Under the Minnesota Moon: A Week at Lake Bemidji State Park

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Campfires, swimming, and learning about nature in an outdoor classroom. While a wonderful week of these activities would be memorable under any circumstances, we appreciated them even more as a chance to be out of the Mazda5 and into the great outdoors during our cross country trip to Glacier National Park in Montana.

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Lake Bemidji State Park was just what we needed to recover and stretch our legs.  We decided to start off with two nights in one of their four camping cabins, which were affordable yet impressive.  We loved the little touches that made all the difference, from a rolling cart to help with unpacking to a spacious covered porch. We soon stretched out on the two sets of bunk beds, grateful to slow things down for several days.

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The next day brought more great surprises. We started by checking out one of the three Discovery Packs (backpacks with books, games, and other activities to teach about camping skills, wetland animals, and campfires). Five of Hearts really took an interest in the camping skills book, and she did lots of great reading and learning about the types of tents and suggestions for a camper’s pantry.

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Later that day we took to the waters of Lake Bemidji. The warm autumn air and beautiful sunset over the lake made for a memorable swim, and we enjoyed spotting the bald eagles gliding overhead on the air currents.

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During our stay we also ventured out into the nearby city of Bemidji, the first city on the Mississippi River and home of the famous Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. We liked walking the downtown area and picking up some snacks at the natural food store. Our favorite part of Bemidji, however, was the Headwaters Science Center. The Younger Fives loved playing and learning about kinetic motion, air currents, telegraphs, and much, much more.

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With the open road to Montana calling, we spent our last evening with a campfire under the stars. It was a great chance to use some of the great resources in the Discovery Packs, including a muffin recipe cooked in orange peels and star stories to read around the campfire. While our time in Bemidji was brief, we have a week’s worth of wonderful memories spent under the Minnesota moon.

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