Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.
If you are looking for an afternoon outdoors, Grand Forks is a city filled with parks and activities to soak up the sunshine this spring. One of my favorites, happens to be just a short trip outside the city.
A quick 20 minute drive west on Highway 2 will take you to Turtle River State Park (TRSP). It is 784 acres of wooded quiet just north of the highway. Our family frequently visits for lunch picnics and short afternoon hikes along the Turtle River. I have also enjoyed camping, mountain biking, and snowshoeing throughout the park.
Entering the park requires a small $5 daily fee or full year pass for $25. This year pass also allows entrance into any North Dakota State Park. This fee covers access for all trails, facilities, and amenities of the park.
Turtle River State Park is an easy weekend getaway for those of us who live in the Grand Forks area and a great place to stay for visitors. It has primitive camping areas, RV campgrounds with electric hookups, and cabins for rent plus bathroom and shower faciltieis for those who plan to stay a few days.
One of the best things about the park in the spring and summer is the continual activities that go on throughout the park. Every Saturday night TRSP hosts an evening presentation in their ampitheater that combines nature education and fun. They also have a Sunday morning “Coffee with a Naturalist” program and various activities for kids on a weekly basis. And make sure to check out all the information and displays in TRSP’s new constructed Visitor Center. You can find a complete list of all activities and events on the park’s calendar.
If you want a quick day trip, one of the best things int he park to enjoy is the system of trails for hiking and mountain biking. These trailes take you down into valleys through forests of trees and up onto hilltops and plateaus for beautiful looks over the park. Every time I have spent even just 20 minutes of walking a trail, I have always come across a deer or two and many other types of wildlife. It makes for a fun little nature walk with kids, and many of the paths are wide enough to accommodate a jogging stroller capable of a little off-roading (a map of the trails can be found online).
Another fun activitiey for families is a little shore fishing. The Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout and has many areas of flat shoreline to cast a line from. Visitors can even borrow fishing gear from the park’s Visitor Center.
With spring finally here, so many of us are anxious to soak up every bit of the outdoors we can. A short afternoon trip to Turtle River State Park, with flowers blooming and trees budding, has just the perfect amount of nature, peace and quiet, and activity to quench your thirst for the beautiful outdoors!