Prachi Chourey

White water state park

Posted on: November 15, 2012

The Top Three Choices Offer Opportunities for Fishing, Wildflower Viewing, and Kayaking

Spring is a great time to visit Minnesota’s state parks, particularly the parks in southern part of the state where wildflower enthusiasts, birders and anglers can enjoy opportunities galore to overload on their favorite activity. Among the “don’t miss” locations are the following parks:

Whitewater State Park

(Altura, MN) Picturesque limestone bluffs and deep ravines make Whitewater State Park in southeastern Minnesota a very popular location. The very best time to visit this 2,700-acre park is in the spring. Brown, brook, and rainbow trout swimming in the spring-fed Whitewater River and Trout Run Creek make the park very popular with anglers. The high bluffs and river valleys in Whitewater, plus its close proximity to the Mississippi River, place it in a major birding flyway. April and May are peak times to view colorful tropical birds and other species that are heading north. Grosbeaks, tanagers, indigo buntings and warblers are among the winged beauties that migrate through the park. From inside the park’s visitor center, visitors can watch bird activitiy taking place in the outside courtyard and bird feeders. In addition, visitors can take part in naturalist programs at the park including several “birding by canoe” events scheduled in early May.

Whitewater is noted for the highly prized morel mushroom that can be found and harvested in the park in April and early May. The park naturalist hosts several programs in the spring that focus on mushroom identification, safety and ethics of harvesting edibles from the park as well as hikes in search of the mushroom itself.

Hiking trails along the river and more challenging trails up to the bluff areas at Whitewater offer great opportunities for wildflower viewing in spring. Among the tens of thousands of blossoms that bloom along river trails and through the park in spring include woodland flowers, marsh marigolds, bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, phlox, yellow and showy lady’s slipper orchids (primarily in June).

Park activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, and maple syrup making programs (in March and early April). Bikers can enjoy nearby Root River State Trail and canoeists and kayakers can navigate nearby rivers.

Carley State Park

Just 12 miles from Whitewater, 204-acre Carley State Park features Virginia bluebells and other wildflowers that carpet the forest floor and hiking trails from the end of April until the beginning of May. Park visitors can hike the trail along the Whitewater River, look for birds, or enjoy the picnic area. The north branch of the Whitewater River is a designated trout stream and provides habitat for brown trout.

Banning State Park

Located near Sandstone, Banning State Park is a good choice for a spring visit, when hiking trails are lush with spring wildflowers including trillium and marsh marigolds. At this time of year, canoeists and kayakers shoot the turbulent rapids at Blueberry Slide, Mother’s Delight, Dragon’s Tooth and Hell’s Gate. Visitors can take in the historic ruins of Banning Sandstone Quarry. Other activities include camping, picnicking, and the study of natural history.

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Prachi Chourey

Prachi Chourey

This is my first blog. Would like to blog about anything I like to share.. Some thoughts, something nice to share, recipes, upcoming events or like anything.. My latest Hobby is Cake Decoration and something more about it.. Prachi Chourey

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