The Traveler - Escape the Skeeters

Minnesota State Parks and Trails
The Traveler
July 2016

Big Spring in fall

Beaver Creek Valley State Park

Nestled in the blufflands of southeastern Minnesota, Beaver Creek Valley State Park is known for its clear streams and excellent trout fishing. In spring, beautiful wildflowers blanket the park while a variety of migratory songbirds are attracted to the forested valley.  Campers are lulled to sleep by the murmuring stream and it's cold, rushing waters.  It is the cool, moving water fed by underground springs that keeps the park fairly mosquito-free.  

The List - Parks with Fewer Bugs

Only a handful of parks in Minnesota can boast of having a noticeable lack of mosquitoes.  These parks are all found in the Driftless Area of southeastern Minnesota, an area that escaped the most recent glaciers.  Unique geologic features - such as sinkholes, caves and springs - abound in this corner of the state!

A list of parks with few bugs can be found here.

fly fisherman casting
Explore the underground of the Driftless Area at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

Junior Park Naturalist book cover

Game Time - Junior Park Naturalist

Have fun learning about the hardwoods, pinelands and prairie biomes in Minnesota!  Junior Park Naturalist activity books are available for free at most Minnesota state parks.  You can also download the books from the Department of Natural Resources website before your trip and get started by exploring a nature area near your home.  Your kids can earn patches for each book they complete.

Learn More Button
Learn more about the Junior Park Naturalist program.

Mound Trail at Blue Mounds State Park

Nature Sightings - Pollinators
Pollinators are animals and insects, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, that inadvertently carry pollen from one plant to another as they feed, aiding in plant reproduction. Pollinators help us enjoy well-balanced diets and healthy ecosystems. Without pollinators, Minnesota's prairies and forests would look very different.  

With their diversity of flowers displayed throughout the growing season, prairies are great places to see pollinators at work. At Beaver Creek Valley State Park, small patches of native prairie occupy some of the south and west facing slopes in the park. Some of the finest examples of native prairie in Minnesota can be found at state parks, including Camden State Park and Blue Mounds State Park in the southwest corner of the state.

Read more about prairies in Minnesota.

ARTICLE - geocaching card

July Events - Pollinator Programs

In 2016, numerous state park programs will focus on pollinators, such as the monarch butterfly.  These programs will introduce visitors to the challenges facing our pollinator friends and provide ideas on how you can help support pollinators in your own yard.  If you are participating in the Call of the Wildflowers geocaching challenge, you can earn limited edition wildflower cards by attending special wildflower or pollinator programs offered at state parks.  

To learn more about pollinators, attend one of the many upcoming programs at Minnesota state parks, including these:

Find out more about the Call of the Wildflowers program.