Where Beauty & Nature intersect

March 2016 – It’s time to elect a summer stay

St Urho characterMarch weather can be most unpredictable, but lately it has felt more like the end of March than the end of February. Not the greatest news for winter recreation enthusiasts, but an early spring appeals to those tired of short, cloudy days.

Walleye, pike and bass fishing season has ended in this part of Minnesota, but avid anglers can still enjoy excellent pan fishing here. Ice conditions vary so contact local bait dealers to find a safe place to set up and use caution around river channels.

March usually brings measurable snow and snowmobile and cross country ski trails will still be groomed. Look for snow and trail condition updates from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posted after 2 p.m. every Thursday at www.dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.html.

Or enjoy a hike to the Mississippi headwaters where there’s open water year round and eagles have begun constructing their nests. In 2016, Itasca State Park and Minnesota State Parks will be celebrating 125 years! The parks are planning a variety of special activities to celebrate the quasquicentennial, including a-hike-a-month on the North Country Trail, Mysteries in History Hikes, Itasca’s Wildlife Wonders Series, She Had Nerve and a Big Gun-The Mary Gibbs Story and more. Mark your calendar for the weekend of July 31 and celebrate at a big birthday party for Itasca.

If festivals are a reason to head out for the weekend, celebrate the Finnish Saint who led the grasshoppers out of Finland March 18-19 in Menahga. St. Urho Days include opening ceremonies with the coronation of St. Urho King and Queen, costume prizes and a magic show Friday evening. Saturday’s activities include dog sled rides, the Changing of the Guard by the “Nytes of St. Urho,” a parade, Viking bowling, barstool races and a human foosball arena. And don’t miss the food, including mojakka and corned beef and cabbage (in honor of that other Saint being celebrated in March).

With the first day of spring approaching March 20, it’s time to plan for the glorious months of summer, too. Our new Discovery Guide counts the ways to Catch a Memory anytime at the lake, in the woods or enjoying a local celebration.

Pick an activity and go with it: biking, hiking, bird watching, fishing, water skiing, tubing down the river, ATV riding, playing golf, building sand castles, sitting by the campfire, picnicking or just relaxing. Let your imagination be your guide.

Area lodging accommodations can be found to suit your style whether it’s camping under the stars, sleeping within walking distance of a golf course or staying at a cabin on a sand beach. Start here for information on campgrounds, motels, resorts, bed and breakfast inns, vacation homes and a hostel. Most accommodations have Websites so you can peak inside a cabin or read what other guests have to say about their stay. Or, if you prefer, ask for a copy of the 2016 Discovery Guide and page through the information you’ll find inside.

You may want to plan a visit when one of the area’s special events is taking place and now is the time to make sure you are not disappointed. The Chamber calendar is a great resource for scheduling your stay with dozens of festivals and other fun events all summer long.

If you need help planning a memorable and affordable visit, need more information about activities or if you have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.

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