Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Enjoy this park on foot, any season of the year. In the spring, the park is a wildflower garden where hepatica, bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, and the dwarf trout lily bloom. The dwarf trout lily is only found here. Relax by Hidden Falls in the summer. The autumn brings a burst of red, orange, and gold in the maple-basswood forest, one of the last extensive stands of the "Big Woods." When winter comes, ski or snowmobile the trails through picturesque woods.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
SkiingTrails are groomed and ready for skiing. Due to the blizzard there is some debris on the trail and some overhanging limbs.
The northern hiking trails are closed to hiking as they have been groomed for cross country skiing. We do keep one trail open for hikers to see Hidden Falls. Hiking is permitted on the southern trails. Check here for updates, or call for current conditions.
Birds: Winter birds are seen at Visitor Center feeders and throughout the park. Red headed woodpeckers did not migrate and can be seen near the park office!
Loaner Kits Available
Bird identification kits are great for seeing birds. Check at the office for details.
Last updated December 15, 2013
Be fascinated. Check out the naturalist programs and other activities scheduled at the park.
Northern trails closed to hiking as they have been groomed for cross country skiing. There is one trail from the parking lot to the falls kept open for hikers to see Hidden Falls.
Squirrels are active and can be in the treetops. Turkeys and deer can be seen from a distance. Come out to observe the Big Woods. Tracks are easy to spot in the snow along trails and Prairie Creek.
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Don't move firewood!
Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park.
Firewood is available for sale at $5.00 per bundle.
Bird Checklist Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.
Birding is great! Feeding stations bring out the birds. Best viewing in the morning. Chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches and several species of woodpeckers can be seen at the feeders. Watch for the occasional pileated woodpecker that visits when traffic is low. Overnight listen for barred owls calling. note: Red-headed woodpeckers can be seen at the feeders and at the Visitor Center and throughout the picnic area. Two juveniles seen Saturday, one with charcoal grey head and one with some red mixed into the grey. Adults too. They are here for the winter!
Best time to contact the park:
Fall-Winter Saturday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Monday - Friday, variable depending on staff availability. If no one is available, please leave a message.
When office is closed, please use the self-registration station at the front of the office to purchase daily and annual permits. Annual permits purchased through self-registration will be mailed to you.
9700 170th Street East
Nerstrand, MN 55053
Take I-35 to State Highway 19 east into Northfield. Go south on State Highway 3, east on State Highway 246, then turn right onto County Road 29.