The Wright County Parks & Recreation Department is
preparing for a busy start to the new year as it will be opening Robert Ney Regional
Park and Nature Center in Maple Lake on weekends starting Jan. 4 for a series
of events that run through March.
One of the most popular events each winter is the
annual offering of dog sledding through Silent Run Adventures of Monticello.
Because of demand over the decade it has been offered, five sessions were
scheduled this season for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10-11 with a participation limit
of 25 put on each mush. Due to its popularity, four of the five sessions have already sessions have already
filled up and, as of the afternoon of Dec. 11, only 13 spots remained for the
4-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 mush. The cost is $25 per person with children under 5
allowed to ride free with a paid adult admission.
On Saturday, Jan. 25, a lantern cross country ski
event will be held. The trails will be groomed and the course will be
illuminated along the trail, with hot beverages and a bonfire to help keep
participants warm. There is no limit to the number of participants and there is
no cost other than a $5 fee for those who need to rent skis.
February will be busy with a family snowshoe event
from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2. There is a limit of 20 participants and
spots are filling fast. The cost is $7 and the price includes snowshoe rentals.
Naturalist David Grack will lead the hike through Ney Park, informing
participants about the nature that surrounds them.
Similar snowshoe events will be held during February.
A Moonlit Snowshoe Adventure will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb.
8 with a limit of 20 participations and a $7 charge (snowshoes included). On
Saturday, Feb. 15, there will be Valentine’s-themed Sweetheart Snowshoe/Boot
Hike. This event is free and open to all. Snowshoe rentals are available for
$5. The month ends on Saturday, Feb. 29 with a second lantern cross country ski
event from 6 to 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public and, if you don’t have
skis, you can rent a pair for $5.
As the seasons start to change in March, Parks &
Rec will offer a pair of events to allow participants a chance to learn about
the good and the bad of the outdoors in Minnesota. On Sunday, March 8, there
will be a Woodworking for Wildlife event, where participants build birdhouses
and learn about the birds that inhabit Wright County during different parts of the year, as well
as how to properly install and maintain a birdhouse. All the materials are
provided at a cost of $7 per birdhouse with a limit of 20 participants.
Finally, on Sunday, March 29, a program will be taught on the dangers of
buckthorn – an invasive shrub/tree species that has been a growing problem in Minnesota
because of how quickly it can overrun other plant species in a forest setting.
Participants will learn how to identify buckthorn and how to remove it. As part
of the program, participants will be able to select, cut and create a buckthorn
walking stick for future hiking adventures. The program runs from 2 to 3:30
p.m. and is free with a limit of 25 participants.
While most people associate county parks with spring,
summer and fall activities, the winter will be heating up at Ney Park. For more
information or the register for any of the events, call Wright County Parks
& Rec at (763) 682-7894.or visit the Parks & Rec website http://www.co.wright.mn.us/132/Parks-Recreation or Facebook page.