DNR, REI team up to provide trip-planning assistance at new Adventure Station

Wondering where to break in those new hiking boots? Looking for tips on where to pitch that new tent? Stop by the new Adventure Station at REI’s flagship store in Bloomington for some advice from the pros. 

Staff from REI and Minnesota state parks and trails can help customers select a destination, purchase a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit and more. The custom-built Adventure Station, near the check-out area, is equipped with iPads, a video monitor, maps and seasonal brochures to help with trip-planning.

“People go to REI to get their hiking boots, sleeping bags and other gear, and now we’re expanding our ability to connect them to places to recreate,” said Mikaela Swanlund, coordinator of outdoor programs and outreach for Twin Cities REI stores. “We’re really pleased to be teaming up with the DNR to raise awareness about the amazing opportunities to camp, climb, cycle, paddle and ski at Minnesota state parks and trails.”

The partnership with REI is part of a new Urban Outreach Initiative, which will involve efforts by staff at Fort Snelling State Park to bring information about state parks and trails to new people in new places.

“We’re thrilled about our partnership with REI,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota state parks and trails. “The Adventure Station will help us connect people to parks and trails they might not know about, where they can have an unforgettable experience in nature.”

The REI Adventure Station will be staffed regularly Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Adventure Station will also be open for special events, including Scenic and Wild Day on Saturday, April 14, when the National Park Service, the St. Croix River Association and the Minnesota DNR will promote outdoor recreation opportunities on the St. Croix River. The event will feature fun activities, trip-planning assistance from outdoor professionals, and more