Snapshot: Lake Bemidji State Park
Lake Bemidji State Park is the perfect place to welcome summer. With a marina, beach volleyball, campsites in the pines, miles of bicycle trails, naturalist-led pontoon tours, bog walk, and an amphitheater where local artists perform melodramas and music, the 1,688-acre park is filled with unexpected pleasures.
Insiders' Favorite Park manager Paul Mork and naturalist John Fylpaa both favor the park's famous bog walk, a quarter-mile raised boardwalk that takes trekkers out into an orchid-studded spruce-tamarack bog. "You can really feel like you're more remote than you really are," Fylpaa says. Mork also enjoys hiking up to Rocky Point, the highest lookout on the lakeshore, to watch the sun set.
Fun Fact The park has two active bald eagle nests—one in use for 20 years.
Seasonal Adventures Visit in late spring and early summer to see a few of the park's nine species of orchids in bloom. Fishing is great this time of year too. Cast your line from the handicapped-accessible fishing pier, or rent a rowboat or canoe to pursue walleye, northern pike, muskies, and perch. The state's finest winter cross-country ski trails are in the park and vicinity.
In the Works When completed, the multiple-use Paul Bunyan State Trail will run 110 miles from Brainerd to Bemidji, ending 6.5 miles outside of town at the park.
Something Special Popular naturalist programs, including birding tours and night sky study, are conducted aboard a donated 28-foot pontoon boat on Lake Bemidji.
Nature Rolling, glaciated terrain creates diverse habitats—aspen stands, conifer woods, tamarack-spruce bog, and lakeshore. Bog highlights include insect-eating sundews and pitcher plants. Watch and listen for nearly 200 species of birds, including black-backed woodpeckers and ospreys.
Family Affairs The roomy group campsite, historic log picnic shelter and dining/activity hall, and new amphi-theater make Lake Bemidji State Park ideal for family reunions and weddings. The park receives reservation requests for dozens of such events each year.
For more information see www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_bemidji or contact the DNR (see page 63). For periodic email updates on Lake Bemidji State Park events, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.