Weekend Nature Activities: Sept 25–28

Happy National Public Lands Day, Minnesota! Enjoy your state and national parks, open spaces, county parks, community gardens, urban forest OR give back by joining a volunteer event! Have a great weekend!

National Public Lands Day is celebrated annually across the country to promote conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of public lands such as parks and nature preserves. It began in 1994 with activities at three sites, and has grown into a nationwide event that in 2014 saw about 175,000 participants at 2,132 sites.

————Sept 26————

Prairie Restoration Celebration
8:30 AM September 26, 2015: Fall Color Celebration and Ribbon – cutting Event at Maplewood State Park: Come and experience the splendor of fall color where the prairie and hardwood forest meet. Witness the wonder of fall color on the edge of Maplewood’s renowned hardwood forests and the colorful prairies of the west. This event celebrates the Legacy Prairie Restorations Projects of Maplewood State Park and showcases the various stages of prairie restoration. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, prairie restoration tours will coincide with the annual “Friends of Maplewood Leaf Day celebration events at Maplewood State Park. Please join us for this color-filled fall event.
Maplewood State Park

National Public Lands Day —Volunteer Opportunity
9 AM–Noon Join fellow naturalists as we work to eradicate a buckthorn over run area around our Pond View Trail.
Sibley State Park

Nature Writing $$$
9–4 PM Instructor: DyAnne Korda Cost: $65 ($65 tuition + $0 materials) As autumn’s colorful landscapes peak and begin to fade with all that is outgrown, we appreciate all that remains within us.  Set aside time to discover the richness of your inner harvest through nature writing.
Ely Folk School


Guided Walk Through Butternut Valley
9:30 AM This small prairie remnant is home to a wide variety of prairie species. Indian grass and big bluestem should be in their fall glory during our visit. Bring your cameras and field guides to document and discover other late season flowers found in this unique place. Footwear appropriate for hiking is recommended. There are no maintained trails and the hike will be on uneven terrain. There are neither public restrooms nor access to drinking water on this site. This tour will be conducted rain or shine.
Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Seed Collection —Volunteer Opportunity
10 AM–2 PM Come out for a fun day of prairie seed collection. The seed will be used on the site for restorations. Some seed will be sown right after collecting. See the site’s web page for a map and description. This event will be led by the Lost Valley Prairie Site Steward, Jim Smetana. No advance sign-up, but contact us if you have a large group.
Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Halfway into Fall Hike
10–11 AM Are you visiting the park for the first time? Join the naturalist for a twenty minute walk (one-way) as we share park fall color hotspots, insider trail tips, and good conversation. After walking and chatting, the naturalist will stop at a scenic overlook where you can decide to continue exploring on your own or walk back with the guide. Bring your camera as this is often a great weekend for fall colors. The walk includes uneven terrain and some stairs and is less than a mile round-trip. Meet at the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of Wisconsin
10–Noon Dr. Kelley A. Hagenbuch, D.C., M.H. has been a chiropractor for 26 years, and has a passion for wild plant food and traditional plant medicine. She has a Master Herbalist certificate from Midwest School for Herbal Studies and leads plant and mushroom forays for educational groups up and down the St. Croix River valley. She will present a program that discusses identification, uses and safety information for novices on plants and mushrooms in the area, and then will lead a walk to see what we can find. Both Adults and children age 8 and older will enjoy her lively presentation and short hike to find out about the useful plants and fungi that grow here. We will start at the Visitor Center and then take a short drive down to the Riverside Trail for the walk.
William O’Brien State Park

Fall Color Hike
10 AM 7.6 miles. Hike the dramatic Section 13 cliffs and the 440-foot boardwalk over a beaver dam. Nice maple forests will provide great fall color. Meet at the Trailhead parking lot by the Finland Recreation Center (Claire Nelson Community Center) on Co. Rd. 7. At Hwy. 61 milepost 59.3, turn left (north) on Hwy. 1 and go 6.0 miles to Lake Co. Rd. 7 (Cramer Rd). Turn right and go 1.3 miles to parking lot past ball field at Finland Recreation Center.
Lake Co. Rd 6 to Finland Recreation Center

