Minnesota state parks and trails host a wide variety of winter naturalist activities and events this winter, including several at Gooseberry Falls State Park. These events provide an opportunity to snowshoe by moonlight on park trails, learn more about native plants and animals through naturalist activities, or listen to guest speakers share their experiences or expertise.
January programs at Gooseberry Falls State Park include:
• Jan. 16, Fitness and Phenology, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Enjoy a quick-paced outdoor hike to search for signs of winter phenology.
• Jan. 17, Full Moon Bigfoot Snowshoe, 5 – 6 p.m. Hike the park trails by moonlight to look for signs of Bigfoot and share local lore.
• Jan. 18, Squirrel Appreciation, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Learn more about squirrels and compete with your team for a golden squirrel medal. Cameras and squirrel costumes welcomed.
• Jan. 19, A Day in the Life of a Modern Dog Musher, 1 – 2 p.m. Meet Ward and Colleen Wallin as they share their experiences raising and training sled dogs and what it’s really like to compete in a dog sled marathon.
The events are free of charge and open to the public.
A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit). Those who don’t already have a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/permit.html) can purchase one at the park office.
The park offers cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails and winter hiking trails. Those age 16 and older will also need the Great Minnesota Ski Pass if they plan to cross-country ski. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass ($6/day, $20/one season, $55/three season) allows cross-country skiers age 16 or older to access miles of trails in state parks or forests or on grant-in-aid trails (www.mndnr.gov/skiing). Passes can be purchased at the park.
Note that outdoor events may be changed or canceled due to weather or if temperatures drop below zero. For more information, including event details, weather updates and directions to the park, call 218-834-3855 or visit the Gooseberry Falls State Park page at www.mndnr.gov.
The park is located 13 miles northeast of Two Harbors on State Highway 61.
For additional ideas on what to do at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, families are encouraged to check out the “Winter Activities Guide” page at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide and pick up a copy of the new Minnesota State Parks and Trails Winter Programs and Special Events brochure. To request a brochure by mail, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 (toll-free 888-646-6367) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.