Numerous Naturalist programs on the North Shore this summer

A Forest Service naturalist leads participants on a nature hike. (Photo courtesy Superior National Forest)

Five days a week all summer long, naturalists will educate and entertain people at various sites along Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. The programs are the result of partnerships between the Superior National Forest, local resorts and other business, and tourism organizations.

Hosted at resorts, trailheads, and other facilities, the programs are free and open to the public. Being a guest at a specific location is not required. Programs topics range from the lumber industry to astronomy.

“Walking through the woods, picking up rocks on the beach, sitting by a campfire – you’ll find that your appreciation of your visit to Superior National Forest will be enriched by coming to one of our many summer naturalist programs,” the Superior National Forest says.

The programs run now through August 24. More information is available in this brochure.


Tour Hedstrom Lumber Mill | 12:30 – 2 pm
Come see how 2 x 4s take shape. Call Hedstrom’s at 218-387-2995 for reservations (limit 12 people). Second tour on Fridays.

Becoming a Boundary Waters Family | Chik-Wauk Nature Center | 2 – 3:30 pm
From cooking to history to bears, what you need to be a true BWCAW family. Topics vary.

The Stars Above | Lutsen Resort | 7:30 – 9 pm
Don’t worry if it is still light outside; we can find out about the night sky anyway. Learn about stars, constellations, planets, and even the local traces of an ancient meteor strike.

Minnesota Bears | Eagle Ridge | 7:30 – 9 pm
Our black bears are amazingly well adapted to life in northern Minnesota, and smart and adaptable enough to live with humans–but how can we live with bears?


Carnivorous Plants! Life in a Bog | Caribou Highlands | 10 – 11:30 am
Explore a ‘bog in a box’, meet some mean eating plants, and learn about this unique ecosystem.

Minnesota WILD! | Grand Marais Recreation Area | 7:30 – 9 pm
Mammals, birds, rocks, plants, event stars–topics change weekly, but we always have a campfire, marshmallows provided.

Logging in the Days of Paul Bunyan | Lutsen Resort | 7:30 – 9 pm
At the turn of the century, Minnesota supplied the lumber that built the nation. Learn what life was like for the lumberjacks living off “stovelids and dishwater.”


Explore the Shore | East Bay Suites | 10 – 11:30 am
Why are our rocks so special? Learn some local geology and hunt for agates and other treasure on the beach at East Bay.

Nature of Oberg Mountain | Oberg Mt. Trailhead | 10:30 – Noon
Come explore Oberg Mt. with us. There will be naturalist activities on trail or the trailhead.

Mostly Moose | Caribou Highlands | 7:30 – 9 pm
Gawky and awkward looking, moose make you laugh–but they are actually wonderfully adapted to life in the north. Learn about one of Minnesota’s favorite mammals.

A Superior North Shore | Bluefin Bay | 7:30 – 9 pm
Lake Superior dominates the North Shore, but how well do we know our big lake?


Tour Hedstrom Lumber Mill | Hedstrom’s Lumber Mill | 10 – 11:30 am
Come see how 2 x 4s take shape. Call Hedstrom’s at 218-387-2995 for reservations (limit 12 people). A second tour is offered on Tuesdays.

Make a Dreamcatcher | Eagle Ridge | 10: 30 am – Noon
Listen to legends and learn a bit about native cultures as you make your own dreamcatcher. Please accompany kids.

Howls in the Night: Wolves! | Cascade Lodge | 7:30 – 9 pm
Nothing means wilderness like the lonely cry of a wolf. Admired or hated, wolves stir people’s emotions. Learn about Minnesota’s most famous residents.

Fire! The Frenemy of the Forrest | Chateau LeVeaux | 7:30 – 9 pm
Forest fires are described as devastating and destructive in the news, but they are actually an important part of our forest’s ecology. Learn more about how fire, the forest, wildlife, and people all interact and depend on one another.


Wildflower Walk | Cascade Lodge | 10 – 11: 30 am
Hike the Wildflower Trail and discover what’s blooming this week! Uneven trail surface, wear sturdy shoes.

Nature of the Point | Artists’ Point Grand Marais | 1:30 – 3:30 pm
We’ll have a naturalist posted near the walkway to the lighthouse with activities to enhance your visit.

Minnesota Wild! | Sawbill Lake Campground Fire Ring | 7:30 – 9 pm
Mammals, birds, rocks, plants, event stars–topics change weekly, but we always have a campfire, marshmallows provided.

Wildcats of the Woods | Bluefin Bay | 7:30 – 9 pm
Find out about the wild cousins of your house kitty who are prowling the Northwoods.

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