Archery in the Park
10–Noon Bows and arrows provided, join certified archery instructors for a hands-on shot at archery. This unique opportunity is for children ages 8 and up; beginners welcome! Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult; registration not required. Program will take place at the picnic area.
Wild River State Park

Leaf Days
10–4 PM Come and celebrate the fall Colors at Maplewood State Park. Various activities by the Friends of Maplewood State Park. All events held at the Josh Hanson Memorial Picnic Shelter.
Maplewood State Park


Fishing 101
10–1 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 Bermillion/Soudan Underground Mine


Archeology Day
10–4 PM The Minnesota Archaeological Society will host a full day of displays, demonstrations and activities highlighting archaeology and the early history of Minnesota. Demonstrations include flint knapping, pottery making, birch bark canoe building, prehistoric cooking techniques, traditional wild rice processing, spears & spear-throwers, a kids archery range and an opportunity to view an archeological excavation in progress. Displays include books and pamphlets from the Minnesota Archaeological Society, archaeology of Maritime Heritage Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Office of the State Archaeologist.
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Fall Color Photography Walk
10–Noon Come explore the park and learn a few basic photography skills. This program is designed for the beginner using point and shoot or handheld digital cameras, but those with experience are welcome as well. We will demonstrate that you do not have to have an expensive camera to take some great shots that you are proud of. We will look at some easy to use camera settings to help you take a better photo before getting out on a fall photography walk through hardwood forests and golden prairies. Bring your own camera or use one of ours. Meet at the Visitor Center for the program and enjoy the colors of fall.
Lake Carlos State Park

Fall Color Fun Day
11 AM–8 PM Celebrate fall during this day filled with fun fall activities. Join us on a fall hike,make crafts and play games that are enjoyable for the whole family. Check the calendar for specific programs and times. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

National Public Lands Day Celebration at the STATE CAPITOL CITY: ST PAUL
11 AM– 2 PM Ever wanted to shoot a bow and arrow, paddle a voyageurs canoe or scale a climbing wall? Here’s your chance! St. Paul Parks and Recreation is teaming up with the MN DNR and others to celebrate National Public Lands Day so families can try out a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Everyone is welcome; all equipment is provided; and everything is free:

– Paddle a big voyageurs canoe on the Mississippi River with experts from Wilderness Inquiry;
– See if you can hit the bullseye with a bow and arrow at the archery range;
– Go on a high-tech treasure hunt using GPS devices (geocaching);
– Try to reach the top of the climbing wall;
– See live native fish, and try angling from the riverbank;
– Help BareBones Productions build big puppets for their annual Halloween spectacle at Hidden Falls.

Hidden Falls Park (Enter park at north gate on Mississippi River Blvd., near Magoffin Avenue)

CCC History Hike
11–Noon Follow the footsteps of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) men as they built the park. Listen as the structures and steps tell the stories of these incredible young men. Meet at the art column outside the visitor center.
Gooseberry Falls State Park

Book Signings
11–1 PM Book signings, “The Best of Itasca” with Author Deane Johnson and Nature Photography with Dana Holm
Itasca State Park

Pothole Hike
Noon–1 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

Guided Hike
1 PM This mesic prairie lies on a rock terrace 70 feet above the Minnesota River Valley. Our walk should offer up autumn beauties including sunflowers, goldenrods, and coneflowers interspersed amongst the golden colored grasses. Bring your cameras and field guides to capture this special landscape. Footwear appropriate for hiking is recommended. There are no maintained trails and the hike will be on uneven terrain. There are neither public restrooms nor access to drinking water on this site. This tour will be conducted rain or shine.
Kasota Prairie SNA

