Traveler - Eagles on the Move

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Minnesota State Parks and Trails

March 2017




St. Croix State Park

As we welcome the milder temperatures of March, a great spring migration gets underway with some of the earliest bird arrivals moving overhead. Among these are the magnificent bald eagles, arriving each March to St. Croix State Park.  Here eagles will return to their nest sites to mate and spend the summer months rearing their young and fishing area streams alongside fishermen.  Eagle and wildlife watching are but two of countless attractions to St. Croix State Park. With over 34,000 acres and two great rivers—the Saint Croix River, which is a National Scenic Riverway, and the Kettle River, a State Wild and Scenic River—there's so much to do at Minnesota's largest state park.  Visitors enjoy exploring the rivers by canoe or with a fishing pole and swimming at Lake Clayton.  Other visitor favorites include climbing the fire tower and exploring the miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers. There are also a variety of camping and lodging options at the park.



The List - Wild and Scenic Rivers

The Minnesota State Wild & Scenic Rivers Program was established in 1973 to protect rivers which have outstanding natural, scenic, geographic, historic, cultural, and recreational values. Six rivers in Minnesota have segments which are designated as wild, scenic, or recreational under the state program.  In addition, the St. Croix River in Minnesota and Wisconsin is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, created in 1968.


Find out more about the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Discover - The Sugarbush

Hundreds of years ago, American Indians used natural signs, not thermometers, to tell them when it was time to start making syrup. For example, when the crows and eagles started to return to Minnesota from their winter grounds, the Ojibwe Indians knew that the sap would soon start flowing, so they moved their camps to the sugar bush.  All living trees have sap but the very best syrup is made from maple sap. In late winter, pressure in maple trees causes sap to flow out of any hole in the wood, or even to drip from a broken branch.

You can learn how to make your very own maple syrup by attending one of several maple syrup making demonstrations at Minnesota state parks.  There are also some great on-line resources to guide you including a maple syrup article from the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine and an instructional sheet on How to Tap and Make Maple Syrup from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



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Check out this short video on making maple syrup at Minnesota State Parks.


What Is a Campground Host?


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live or work in a state park?  For over 30
years, volunteers have served as "live-in" hosts at Minnesota state parks and state forest campgrounds. Campground hosts are needed for at least a four-week stay from early spring through fall. Campground hosts are provided a free campsite in return for services provided including light maintenance work around the campground, picking up litter, sweeping and stocking supplies in vault toilet buildings. Campground hosts may also make minor emergency repairs, assist with park naturalist program activities, and perform other duties as needed.  

If you're interested in becoming a campground host, check availability and fill out a campground host application.


Trail Snack - Make Your Own Maple Granola  

bottle of maple syrup

Take that tasty maple syrup along on the trails by making this simple maple granola snack!


  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix oats, pecans, walnuts, flax seed, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Stir canola oil, maple syrup, maple flavoring, and salt together in a small bowl; pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
  6. Set granola aside to cool completely before breaking into chunks.  Store in air-tight container.



March Events - Maple Syrup Making Demonstrationspouring maple sap

It's quite a process to get delicious maple syrup from the tree to your table each spring. Come to a maple syruping event and check it out for yourself. You'll enjoy some hands-on experience and we know you'll enjoy sampling the fresh syrup! 


Find more maple syrup events.

Keep reading! For past issues of the Traveler, click here.