Monday, October 14, 2013

State Park #6: Nerstrand Big Woods

What kind of crazy double name is Nerstrand Big Woods? Turns out there's a lot of history in that name. The town of Nerstrand was settled in the 1850s in southern Minnesota near a large area of forest. See where this is going? The "big woods" represents the contiguous forest of trees typical of southern Minnesota prior to those devilish European settlers. Settlers used the forest to plant woodlots for a more sustainable wood source.

"In the spring, the park is a wildflower garden where hepatica, bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, and the dwarf trout lily bloom. The autumn brings a burst of red, orange, and gold in the maple-basswood forest, one of the last extensive stands of the "Big Woods." When winter comes, ski or snowmobile the trails through picturesque woods."

John and I took an afternoon drive to the state park to view some colorful leaves. First we had to get me an updated state parks pass. A mere $25 gets me into all parks for a year--what a deal!

It was a lovely fall day for a brisk walk around the park. The trails are super easy and even bring you by a waterfall. The trees in Minneapolis have started their transformation from green to orange, red, and yellow. The aspens were in full swing but I bet another week would've added more color.

One more state park visited! Only 62 to go!


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