Nature Hike
1–2 PM Meet in the St. Croix Lodge to take a hike with the naturalist. Check out what is blooming, migrating and changing with the seasons!
St Croix State Park

Wildflower Geocache
2–4 PM Have you ever wanted to try geocaching or wondered how to operate a GPS? If so, join the naturalist at the Visitor Center as they teach you about geocaching. We will provide the instruction and GPS units to use. Come experience the thrill of finding a cache during this 1 to 1.5 hour program! Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Lake Carlos State Park

Fall Colors Evening Paddle
3–5:30 PM Take a guided trip down the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Excite your senses with the sight of falling leaves, the sound of geese overhead, the feel of the warm evening light and the touch of cool water. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent from Pardun’s Canoe Rental, locted in the camp store building, open Saturday.
St Croix State Park

Lace Your Own Snow Shoes $$$
6–8 PM Instructor: Peta Barrett Cost: $190 ($65 tuition + $125 materials) When the magic sparkle of snow entices you to explore the winter woods, your hand-laced Ojibwa-style snowshoes will grant you the freedom to get there in style. This class begins with a Minnesota-made Country Ways kit that include white-ash frame and tubular nylon lacing. You’ll get hands-on instruction every step of the way as you measure, cut, lace & tie your webbing, & urethane dip your finished shoes.
Ely Folk School


Autumn Festival
6–8:30 PM “Exploring Itasca’s Birds” is the theme of this year’s lantern lit hike. Guides with lanterns will lead you down the kerosene lantern-lit trail to meet characters that will share stories about special birds that call Itasca home during this family-friendly evening hike. Group hikes will last about 30 minutes, departing every ten minutes from the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Registration for hikes begins at 6 p.m. The first hike leaves at 6:30 p.m. and the last hike will leave at 8:10 p.m. Suitable for all ages! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Other activities will be ongoing, including music and a variety of children’s activities.
Itasca State Park (Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center)

Music Under the Pines
6:30–8:30 PM Join Lori Goulet Reich, a Lake Itasca Transplant from the suburbs of Minneapolis, as she performs a variety of music best described as acoustic folk and alt-country flavored music. Lori also has played in various bands both classic rock and country, so come enjoy a variety of well-known tunes.
Itasca State Park (Jacob V Brower Visitor Center)

Fall Colors Fun Day
7–8 PM Come help the park celebrate 100 years! during this day filled with fun fall activities. All eyes on the skies in this evening program! Join us to uncover the mysteries of the moon, stars, and other celestial happenings of fall and hear some of the legends and stories behind different constellations. Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center.
Jay Cooke State Park

Candlelight Bog Hike
7:30–9 PM Join us for Big Bog’s Autumn Candlelight Hike! Candles will light the way through the bog, with a stunning night sky filled with stars awaiting you at the north end. If you’ve never explored the Boardwalk before, or even if you have, this is a unique way to see it! The Boardwalk is fully accessible and family-friendly,too. Hot drinks and snacks will complete the event at the Ludlow Pond picnic shelter. Meet at the North Unit. A vehicle pass is required and can be purchased at the event.
Big Bog State Park


———Sept 27———

Mentored Women’s Pheasant Hunt $$$
9 AM–1:30 PM $100 Register with Angela Londgren at angela.londgren@state.mn.us
Wings North, Pine City

Survivalist Skills (Lost in the Woods)
9–11 AM Learn some basic skills that could help save your life if you ever were to get lost in the woods. Learn how to make fire, build a shelter, and other cool survival techniques that will make you more likely to survive. Presentation followed by hands on activities: make fire, build a fort, and learn other cool skills as well!
Fort Snelling State Par

Family Archery $$$
10 AM–Noon Ages 8+ $7 Learn the basics of shooting safely and accurately with skilled instructors. Shoot at stationary targets and compete with your family in fun shooting games. All equipment provided.
Carver Park Reserve (Victoria)

