It’s a special occasion when the Walk for Glendalough falls on Earth Day. On Earth Day in 1990, the Glendalough property was transferred to the Nature Conservancy, beginning a process that created Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake.
Today, 27 years later, the beauty and natural features of Glendalough have been preserved, and amenities have been added to make the park a welcome haven for tourists and locals alike.
Many of those amenities have been provided by funds raised at the annual walk. The Glendalough Park Partners, along with the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota and Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails staff, invite everyone to attend their 21st annual walk at the trail center at the park at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 22.
The walk provides an opportunity for people to see new park developments and learn about future park projects. This year, the Park Partners will unveil plans for a new trailhead building that would provide bike trail orientation, additional historical exhibits, a new equipment rental facility, and restrooms.
The Park Partners will also provide lodge tours, eagle nest viewing, food and door prizes. Register for prizes at the lodge, grab a donut and a drink at the trail center, and take a hike or bike on a park trail. Meet the area naturalist near the eagle nest and see what surprises he has. For those that are unable to walk or bike long distances, shuttles will be available for a trail tour with a stop near the eagle nest.
When visitors return, a bratwurst lunch will be waiting. There is no fee to enter the park on this day, but because the walk is intended as a fund-raiser, donations will be encouraged.
Past walk events have raised funds to provide year-round restrooms at the trail center, restore and furnish the historic lodge, build a picnic shelter and a hiking bridge, add heat and electricity to the camper cabins, purchase rental canoes, construct and fund a bird-feeding station, plant trees and native prairie flowers, create the campfire program area, purchase automated external defibrillators, provide bike racks, and construct an outdoor seating area. Over the years, the walk has contributed close to $300,000 in park improvements.
A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will go towards finishing the outdoor seating area, funding archery equipment for the park, and installing group-size pedestal grills at the picnic shelter. The event wraps up by 1 p.m., but visitors can always extend their day with an overnight stay in the cart-in campground, a camper cabin, or a yurt. For more information, call the park at 218-864-0110 or visit mndnr.gov/glendalough.