Naturalist Programs

The 2018 Summer programs will be updated in June similar to this schedule from 2017!

Through a unique, nationally recognized partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, resorts and other locations in Cook County host free, family-friendly naturalist programs five days a week all summer long.

Naturalist program topics range from bats, beavers and wolves to moose, meteor strikes and wildflowers. Everyone is welcome to attend, even if you are just visiting for the day. No resort reservations are required to participate.

Check out the calendar to see upcoming naturalist programs and other learning opportunities.

The 2017 Summer Resort Naturalist program is free and open to the public. Programs will run from Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – Saturday, August 26, 2017.


12:30-2pm | Lumber Mill Tour: Hedstrom Lumber Mill

Come see how the 2x4s in your home take shape. Call Hedstrom Lumber at 218-877-7030 to reserve your spot (limit 12 people). A tour is also offered on Fridays.

2-3:30pm | Becoming a Boundary Waters Family: Chik-Wauk Nature Center

What does it take to become a Boundary Waters kind of a family? An interest in northwoods nature! We’ll explore a different topic every week at Chik-Wauk Nature Center and Museum.

7:30-9pm | Carnivorous Plants: Life inside a Minnesota Bog: Lutsen Resort

Predatory plants are the stuff of B-grade monster movies, but they exist in Minnesota bogs. Bogs are amazing places full of strange things, so come find out more about this unique habitat and meet a couple of insect eating plants.

7:30-9pm | Minnesota Wild!: Grand Marais Recreation Area

Mammals, birds, rocks, plants, even stars—topics change weekly, but we always have a campfire, marshmallows provided.


10-11:30am | Wonderful Wildflowers: Cascade Lodge

Explore what’s blooming. Come learn more about this beautiful part of the North on a short hike through the woods.

7:30-9pm | Wildcats of the Northwoods: Lutsen Resort

Many people own cats, but what of the wildcats that own the northwoods? Get to know our resident cats: lynx, bobcat, and maybe even cougars.

7:30-9pm | Bats in the Belfry: Bluefin Bay

Eeek, a bat! But really these little guys are cute, ecologically important, and some even show signs of having bat friends. They are also under attack from a foreign disease. Learn more about our insect eating bats and what is threatening their very survival.


10-11:30am | Explore the Shore Geology Walk: East Bay Suites

Time travel to when volcanoes were here, then return to the present to find agates as we explore geology on the North Shore.

10am-12pm | Nature of Oberg Mountain: Oberg Mountain Trailhead

Come explore Oberg Mountain with us. There will be naturalist activities on the trail or at the trailhead.

7:30-9pm | Wolves in the Night: Eagle Ridge Resort

Nothing means wilderness like the lonely cry of a wolf. Admired or hated, wolves stir people’s emotions. Learn about Minnesota’s most famous residents.

7:30-9pm | Black Bears: Caribou Highlands

Scary monster or cute teddy bear? Black bears are unique to North America, and many people have mistaken impressions of them. Find the truth behind “our” bear.


10-11:30am | Lumber Mill Tour: Hedstrom Lumber Mill

Come see how the 2x4s in your home take shape. Call Hedstrom Lumber at 218-877-7030 to reserve your spot (limit 12 people). A tour is also offered on Tuesdays.

10:30am-12pm | Make a Dreamcatcher: Eagle Ridge Resort

Listen to legends and learn a bit about native cultures as you make your own dreamcatcher. Please accompany kids.

7:30-9pm | Leave it to Beavers: Bluefin Bay

People aren’t the only animals to cause major changes to the land. Our largest rodent, the beaver, plays an important role in forest ecology, and you can find out just what those busy beavers are up to.

7:30-9pm | The Voyageur Life: Chateau LeVeaux

A pipe, some pea soup, and a glass of wine. What more could a voyageur want? Meet a voyageur with the Northwest Company as you travel back in time to the fur trade era of the 1700’s and see if you have what it takes to join the “hommes du’Nord.”


10-11:30am | Good Morning Birds!: Caribou Highlands

This beginning bird hike will introduce you to both why birding is fun and how to not be baffled by all the different kinds in a bird book. Though geared toward families and beginners, birders of all levels are welcome to join us. The more eyes we have, the more we see.

1:30-3:30pm | Nature of the Point: Grand Marais Artists’ Point

We’ll have a naturalist posted near the walkway to the lighthouse with activities to enhance your visit.

7:30-9pm | Minnesota Wild!: Sawbill Campground

Mammals, birds, rocks, plants, even stars – topics change weekly, but we always have a campfire, marshmallows provided.

7:30-9pm | Legends of Loons: Cascade Lodge

The call of the loon sends chills up the spines of everyone in the north. What are they really saying? Learn about life as a loon, and we’ll also share some stories of the bird known as the great northern diver.

View upcoming naturalist program events.

Events Calendar

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