Geocaching for women

Fort Snelling State Park, 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday


Geocaching is the focus of a program in the Becoming an Outdoors Woman series put on by the Department of Natural Resources. Geocaching uses a global positioning system (GPS) unit to locate hidden containers called geocaches. Since 2008, more than 1,200 geocaches have been hidden in state parks and recreation areas. Equipment is provided. Meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center which is 2 miles from the park entrance. Call 612-725-2724 to register. (

Park after dark

Jay Cooke State Park, 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday


Dim nature’s lights and the outdoors becomes a whole different creature. A mile-long walk will locate constellations in the night sky. You’ll hear ancient legends and stories about the stars from perspectives including Ojibwe, Greek and Roman. Dress for the weather. Wear boots (with cleats if you have them). Meet at the River Inn Interpretive Center. (1-218-673-7005,

Tracks and trails hike

Blue Mounds State Park, 1-2 p.m. Saturday


Some creatures sleep through the winter, others remain active. Look for signs of winter wildlife on this mile-long walk. Dress for the weather. Meet at the picnic area at the end of the road into the park. In the event of extreme weather, the program will be canceled. Check the park website. (1-507-283-6050;

Parks and Trails Takeover Day

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday


State parks rangers, naturalists and staff will flood the REI store in Bloomington to meet and greet the public. Learn how to pitch a tent; get a ideas about the best hiking trails in Minnesota; or get help with footwear. There will be programs on bison, geology, outdoor survival skills and more. REI is at 750 American Blvd. W. For information, call Fort Snelling State Park at 612-725-2724.

Birds, books and binoculars

Fort Snelling State Park, 9-11 a.m. Sunday


Bird-watching requires a sharp eye, field guide, binoculars and a couple of birds. A park naturalist will show how to get started. Winter months offer unique opportunities to see birds without the clutter of leaves and vegetation. Equipment will be provided. Meet at the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. Call 612-725-2724 to register. (

‘Nordic Ski Opener’

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Elm Creek Park Reserve


Three Rivers Parks District is marking its “Nordic Ski Opener” with a range of activities. Try kids’ games organized by the Minnesota Youth Ski League, demo new skis, and ski in a mascot race. Attend seminars on waxing, coaching and snow-making. Representatives from Minnesota retailers, resorts, ski schools, manufacturers, and races will be present. A ski pass isn’t required, and free rentals are available. (