Lisa Brainard: Enjoy the ‘fall’ into a busy season of activities and events


LISA BRAINARD/BLUFF COUNTRY READER Get busy with some favorite activities this fall. For example, here National Trout Center Fall 2017 Geology Tour participants look for fossils. The 2019 edition is Oct. 12.
By : 
Lisa Brainard
Journey vs. Destination

Fall brings its array of beautiful leaf colors and crisp, hopefully pleasant days just once a year. Definitely get out and enjoy it. I’ve compiled a list of activities for you to check out . . . and maybe add one or two to your calendar.

The events have a tendency to align with my interests of history, archaeology, rocks, geology nature, photography . . . and of course hikes in the pretty, seasonal scenery. For me, those walks better be easy and short in distance, too, but consider yourself lucky if you don’t have such restrictions.

Effigy Mounds National Monument, Friday, Sept. 27, 3:30 – 6 p.m. Come join National Park Rangers on a guided hike to the Marching Bears Mound Group in the Monument’s South Unit. Explore the Marching Bear Mounds and the connections to the ancient and sophisticated culture that shaped the landscape then, and continues to influence lives today. The hike will begin at the South Unit parking lot, located half a mile south of the main visitor center on IA 76. Meet Rangers Paul and Jared at 3:30 p.m. The hike will head up to the South Unit promptly at 4 p.m. It will be a strenuous hike and the total distance will be 4 miles, finishing back at the parking lot. Bring water and wear appropriate shoes. The hike should take at least 2 hours and include several stops.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/748716985583388/

National Trout Center (NTC), Preston, Saturday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fall Geology Bus Tour. Enjoy fall colors, geology and history of southeast Minnesota with the National Trout Center's annual fundraising event! Hop on a coach bus as professional geologist Jeff Broberg, as well as some guest speakers, teach you about the interesting features of the Driftless Area. Stops include Mystery Cave, Historic Forestville, a fossil hunt and more! The tour will wrap up at the NTC’s new neighbor, Trout City Brewing. Sack lunch will be provided by The Sweet Stop and Sandwich Shoppe Tickets are $50 per person. Buy two tickets; get $10 off. Space is limited. Call 507-765-2452 or email kelsey@nationaltroutcenter.org to learn how to reserve your spot.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/676200366191825/

Whitewater State Park, St. Charles, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19 – Geology Fest Centennial Events. There are at least 11 special events scheduled over the two days. Look for them to be highlighted soon right here. But you might want to check them all out now, as registration may be required for an event with only a set number of registrations accepted.

Info: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/events.html?location=spk00280

Silver Mound at Hixton/Alma Center, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The 2019 Wisconsin Archeological Society Fall Field Assembly. Silver Mound is one of the Midwest’s largest, oldest and most important archeological sites. The stone found there – Hixton Silicified Sandstone – was used by Native Peoples for nearly 12,000 years. Silver Mound was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Meet at Hixton/Alma Center KOA. Activities include flintknapping, artifact identification, atlatl throwing, Native American games, local artifact collections, and guided tours of prehistoric rock shelters, rock art locations, and quarry pits. There is $5 admission for non-members of the group. Co-hosted by the Mississippi Valley Archaeological Conservancy (MVAC) of La Crosse, Wis.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/Wisconsin-Archeological-Society-342079691405/

Historic Forestville, Preston. This Minnesota Historical Society site comes alive in the fall with a number of fall events. Check them all out!

Info: https://www.mnhs.org/calendar?location_name%5B%5D=Historic%20Forestville

Well, gathering and putting this all together has been time consuming, but definitely worthwhile. You get the idea; there are many, many things going on. Maybe search on the Internet or ask friends and colleagues about activities in your areas of interest. Discover activities and make the most of the season!

Lisa Brainard still enjoys lifelong pursuits of the outdoors, history and travel as able following a serious accident and stroke in September 2012. She’s written this Journey vs. Destination column weekly for over 15 years.