Do This Now: Editor-selected events at state, regional and local parks

  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 2:56 PM

1 Take a kid ice fishing day

Whitewater State Park, Jan. 18, 1:30-4 p.m.

Meet at the park for a brief primer on ice fishing, then hop in your cars and caravan to Half Moon Landing on the backwaters of the Mississippi River for an afternoon of ice-fishing fun. All equipment and bait provided. Reservations required; 1-507-932-3007, ext. 226. More information: www.mndnr.gov.

2 Candlelight ski, snowshoe and walk

Minneopa State Park, Jan. 18, 5-9 p.m.

Enjoy a twilight excursion lit by ice candles. Meet at the park’s group campground before departure. End the evening beside a blazing bonfire with cocoa and cookies. Skiers age 16-plus must have a Minnesota Ski Pass. No pass needed for snowshoeing and hiking. More information: 1-507-384-8890 or www.mndnr.gov.

3 Snowshoeing to the stars

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, Jan. 18, 7-8:30 p.m.

This program starts with a brief snowshoeing lesson. It ends with a dreamy snowshoe hike, with a naturalist providing observations on winter’s starry skies. Snowshoes provided. Registration required; 1-320-532-3269 (leave a message with your name, number and number of people in your party). More information: www.mndnr.gov.

4 Guided snowshoe hike

Eastman Nature Center Jan. 19, 1-2:30 p.m.

Join a park staffer for a guided trek through Elm Creek Park Reserve. You’ll learn about the history of snowshoeing, plus you’ll get some help spotting animal tracks. Snowshoes provided. Ages 6-plus. $5. Reservations required; Call 763-559-6700. More information: www.threeriversparks.org.

5 Bird-watching trek

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Jan. 20, 8-10 a.m.

Walk the refuge’s Wilkie Unit (near Shakopee) in search of winter birds. A volunteer naturalist will help hikers find trumpeter swans, rough-legged hawks, bald eagles, northern shrikes and more. Bring your binoculars. More information: www.fws.gov/refuge/Minnesota_Valley.

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