Pike Island Hike
10–Noon Join a naturalist on a cool morning walk around beautiful Pike Island. We will walk to the confluence of the mighty Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. This is a great opportunity to watch wildlife while getting some exercise. Program will start at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center.
Fort Snelling State Park

Leaf Days
10–4 PM Come and celebrate the fall Colors at Maplewood State Park. Various activities by the Friends of Maplewood State Park. All events held at the Josh Hanson Memorial Picnic Shelter.
Maplewood State Park

Fall Color Celebration
10–Noon Come experience a casual ride on the Glendalough Trail. The crisp fall air and the beautiful colors of the season will add to the already wonderful experience of the day. The naturalist will be leading the ride and discussing some of the unique history of Glendalough, as well as discussing some of the natural wonders of the fall with you. So, come enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery with the naturalist via bicycle.
Glendalough State Park

Archery in the Park
10–1 PM Want to learn how to shoot a bow in a safe, supervised setting? The Archery in the Parks program is suitable for ages 8 and older. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. Get hands on instruction from a certified instructor along with experience with target practice. Learn a lifelong skill with this program that you can use for years to come. (All equipment provided. Open shoot, come during the class and you will get to shoot. Amount of shooting time varies on group size.). Program will take place near the trail center. The program is held outside, so dress appropriately.
Bear Head Lake State Park

Pothole Exploration Tour
Noon–1 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

Bird Banding Demo
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

Pine Needle Basketry $$$
1–5 PM Cost: $40 ($35 tuition + $5 materials) Pine needle art is among the oldest crafts known & pre-dates pottery. For over 9,000 years, native Americans have made such baskets for storing food & supplies. You’ll learn how to weave a small basket using red pine needles collected near Burntside & White Iron Lake. You’ll also learn how to collect & prepare needles for future projects.  And you’ll take home your own basket.
Ely Folk School

Edible, Medicinal, Poisonous Plants
1–3 PM Plants, plants everywhere but what are they good for? Come and learn about some common plant species found in Fort Snelling State Park and throughout Minnesota and what they can be used for. Learn ancient uses that were developed by Native Americans and plant species brought here by Europeans and their uses. Presentation followed by a nature hike.
Fort Snelling State Park



Make and Bind Your Own Books $$$
6 class options and times, 9-12 or 1-5 on Saturday OR 1-4 pm Sunday Instructor: Minnesota Center for Book Arts Staff Cost: $20 ($20 tuition + $0 materials fee) This is Ely’s chance to revel in our collective love of books!  The Minnesota Center for Books Arts (MCBA), the nation’s premier center on this evolving art form, has teamed up with the Ely Folk School and our Northern Lakes Arts Association to offer these fascinating half-day class options: Case Bound Books; Beyond Boxes: Intro to Cartonnage; Decorative Techniques on Paper; Concertina Books & Pamphlets; Long Stitch Books; Hinge Sketch Books.
Ely Folk School

Guided Walk
1 PM This two hour guided walk will provide an opportunity to experience a beautiful virgin forest comprised of sugar maple, red oak, and basswood trees in its fall glory, a hallmark of the “Big Woods” landscape that once covered large areas of this region. Bring your cameras and field guides to capture the fall beauty found in this forested landscape. Footwear appropriate for hiking is recommended. There are no maintained trails hiking will be on uneven terrain. There are neither public restrooms nor access to drinking water on this site. The tour will be conducted rain or shine.
Townsend Woods SNA

Harvest Time Seed Collection —Volunteer Opp
1 PM Be a part of our Prairie Care program and help continue the legacy at Wild River. Join the naturalist to help collect seeds from various native prairie plants which will be processed and replanted back in the park to restore prairies. You will also get a chance to learn a little about the process and see how others collecting in the past have created some beautiful areas in the park.
Wild River State Park

American Indian Beadwork
1–2 PM Come to the back deck of the St. Croix Lodge to learn about an iconic form of American Indian artwork. Gain an appreciation for the art by making a bracelet to take home! This program is best-suited to adults and older children.
St Croix State Park

Foraging for Fall Foliage
2–3 PM Take a stroll for signs of fall. Discovery the changes that prepare plants for winter. Join the Naturalist on this hike of exploration for all ages.
Gooseberry Falls State Park (Meet at the Art Column outside the Visitor Center)

Fall Leaves
2:30–3:30 PM Just why do leaves change color and how do they do it? Drop-in to discover these answers and more through short activities and a take-home craft. This ongoing program takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Find us near the visitor center.
Interstate State Park

———Upcoming . . .

