The following is a list of programs offered by Whitewater State Parks Interpretive Services. There is no charge for these programs, but state park vehicle permits are required. Permits are available at all state park offices.
To check on winter program cancellations due to hazardous road conditions or winter weather alerts, contact the park office at 507-932-3007.
Friday, January 1
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Whitewater River Valley Christmas Bird Count
Participants will explore the area’s winter wonderland on foot for short walks and/or by car as they document wintering birds. Anyone with an interest in birds, regardless of birding experience, is invited to participate. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-932-3007, extension 226.
First Day Hike
Celebrate the New Year with a family friendly hike at Whitewater State Park! We’ll explore the winter scenery and search for winter wildlife signs. If there’s snow, bring your snowshoes or borrow the park’s.(Distance: Under a mile.)
Saturday, January 9
Live Golden Eagle Program
Find out about golden eagles in the bluff lands from the man who knows them best. Scott Mehus, National Eagle Center education director and Golden Eagle Project co-coordinator, will share his 19 years of experience observing golden eagles in Southeast Minnesota and Wisconsin. You’ll learn how to identify golden eagles in the wild and some of the best places to look for these elusive raptors.
Golden Eagle Survey Training
Scott Mehus of the National Eagle Center will host this training session to prepare volunteers of the January 16 Wintering Golden Eagle Survey. There will be an indoor presentation and an outdoor session to practice identifying golden eagles in the field. Please note there will not be a live golden eagle at the training. Sign up for this training by email at email@example.com or by phone at 507-932-3007, extension 226.
Saturday, January 16
Historic Ice Harvest Demonstration
A century ago, before rural electrification and refrigerators, ice was cut each winter to cool iceboxes in the coming year. After ice was cut, it was stored in icehouses insulated with sawdust. Discover this piece of the area’s past as ice is cut and moved off Whitewater State Park’s beach. Authentic tools such as ice saws and tongs will be used. Want to give it a try?
Sunday, January 17
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Winter Trout Fishing
Trout fishing in winter provides challenges, but also a very high quality trout fishing experience. Streams are different in winter and so are trout. Join Rich Enochs of the National Trout Center for this activity that will provide you with an understanding of trout streams in winter. (Participants will not be fishing during the activity.)