Minnesota state parks and trails to be showcased at REI’s Bloomington store

Naturalists, park rangers, and other staff from the Department of Natural Resources will be stationed at REI’s flagship store in Bloomington on Saturday, Dec. 8 for the first Parks and Trails Takeover Day. 

They will be at the store (750 American Boulevard W.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer questions about Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas and 1,300 miles of state trails.

“Typically you won’t find a park manager indoors,” said Kelli Bruns, Fort Snelling State Park manager. “A few of us will make an exception to that rule for this event, so we can help you learn more about Minnesota state parks and trails. It should be fun for everyone.”

Hot chocolate and family-friendly activities will be available throughout the day, as will educational programs on topics ranging from the Minnesota bison conservation herd to the mysteries of Mystery Cave to how to make a rope. The event is free and open to the public.

“The event is a way to share information and inspire future outdoor adventures,” said Mikaela Swanlund, REI outdoor programs and experience coordinator. “People can learn more about outdoor gear, and get answers to those nature-related questions they have always wanted to ask.”

Those who wish to purchase a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit or get ideas for new places to hike and bike and camp can stop by the store’s new “Adventure Station” that opened at the store in April as part of REI’s partnership with Minnesota state parks and trails. The Adventure Station is staffed Tuesday-Sunday and equipped with iPads, a video monitor, maps and seasonal brochures to help with trip planning.

For more information about the Parks and Trails Takeover Day at REI:

  • Contact the DNR Information Center at dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).
  • Call REI at 952-884-4315 (10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday.