Tricounty News

Winter Fun Day at Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria State Park will hold its seventh annual Winter Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, featuring both indoor and outdoor activities.

The schedule

* 10 to 11 a.m. Guided snowshoe hike (if there is adequate snow) through the park's woodlands, looking for animal tracks and wildlife. A limited number of snowshoes can be reserved by calling the park at (763) 878-2325. If there is not adequate snow, there will be a Junior Naturalist hike, led by a qualified naturalist, that will include animal winter adaptations, dressing for winter and general information about snowshoes. Make hike reservations by calling the park.

* 11 to noon Snow Ranger indoor activities for children, including animal tracking and making snowflake decorations.

* Noon to 1 p.m. Refreshments provided by the Friends of Lake Maria.

* 1 to 2 p.m. The Minnesota Zoomobile will present an "All Things Connected" program.

* 2 to 3 p.m. Smokey Bear will be at the park to greet visitors and hand out activity bags for children. There also will be opportunities to hike, ice skate and participate in an outdoor Nature Bingo activity.

From 11 to 2, there will be winter camping demonstrations outside the nature center, tents and winter camping equipment will be on display and members of the Backcountry Patrol Association will be on hand to answer questions.

"If we do get adequate snowfall, ski trails will be groomed, and snowshoes will be available for visitors at no charge from

11 to 2," says Park Manager Mark Crawford.

All events are free, but a $5 vehicle park entrance fee will apply for those without an annual permit. For updates and park information, call the park or visit its web site at

Lake Maria State Park is located approximately seven miles northwest of Monticello, 10 miles northeast of Annandale or five miles north of Maple Lake on Wright County Highway 111.