Some of my best childhood memories are of my parents, two sisters, and I loading up in the family van and heading to any number of Southern Minnesota’s State Parks. Now as an adult with a family of my own I love being able to Explore Minnesota‘s State Parks through my kid’s eyes. One of our favorites is Myre-Big Island State Park.
For the last several Christmas’ my parents have surprised us with state park stickers. It is one of our favorite gifts! It is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through. Minnesota has 67 state parks! Each park offers unique hiking trails, 62 of the parks have camp grounds, many of them have horse trails, a couple have caves you can tour, geocaching, and so many other adventures.
Many of the state parks have fishing piers, kayaks, and canoes that are able to be rented for a small fee. Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. Growing up my family canoed through many of these lakes and I loved exploring the back waters of the lakes. Getting up close to beavers, muskrats, and water fowl was and continues to be one of favorite adventures.
A state park sticker allows us to enter any Minnesota state park without having to continually pay an entrance fee. Camping fees and other extras have fees, but we can enjoy many of the hiking trails throughout the parks.
We have been back to school for a couple weeks now. One of our mornings includes nature walks through Myre – Big Island State Park. One of our hikes lead us on a scavenger hunt looking for different trees. My sister, Emily, brought crayons and paper. The kids did bark rubbings of the different trees we found.
Another exploration walk found us looking for various different seeds. While we walked we discussed the different ways nature reproduces itself.
The twins and I have been learning about Autumn. Discussing how nature and the animals are preparing for the winter. Walking through the forest and the prairie trails we are able to see the squirrels hunting for acorns. The egrets and geese are flocking together and getting ready to migrate. The leaves are falling and each week we walk through the forest we have been able to see the changes happening right before our eyes. The trees getting ready to take their winter nap.
Sharing my love of nature with my kids is one of my greatest joys. The woods, the mountains, lakes, rivers, and the night sky are the moments when I feel the closet to God. With so many state parks to choose from they make exciting field trips any day of the week!