geologic formations and enjoy scenic overlooks of fall colors creeping through the river valley. Meet at the visitor center at 12 PM. This 45-minute tour involves some uneven terrain and stairs.
Interstate State Park

Fall Colors: An Artist’s Palette
1–3 PM Join us at Frontenac State Park for an artistic view of fall colors during the peak of the color season in Southeast Minnesota.

Activities:
1 – 3 pm – Meet an Artist
Local Red Wing artist, Katie Casci, will showcase her nature inspired works and provide insight on how she uses nature as her muse.
1 – 3 pm – Tree ID
Learn how to identify trees by twigs, bark and buds and gain an understanding on how leaves change color with volunteer naturalist John Tittle.
1 – 3 pm – Kids Arts & Crafts
Enjoy a variety of make and take projects provided by Katie Casci and Frontenac State Park.
2 – 3 pm – Photography Hike
Patsy Peterson, Amateur Photographer, will provide tips and tricks for taking fantastic fall colors photos using digital and phone cameras.

Frontenac State Park Picnic Shelter and Trails

Fly Fishing for Beginners – Two Saturday Course – $$$
1 PM to 5 PM (This is a two Saturday course. You must attend both days.)To many people fly-fishing for trout is the ultimate outdoor experience. It requires an intimate knowledge of trout and their stream environment. This two-Saturday class, 10/17 and 10/24, is designed for those seriously interested in learning how to fly fish. Reservations are required. Call (507) 932-3007, extension 226 or email sara.holger@state.mn.us prior to 10/9 to register. Participants need fly fishing equipment by the second session. Some equipment is available on loan. A fishing license and trout stamp is required. A course fee of $20.00 is required at the time of registration.
Whitewater State Park

The Annual Pumpkin Festival
1 PM to 4 PM Come join us for a fun afternoon of pumpkin decorating, hay rides, face painting, refreshments (including s’mores) and the biggest leaf pile that you’ve ever seen! There will be opportunities to win prizes too. The event will be held at the Zuya Group Center in Lake Shetek State Park on Saturday, October 17 from 1pm – 4pm. There is no cost for the event but a state park vehicle permit is required for entry into the state park. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Lake Shetek State Park. For more information, call the park office at (507) 763-3256.
Lake Shetek State

Water (color) Under the Bridge
1 PM to 2:30 PM Celebrate 100 Years! at the park with one of our centennial programs this weekend. Our Swinging Bridge has seen its share of rough waters under it, through it and over it. Find out about this historic structure while adding an artistic twist to it, by creating your own watercolor painting of the bridge. Class size is limited. Please pre-register by calling the park at 218-384-4610 x.229 or sign up at the park office.
Jay Cooke State Park

Happy Falloween Fall Fun Crafts
1 PM to 3 PM Shelter #1 in the Picnic Grounds Head down to shelter 1 in the picnic grounds as we start our Falloween celebration with some fun, and crafty make and takes! Make a trick-or-treat bag for the evening festivities; let’s get batty, spiders are awesome, and what is a Falloween celebration without a pumpkin? Keep what you make! There are a limited number of supplies, so when they are gone, they are gone! See you down in the picnic grounds!
William O’Brien State Park

Fall Colors Leaves A Blaze from the Fire Tower
2 PM to 4 PM Experience the splendor of the hardwood forests in fall while learning about the unique history of the Elba Fire Tower. We’ll begin at the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center at Whitewater State Park and then caravan in our own vehicles up the road to the fire tower parking lot. It is 700 plus steps up the bluff and to the top of the tower so participants should be prepared with good hiking shoes and a bottle of water.
Whitewater State Park

Secrets of Skulls —Junior Naturalist
3 PM to 3:30 PM Discover the hidden clues that skulls reveal about an animal’s favorite foods, hunting style, and life history. Find the naturalist and a variety of mystery skulls at the naturalist office (just down the parking lot from the visitor center).
Interstate State Park

Halloween Fun Festival
3 PM to 7 PM Head down to the Josh Hanson Memorial Picnic Shelter as we start our Halloween celebration with some fun, food and craft projects! Make a trick-or-treat bag for the evening festivities. There are a limited number of supplies, so when they are gone, they are gone! If you are camping, decorate your campsite! There will be different categories with prizes! Kids can go trick or treating in the campground. Sites that are willing to participate in the trick or treating will have orange pumpkin cards on their site posts.

