Events

Trailing Practice: Sun, Mar 14

posted Feb 28, 2021, 11:02 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Feb 28, 2021, 11:02 AM ]

Please note the updated date for March.

Trailing practice returns Ft. Snelling this month. We are getting into shoulder season for trailing. The matted leaf litter of early spring can offer some of the best substrate for finding and following fresh trails. Old snow or hard frozen ground, on the other hand, can make identifying fresh trails extremely difficult. But no matter what the substrate, we usually catch sight of some deer at Ft. Snelling an watch their behavior. Or, as the case may be, have some deer watch our behavior.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. We are often able to get quite close to the deer at Ft. Snelling, so we may be able to check this first hand.

Sunday, March 14
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center











February Tracking Club: Otter go Tracking

posted Feb 12, 2021, 10:04 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Feb 17, 2021, 7:03 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Excursion at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, February 21
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111


North American River Otters are just plain fun to track. That they are also good indicator of the health of an aquatic ecosystem. Since 2009, the National Park Service has been conducting track and sign surveys along the Mississippi River to study our metro area otter populations. For the past couple of years, we have been sharing our sightings of otter track and sign with the National Park Service through our iNaturalist project, the Minnesota Metro Otter Survey. Come join us as we search the shores of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers for signs of these inquisitive aquatic members of the weasel family, and learn to distinguish their tracks and sign from those of other animals.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 outside of the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:15 and return to the visitor center to wrap-up and share. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call or text Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700. Note that cell reception is poor in much of the park, and calls do not always come through.

Important Notes

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly two otter lengths from those outside of your household.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center



Trailing Practice: Sat, Feb 20

posted Feb 12, 2021, 9:38 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Feb 17, 2021, 7:03 AM ]

Trailing practice returns to the regular time this moth as we follow deer trails through the snow at Ft. Snelling. Trailing in fresh snow is as easy as it gets, but old, hard-packed snow can be among the most challenging conditions we encounter. Whatever the substrate, we are likely to spot some deer and have a chance to observe their mid-winter behavior.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. We are often able to get quite close to the deer at Ft. Snelling, so we may be able to check this first hand.

Saturday, February 20
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center










Trailing Practice: Sun, Jan 31

posted Jan 13, 2021, 9:01 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jan 13, 2021, 9:04 AM ]

Please note the updated date for January.

Trailing practice returns to Ft. Snelling this month to follow deer through the snow. Trailing in fresh snow is as easy as it gets, but old, hard-packed snow can be among the most challenging conditions we encounter. Whatever the substrate, we are likely to spot some deer and have a chance to observe their mid-winter behavior.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. If we are successful, we may again be able to use actual deer to check this.

Sunday, January 31
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center









January Tracking Club: Dashing Through the Snow

posted Jan 13, 2021, 8:25 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Jan 13, 2021, 8:36 AM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, January 17
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111

The forecast is calling for several inches of fresh snow this week--just in time for tracking club! Come join us at Ft. Snelling State Park to see who was dashing through the snow when no one was looking.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 in outside the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center by 1:00pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700.

Important Notes

COVID case rates remain high in Minnesota. Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly one deer stride from those outside of your household.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

RSVPs are encouraged so we can keep you up-to-date if there is an extension to the executive order..

Click Here for Directions:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center

December Tracking Club: Shoulder Season

posted Dec 6, 2020, 5:36 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Dec 6, 2020, 5:37 PM ]

Come join us for our next Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, December 20
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:

Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111

It's the shoulder season here in Minnesota with freezes, thaws, snows & rains--sometimes all in one day. Every December, we may find fresh snow, pristine mud, or hard frozen ground at our favorite tracking spots. This year, we may also need to change from in-person tracking club to dispersed tracking and an online gathering. The current limits on outdoor social gatherings is set to expire on Friday, December 18--but do keep an eye out for updates in case there is an extension.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 in outside the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center by 1:00pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700.

Important Notes

COVID cases are rising dramatically in Minnesota. Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly one-and-a-half turkey wingspans (or one large turkey vulture) from those outside of your household.

Road construction on Highway 5 complicates travel to Ft. Snelling. We strongly recommend checking current highway and ramp closures.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort is closed for construction.

You can also avoid both of these issues by coming by bicycle (if you have good snow tires!).

RSVPs are encouraged so we can keep you up-to-date if there is an extension to the executive order..

Click Here for Directions--which should account for the road construction:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center

Trailing Practice: Sat, Dec 19

posted Dec 6, 2020, 5:35 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Dec 6, 2020, 5:36 PM ]

Fall frosts have killed off the wood nettle, allowing trailing practice to return to Fort Snelling State Park this month. We'll practice following fresh trails, with the goal of seeing the animals that made them. The deer at Ft. Snelling are habituated to people, giving us opportunities to observe their behavior closely and compare observed behavior with fresh tracks and trails. Please note that the current executive order limiting outdoor social gatherings is set to expire on Friday, December 18. If the order is extended, we may shift from in-person practice to an online gathering to share stories. Stay tuned.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. If we are successful, we may again be able to use actual deer to check this.

Sunday, December 19
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

Road construction on Highway 5 complicates travel to Ft. Snelling. We strongly recommend checking current highway and ramp closures.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center is currently closed for construction.

