Dick Herfindahl: State park sticker can open the door to fun

Published 8:02 pm Friday, March 13, 2020

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl


As Old Man Winter slowly makes his exit, I am anxious for the spring season and the renewal of the summer season that lies ahead. In many of the years past, the winter season has not gone down without a fight. So like a true Minnesotan, I will take the wait and see approach. With the exception of some snow, we actually haven’t had it too bad this winter. I am truly thankful for the fairly mild temperatures that we’ve experienced so far. I spoke with my brother-in-law Lynn Johnson, who lives in Nome, Alaska, just the other day and while we were having temperatures in the 40’s they were celebrating -20 degrees. When I look back a couple of years when we were having some pretty consistent below zero days, he would call to let me know that when we were well below zero here, he had a plus 30-some degrees there.

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I always figured the law of averages would usually keep us ahead of the temperature game for the most part. Living in Alaska has a lot of perks, especially for someone who pretty much lives for the next outdoors adventure and Lynn has adapted to the weather and has been able to fulfill almost every outdoorsman’s dream imaginable when it comes to hunting, trapping and fishing.

White Fox Campground provides open sites with lots of leg room. A nearby building offers showers and flush toilets for campers. – Provided

When I have finally gotten back to the reality of my world, I am thinking about all of the state parks that we have access to right here in Minnesota. I believe that for a $35 investment in a sticker you will more than get your money’s worth. With that sticker you can visit any of the 75 State Parks in Minnesota. You can start right here at Myre-Big Island State Park just outside of Albert Lea. Birds and biking along with hiking are the big attractions at this park. Albert Lea Lake and surrounding marshes draw hundreds of waterfowl during migration. The six-mile Blazing Star State Trail is paved and connects the park to Albert Lea.

Highlights: spring and fall migrations, Great Marsh, canoeing, glacial esker, hiking and camping. It is a great place to camp, enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of nature.


Big Island Campground

Camp under the lush trees of the Big Island campsite, equipped with a tent pad, fire ring and picnic table. A nearby building offers flush toilets and showers for your comfort.


Accessible trail

This paved, accessible trail is a half mile in length and has access points in the Big Island Campground.


Big Island Hiking Trail

Take a hike through the lush trees of Big Island along this loop trail. Northern hardwood forest covers the 120-acre island, which offers one of the best spots for birdwatching in southern Minnesota.

If you like to camp, you won’t find a more reasonably priced place to pitch a tent or park your travel trailer than a State Park Campground. We have many of these state park campgrounds in our area to choose from and you won’t have to drive for hours to enjoy them.

Please take a few moments to honor those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. Also, take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who have served and those troops serving today.