Schedule of Events:
3:00-4:30pm- Games and Craft Stations at the Josh Hanson Memorial Shelter
4:30-5:00pm- Stories, Songs, and Snacks at the Josh Hanson Memorial Shelter
5:00-6:00pm Break (On Your Own)
6:00-6:45pm Trick or Treating & Campsite Site Judging in the Main Campground Sites that are willing to participate in the trick or treating will have orange pumpkin cards on their site posts.
6:30- Bonfire & Marshmallow Roast Start at Campground Host Site (site 21) Bring your own marshmallow sticks and Chairs
7:00- Prizes awarded for Campsite Decorating Contest

Maplewood State Park

All Camp Trick-or-Treat
6 PM to 8 PM Campers! Decorate your site, get your costume on, and participate in the All-Camp Trick or Treat. Participating campsites will be identified with pumpkin site tags.
Wild River State Park

Happy Falloween!
6 PM to 10 PM Join us for this special fall festival at the park. If you are camping, decorate your campsite! There will be different categories with prizes! Kids can trick or treat in the campground when the judging begins. Site judging and trick or treating will start at 6:00pm. Sites that are willing to participate in the trick or treating will have orange pumpkin cards on their site posts. Pre- carved or painted pumpkins, costumes, different ages and pets will be judged at the large picnic shelter in the picnic grounds at 7:00pm sharp. At 7:30pm a storyteller will share some ‘tall’ and ‘short’ tales around the campfire. Mild stories early and spookier stories later as the night goes on. In the boat launch area, an amateur astronomer will have his telescope set-up to view some deep, night sky objects. A marshmallow roast will end this spooktacular evening in the park. The Friend’s Group of William O’Brien brings this Falloween Festival to you.
William O’Brien State Park

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———————Sunday Oct 18———————
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Bike Bemidji
8–9 AM check-in Join us for a bike ride around beautiful Lake Bemidji. This 17 mile ride will feature food, music, and activities at rest stations along the way. Paper registrations and same day registrations available for an additional fee. Event details and registration HERE.
Sanford Event Center (west end of the parking lot)

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Coffee, Talk and Walk with the National Park Service
9 AM to 11 AM Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the St. Croix River Valley with some fresh coffee, good conversation, and a healthy morning walk next to the St. Croix River. Park rangers from the National Park Service will lead these walks (with coffee provided!). Walks may be canceled in the event of threatening or inclement weather.
Afton State Park

Hidden Histories Scavenger Hunt
10 AM to 1 PM Interstate State Park has a rich history just ready to be investigated. Follow hidden clues to the park’s past throughout the Glacial Potholes Area of the park until you reach the hidden prize bin. Find your first clue at the visitor center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Interstate State Park

American Indian Beadwork
10 AM to 11:30 AM Come to the back deck of the St. Croix Lodge to learn about art in the lives of American Indian tribes. Use Native American freehand bead weaving patterns to make your own accessory to take home! Beadwork is tricky! This activity is good for ambitious adults and older children.
St. Croix State Park

St. Louis River Walk
10:30 AM to 12 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. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Fall Color Hike
11 AM to 12 PM Enjoy the autumn colors at Gooseberry Falls with a hike to explore geology and human history as nature prepares for winter. Join the Naturalist on this hike of discovery for all ages. Meet at the Art Column outside the Visitor Center.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
12 PM to 1 PM
Interstate State Park Join the naturalist as we explore the glacial pothole area of the park for unique geologic formations and enjoy scenic overlooks of fall colors creeping through the river valley. Meet at the visitor center at 12 PM. This 45-minute tour involves some uneven terrain and stairs.

Changing Seasons Hike
1 PM to 2 PM Meet the naturalist inside the St. Croix Lodge to take a hike and see what is changing with the seasons.
St. Croix State Park

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

 

—————Upcoming . . .—————

10/23/2015 Story Telling and Night Hike
7 PM to 9:30 PM Join us for a night of great stories presented by a local story teller and afterwards for a led night hike on one of the parks many trails. S’mores and warm apple cider will be provided by the Friends of Camden. Meet in the North Picnic Shelter, with program starting at 7:15 PM. There is no charge for the program, but a valid MN State Park Vehicle Permit is required for entrance to the park.
Camden State Park

—————Seasons—————

10/17/15 – 03/15/16

Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Badger, Opossum (North) Hunting & Trapping