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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