Sept 30 Lake Superior Yoga
8–9 AM Come on down to Lake Superior for a relaxing yoga session. This free yoga class consists of gentle postures and slow movements to help the body get back in balance. Emphasis is on breath, body alignment, and voluntarily moving shortening and lengthen muscles to get out of habits that no longer serve our bodies. A mat, blanket, and water bottle is recommended. Kim Josephson is a RYT500 and Certified Yoga Therapist from the International Yoga Institute Yoga North. She owns and operates the Yoga2go Studio and leads classes all around the area.  The yoga sessions will meet on the plaza behind the Visitor Center or in the Tettegouche Meeting Room if the weather is not nice.
Tettegouche State Park

Sept 30 Fitness Walk Wednesday
Looking for a walking partner to hit the trails with? Join the naturalist for a brisk paced walk as we explore the park on different trails each 2nd Wednesday of the month. We’ll stop and take a closer look at what we find from bees and birds to geology and grasshoppers! Each week we’ll work together to set a walking pace that fits everyone in the group. Good hiking shoes, water bottle and Identification Books are recommended. Remember to plan for tick presentation as well! Pack a lunch to enjoy at the park afterwards!
Sibley State Park

Oct 1 Fall Color Hike & Lunch
10–11:30 AM Enjoy the beauty of the season along one of our Minnesota State Trails. Walk along this corridor of color to see some spectacular views and get some exercise at the same time. 651-231-6968. Meet at the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter parking lot where after our walk to Duluth Junction we can eat lunch (on your own). Reservations.
Brown’s Creek State Park

Oct 2 Evening Fall Color Walk
6–7:30 PM Walk the hills and valleys of Afton State Park with the naturalist to see the spectacular colors of the season along the St Croix River.
Afton State Park

October 3 Timber Dash
8 AM–Noon Help support the Wright County Crisis Nursery by participating in this charity event. You can either run or walk the 5K route through Lake Maria’s rolling woodlands. There will also be a Kid K Run, so the whole family can participate. Your registration fee includes the daily parking pass.  For registration and further information, see their website: www.timberdash.com.
Lake Maria State Park

Oct 3 Superior Hiking
10:00 AM 4.7 miles. This hike follows the scenic Beaver River with its dramatic waterfalls, climbs a tall pine-studded hill and follows the ridgeline with spectacular views of inland forests and Lake Superior. Meet at the Penn Blvd. Trailhead parking lot. At Hwy. 61 milepost 54.3 (at stoplight) turn left on Outer Drive. Go 1.5 miles to Penn Blvd. Continue straight another 0.5 miles to parking lot on right.
Beaver Bay Trailhead to Silver Bay Trailhead

Oct 3 Waterfalls Fall Colors Hike
10–11 AM 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

Oct 3 Fall Colors Walk
2–3 PM Have you ever wondered why leaves change color from green to the variety of yellows, oranges and reds? Uncover the science along this awe-inspiring walk under the canopy of leaves, through the tall grasses of the prairie and along the scenic St. Croix River with the Naturalist. Participants of all ages will enjoy this leisurely walk.
Wild River State Park

Oct 3 Fall Colors Along the Great Miss
1–3 PM Check out the fall colors of a quiet flood plain forest along the Minnesota River. Meet in front of the Historic Sibley Site (1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. Mendota, MN 55150) or join a caravan leaving from the park office promptly at 12:30 pm.
Fort Snelling State Park