We Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park invite you to join us in our activities.  Check here often for future activities and opportunities for volunteering.

Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park T-Shirts available! See this Poster for details.

Monarch Hike at Prairie @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park Office
Aug 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Nerstrand State Park’s restored prairie is a late summer gathering spot for Monarch butterflies filling up with wildflower nectar in preparation for their migration to Mexico. Meet at the park office and then carpool to the prairie for a guided tour with Master Naturalists. Long pants and closed toe shoes are recommended. Will be canceled in case of rain.

Trees of the Big Woods @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Sep 16 @ 10:30 am

Talk by Breanna Wheeler, meet at the park visitor center.

Annual Membership Meeting
Sep 17 @ 3:00 pm

Our annual meeting of the membership will be held prior to the Big Woods Gathering. We will briefly review Friends activities and finances of the previous year, and elect new board members.

Big Woods Gathering – Snakes of Minnesota
Sep 17 @ 4:00 pm
Our second annual Big Woods Gathering will start  with a talk at 4:00 pm, entitled Snakes of Minnesota. During this program, you will learn about the different species of snakes found in MN, which ones are venomous, and which ones are rattlesnake mimics. Learn what to do in the event of an encounter with a timber rattlesnake. There will be several live snakes included in this program. The program will be presented by Jaime Edwards, the Nongame Wildlife Specialist covering SE Minnesota. Program is suitable for adults and children and is a great program for anyone afraid of snakes to learn more about these critters in a safe and controlled environment.
Following the talk, please stay for your Sunday evening meal. We will provide hot dogs and fixings, and lemonade or (tap) water to drink. Feel free to bring additional items for your own consumption or to share.
Prairie Hike and Seed Collection @ Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Sep 23 all-day
Big Woods Run and Prairie Walk
Oct 14 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sponsored by St Johns United Church of Christ, this annual event features 5k, 10k, and half marathon courses, as well as the Priarie Walk guided by Master Naturalists. Go to to register. All proceeds go to charities.

Candlelight Event
Feb 3 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm