About Us

Tree Planting 2017

The Spring Flowers with Roving Naturalist days are scheduled to begin Saturday April 15. This popular event features volunteer naturalists posted in the Park to show and describe the spring flowers to visitors.  After starting, it will take place every Saturday and Sunday through May 14.

Roving Naturalist training for the Spring Wildflower Days is scheduled for April 8, at 2:00 pm,  Please notify Dave Olsen at david.olsen@state.mn.us if you are interested in attending. We will gather at the park office.

Photo Contest, photos must be submitted by August 1, 2017, please see the flyer for more information.

We are looking for people that would like to donate trees as a memorial, or for any other reason.  Please call the Park Office if interested – 507-333-4840. For those planning ahead the Big Woods Run and Prairie Walk will be October 8th, 2016.

Park Bench Installation

Park Bench Installation

We are looking for volunteers to help with a new Friends effort- growing native plants for the park. This will consist of seed collection in late summer/fall, planting seeds and caring for young plants at your home the following spring, and then planting them at the park. You can participate in any or all of these steps- be a foster parent for a plant! Please contact us if you are interested.

Geocaching in the Park.

Geocaching in the Park.

Calendar of Upcoming Events: For a list of this years park events, please see this link.  Below is a partial listing.
Spring Wildflowers: April 25, 26, May 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17. Please call the park office at 507-333-4840 if  you wish to look at flowers while a volunteer naturalist is available.
Goecaching: June 27, 10:00 am. Please contact park office to sign up, at 507-333-4840.
Trees of the Big Woods
Big Woods Run: Oct. 3

Prairie Hike Sept. 12th

Prairie Hike Sept. 12th

Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is a community organization devoted to preserving and enhancing the experience of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Through various activities and efforts we seek to sustain the natural beauty and ecology of the park, support interpretive and environmental education programs of the park, advocate for the park, promote awareness of the park’s resources, and provide volunteers and support when needed.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is a true gem. Nestled in arguably the largest Maple-Basswood forest in the state, it offers beauty in each season of the year. During the winter, Hidden Falls ices over providing spectacular photo opportunities. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snowmobiling are available.

Columbine are blooming at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

Columbine are blooming at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

The spring wild flowers are spectacular. Hepatica, bloodroot, trillium, anemone, jack-in-the- pulpit, wild ginger, and the endangered dwarf trout lily are some of the flowers one can encounter. The May 2014 Backpacker Magazine featured Nerstrand Big Woods State Park as one of the best wildflower hikes in the country. About the North loop, It said, After the snow melts but before the trees leaf out, the understory in this forested park sparkles with flowers—including the cream-colored Minnesota dwarf trout lily, a federally endangered bloom found in only a few counties. Hike this 4.8-mile loop late April through May for the showiest displays. From the park office, take the west branch of the Hidden Fall Trail north for a broad patches of buttery marsh marigold and dwarf trout lilies. Link the Fawn, Hope, Beaver, and White Oak Trails past Hidden Falls’ wide 10 foot curtain; look for daisy-like bloodroot, the puffy V shape of Dutchman’s breeches, and white and violet Hepatica throughout.

Summer activities include geocaching, archery, naturalist led hikes, and many others.

The fall colors at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park are spectacular. A hike along the trails will entice a person to take countless photos.