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Exploring Fall at Gooseberry Falls State Park

As leaves finish their autumn radiance and fall to the ground, and as days get shorter and colder, it’s time to get outside for one last fall adventure. Gooseberry Falls State Park has multiple opportunities to experience nature in the last months of fall.

You may be curious where Gooseberry Falls got its name – are there gooseberry plants at the park? The falls were named after Goose­berry River, which in turn was first named on a French map dating to 1670. In the 1660s, Medard Chouart sieur des Groseilliers visited the area, and the river was named Riviere des Groseilliers. But how do Riviere des Groseil­liers and Gooseberry River have anything in common? Well, the name Groseilliers trans­lates to Gooseberry in English.

On October 13th, the “Buzzing About Pol­linators Nature Cart” will be at Gooseberry Falls from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Attendees will learn from a park naturalist how to observe backyard pollinators and improve local habi­tat to foster a pollinator garden. At this time of fall, pollinators are busy on the aster and stiff goldenrod.

Guided Tree Hugging: Meditation 101 will return to the park on October 18th from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Park Naturalist Michaela will teach basic meditation techniques and take partici­pants on a short walk to find some trees to hug. All ages are welcome.

Finally, Falcons, Live! will be at Gooseber­ry Falls State Park on October 20th from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Peregrine falcon researcher Jackie Fallon will be bringing her live falcons to the park for an up-close look at a Peregrine falcon and an American kestrel. Cameras are encouraged.

Michaela Rice, DNR, had some advice for those looking to experience fall at Gooseberry Falls. “Although many people come to Goose­berry Falls to check out the falls, this park allows you to get close to Lake Superior via the Picnic Flow – an ancient lava flow. Bring a blanket on the flat rock outcrop, soaking up the intense fall sun, [and the] sound of the waves, all while being in a quieter location.”

Check the Minnesota State Parks and Trails event calendar for events and activities. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/events.html.

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