Traveler - Cabin Fever

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parks and rec


A monthly e-newsletter to encourage “I Can!” program participants and other families to continue learning about the outdoors.

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March 2019

Park Highlight:  Savanna Portage State Park


Savanna Portage photo credit McGheiver/WikiMedia Commons


Has the record-breaking snowfall this winter got you pacing the floors in despair?  Make the best of the snowy season by planning a winter getaway to a quiet cabin in the woods.  One such cozy cabin is located at Savanna Portage State Park near McGregor, MN.  Here the Garni Guesthouse awaits on a peninsula surrounded by the beautiful Savanna Lake. Miles of rolling hills with hiking and snowmobile trails are within walking distance.  Snowshoe into the past on the Savanna Portage Trail, a historic trail traveled more than 200 years ago by fur traders, Dakota, Ojibwe, and explorers.  

guesthouse at Savanna Portage State Park

The List: Cabins and Guesthouses


Don't let cabin fever get you down!  Try an overnight get-away at one of our countless camper cabins, main cabins, guesthouses, yurts, tipis and wall tents available to rent at Minnesota state parks.

We offer a variety of unique lodging experiences to help your family make unforgettable memories!

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Explore lodging options at Minnesota state parks!

Game Time: Outdoors in Every Language


Encourage your family to love the outdoors by exploring a variety of activities and finding ones that you enjoy together!  

Below is an outdoor action word to share with young children to build literacy skills and to experience the joy of connecting with nature.

This month's outdoor action word is "feel."  Take a walk in your neighborhood and feel the bark of the trees.  How are they different?  Can you find trees that feel soft, rough, bumpy and smooth?

feel in many languages


An excerpt from “Let’s Play Outside! 50 Ways to Connect Kids with Nature,” a project of the 2014 Collaborative Leadership Fellows Program, Rochester, MN.



Traveler Tip:  Lodging Reservations


If you've never stayed overnight at a Minnesota state park on your own before, the process of making a camping or lodging reservation might seem daunting.  But rest assured it's as easy as one, two, three.

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Check out the Frequently Asked Questions about lodging reservations.

maple tree

Discover:  Maple Sugar Season


"The traditional Ojibwe people read the weather and the woods the way we read books today.  They watched the animal tribes and the bird tribes and the twigs and the soil.  At ishpibiboon, the time when the bald eagles returned in the spring, they knew it would soon be time to harvest ziinzibaakwadwaaboo, sap, from anininaatig, the maple, the tree of inini, the human being." 

Excerpt from Sugartime: The Hidden Pleasures of Making Maple Syrup with a Primer for the Novice Sugarer by Susan Carol Hauser.

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Find out what goes on in an Ojibwe maple sugar camp.

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Meet the Field Staff


Get to know some of the field staff who take care of your Minnesota State Parks and Trails!

Meet Rick Dunkley, Park Manager at St. Croix State Park since 2011.  Prior to that, Rick worked as a DNR forester beginning in 1991.

Rick enjoys the variety of work that St. Croix offers, from major resource management to building repairs to working with the hundreds of thousands of people that come to visit.  His favorite place in the park is St. John’s Landing because some of his family lived there before the park was established and Rick grew up hearing their stories.

Hiking is one of Rick's favorite activities.  At St. Croix State Park there are 128 miles of roads and trails with the park master plan calling for more to be built.  Rick gets the opportunity to travel “cross country” while doing his job and he loves looking at places very few folks get to see.

Among his favorite wildlife are black bears as they are a powerful animal that seem to prefer being alone.

Rick appreciates the staff at St. Croix and feels it’s a joy coming to work (most days)!  

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Interested in working for DNR? Check out DNR internship postings!

naturalist with girl tapping maple tree

March Maple Syrup Programs 


Learn how to make maple syrup in your own backyard at one of many programs taking place at Minnesota state parks.

A sample of upcoming programs include:

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Find more activities at Minnesota state parks and trails.

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Discover more winter activity ideas at Explore Minnesota!

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