You can also avoid both of these issues by coming by bicycle (if you have good snow tires!).

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions--which should account for the road construction:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center








ONLINE ONLY: November Tracking Club: Turkey Trot: Sun, Nov 22

posted Nov 15, 2020, 2:57 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Nov 19, 2020, 6:41 PM ]

**In compliance with the State of Minnesota's Emergency Executive Order 20-99 limiting gatherings by people from more than one household, we are cancelling our in-person Tracking Club for November.**

We encourage you to get out tracking on your own or with members of your household, and gather online to share stories on Sunday. Here are the details:


Tracks-giving and Other Tails Zoom Gathering
Sunday, November 22
2:00-3:30 pm
Click here to register


***   ***


Come join us for our next Tracking Club at Ft. Snelling State Park:

Sunday, November 22
9:00am - 1:00pm

We will gather outside the Ft. Snelling State Park visitor center:


Ft. Snelling State Park
101 Snelling Lake Rd
West St Paul, MN 55111

Snow has returned to Minnesota, but it doesn't seem ready to stay just yet. With temperatures floating around freezing, we may find mud, snow, or frozen ground at our favorite tracking spots. Whatever the substrate, we will plan to find some tracks and learn a bit about what the critters are up to as we move toward winter.

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. Please bring appropriate footwear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will gather at 9:00 in outside the Visitor Center. We will head out on the trail about 9:20 and return to the visitor center by 1:00pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Jon's cell phone at 612-388-4700.

Important Notes

COVID cases are rising dramatically in Minnesota. Please wear a mask and plan to maintain a distance of roughly one-and-a-half turkey wingspans (or one large turkey vulture) from those outside of your household.

Road construction on Highway 5 complicates travel to Ft. Snelling. We strongly recommend checking current highway and ramp closures.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111.

You can also avoid both of these issues by coming by bicycle (if you have good snow tires!).

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions--which should account for the road construction:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center

CANCELED: Trailing Practice: Sat, Nov 21

posted Nov 15, 2020, 11:10 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Nov 19, 2020, 6:42 PM ]

**In compliance with the State of Minnesota's Emergency Executive Order 20-99 limiting gatherings by people from more than one household, we are cancelling group trailing practice for November.**

We encourage you to get out to follow deer on your own or with members of your household, and gather online to share stories on Sunday. Here are the details:


Tracks-giving and Other Tails Zoom Gathering
Sunday, November 22
2:00-3:30 pm
Click here to register

***   ***

With the wood nettle buried under the recent snowfalls, trailing practice returns to Fort Snelling State Park this month. We'll practice following fresh trails, with the goal of seeing the animals that made them. The deer at Ft. Snelling are habituated to people, giving us opportunities to observe their behavior closely and compare observed behavior with fresh tracks and trails.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. If we are successful, we may again be able to use actual deer to check this.

Sunday, November 21
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather in the parking lot south of the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center
Fort Snelling State Trail
St Paul, MN 55111

This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. With COVID, the Visitor Center is not open and there are limited amenities: Outdoor biffy, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day. Please also take precautions for ticks, as we expect to follow deer trails through prime tick habitat. Ticks are active all year and we have friends who have contracted Lyme disease in Minnesota in January.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

Important Notes

Road construction on Highway 5 complicates travel to Ft. Snelling. We strongly recommend checking current highway and ramp closures.

You need a State Park pass to drive to the Visitor Center, but you can park for free at the Historic Fort Snelling visitor center. It is about a half-mile walk past the historic fort and down the hill to get to the State Park visitor center. The Historic Fort parking is located at 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111.

You can also avoid both of these issues by coming by bicycle (if you have good snow tires!).

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Click Here for Directions--which should account for the road construction:

Ft. Snelling Visitor Center







Trailing Practice: Sun, Oct 25

posted Oct 9, 2020, 8:17 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 8:18 AM ]

Trailing practice returns to Reservoir Woods in Roseville again this month,
a 115 acre undeveloped park with a dense population of suburban deer. Join us as we practice following the trails of deer (and perhaps each other) with the goal of seeing the animal we are tracking. Last month, we observed a bachelor herd of bucks chewing their cud before finding and following the fresh trail of a doe. Join us to see what we can spot this time out.

Please wear a mask and plan to maintain spatial distancing of a bit over one deer's length. If we are successful, we may again be able to use actual deer to check this.

Please note the date change and Sunday schedule this month, to accommodate the Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference the previous weekend.

Sunday, October 25
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

We will gather at the parking lot at the corner of Alta Vista Dr and Stuber Rd:  

Reservoir Woods Park
1901 Alta Vista Dr
Roseville, MN 55113



This is an all-weather event and we spend time off trail. There are no amenities at Reservoir Woods. No bathrooms, no drinking fountains. Please bring appropriate gear and dress for several hours outdoors in whatever weather we may have that day.

We will meet at 9:00 in the parking lot. We will head out on the trail shortly after 9:00 and return to the parking lot by 12:00 pm. If you need to reach us the day of the outing, please call Kirsten's cell phone at 651-785-4650. Please note that once we are trailing, our phones will be on vibrate and we could easily miss an incoming call.

RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.



Click Here for Directions

Reservoir Woods






1-10 of 221