If you’ve never learned to Camp, Fish, Paddle a Canoe or ride a Mountain Bike this is your summer! The I Can Program is available at State Parks all over the Minnesota. Below is a brief overview, links for details and basic dates of when and where these events happen inside the 320! There are four main programs to choose from and events happen throughout the summer. Summers coming, it’s time to make a plan.
I Can Camp!
Here’s the chance to camp for one or two nights . You can introduce your kids to the fun of camping. No equipment or experience is necessary. They provide the tent and cooking equipment. You will need a sleeping bag or bedding and your personal items. They do provide a list of things you should bring. More Details: I Can Camp!
June 18th – Sibley State Park Near new London – One Night Camping
July 23rd – Lake Carlos State Park Near Alexandria – One Night Camping
July 29th – Mille Lacs Kathio State Park Near Lake Mille Lacs – Two Night Camping
I Can Paddle!
So, technically these classes won’t be taught inside the 320. But instead, “almost in the 320”. You’ll find a couple of classes in July. Know that participants need to be at least 5 years old. Your kids will get a view of the water and learn what it takes to go canoeing. These programs are designed for first-time paddlers. All the equipment is provided. If you’re willing to drive, there are other dates and locations available.
More Details: I Can Paddle!
July 2nd and 3rd, 2022 – Lake Maria State Park Near Monticello – Learn to Canoe Two Hour Session
I Can Mountain Bike!
The Mountain Bike program is dependent on some well developed trails and terain, so it’s only avialbe at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. (outside the 320 near Ironton MN) There are a variety of dates in June, July and August. This program is for kids 10 and up, and they do have to know how to ride a bike on pavement prior to trying a mountain bike experience. You will also need reservations in order to participate. More Details: I Can Mountain Bike!
Dates in June 25th, July 9th and August 25th – Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Near Ironton – Off road mountain biking – Each session is 2.5 hours long.
I Can Fish!
Learn to cast into the water, identify the fish you catch and get a hands on fishing experience with skilled anglers. All equipment is provided. You don’t need a license. It’s $7 for adults, but free for kids 12 and under. Your child has to be 5 or older. There is no experience necessary and each participant will receive a small tackle box to take home. Reservations are required.
More Details: I Can Fish!
June 18th, July 16th and August 13th – Sibley State Park near New London – All Fishing programs run from 10am to noon.
There’s a lot to do this summer, and these programs are designed so that you and your family have a chance to try something new without all the upfront cost of buying a canoe, a tent, bike or fishing pole. Be aware that some of these programs have cost, and every state park requires either a day pass or an annual pass. Each program is slightly different. Some have a small cost, some are free. Some require you to bring equipment, other programs allow you to use their equipment. It will be important to research the details. Do know that all of them require reservations.
On a side note, these programs are made possible with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008.
All Photo Credits: MN DNR