Hiking along Gunflint Trail


Region: Southern
Ceder River Watershed District
1408 21st Avenue NW
Austin, MN 55912
Contact:Austin CVB
Phone:(507) 434-2603
Website: www.cedarriverwd.org
Tour Focus:Part of Minnesota DNR’s state water trail program, the Cedar River Watershed route runs for about 25 miles from the village of Lansing (north of Austin at County Road 2) to the Minnesota-Iowa border, providing opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeists and kayakers.
Group Size:Check with contact
Cost: Varies
Availability:Check with contact
Tour guide:Supervisor


Region: Metro
Sola Fide Observatory
180th Street
Austin, MN 55912
Contact: Austin CVB
Phone:(507) 437-7519
Email: jchnatur@smig.net
website: www.hormelnaturecenter.org
Tour Focus: Sola Fide Observatory is located on three acres donated by a local doctor. The 12-foot ash dome houses a 10-inch refractor telescope. The observatory is the local site of the annual “Star Party” when astronomers throughout the US spend a weekend examining the stars. The observatory is open on scheduled weekends for visitors to view the constellations and other heavenly bodies.
Group Size: Check with contact
Availability: By appointment and on scheduled weekends
Tour Guide:Supervisor


Region: Metro
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
3815 American Blvd East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: (952) 854-5900
Fax: (612) 725-3279
Website: www.nws.gove/Midwest/minnesotavalley.com
Tour Focus: Learn about wildlife and their habitat on this tour.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: self-guided


Region: Northeast
UMD Natural Resources Research Institute
5013 Miller Trunk Highway
Duluth, MN 55811
Contact: June Kallestad
Phone: (218) 720-4300
Fax: (218) 720-4219
Website: www.nrri.umn.edu
Tour Focus: The tour focuses on ecological research and testing, water, mining, and forestry.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year round, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided


Region: Southern
River Bend Nature Center
P.O. Box 186
Faribault, MN 55021
Contact: Nalani McCutcheon
Phone: (507) 332-7151
Fax: (507) 332-0656
E-mail: mccutchn@rbnc.org
Website: www.rbnc.org
Tour Focus: Nature hikes, snowshoeing, hiking trails and environmental education programs focusing on the big woods and prairie ecosystems are available through our tours. Programming for limited mobility and developmentally challenged is available.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $44/person, $50 minimum for group tours
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: Interpretive Naturalist


Region: Southern
Prairie Ecology Bus Center
PO Box 429
Lakefield, MN 56150
Contact: Chrystal Dunker
Phone: (507) 662-5064
E-mail: ecologybus@ecologybus.org
Website: www.ecologybus.org
Tour Focus: Come learn about our natural resources and the hands-on outdoor environmental education programs in Southern and Western Minnesota.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: Varies by program
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: Naturalist staff


Region: Southern
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
28097 Goodview Drive
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Phone: (507) 467-2437
E-mail: groups@eagle-bluff.org
Website: www.eagle-bluff.org
Tour Focus: Naturalist programs are large-group presentations designed to inform and entertain. Each group leader communicates with Eagle Bluff staff to customize their own unique experience. No matter what you are planning they will work to help you plan to perfection. See http://www.eagle-bluff.org/classes.html for information on presentations offered for groups touring through the area. Popular to groups is Eagle Bluffs Raptor Presentation: live raptors will be featured including a Barred owl, Red-tailed hawk, and an American kestrel. Natural history information and the importance of raptors in a healthy ecosystem will be covered.
Group Size: no maximum, no minimum
Cost: varies on participant program
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: guided

New Ulm

Region: Southern
Putting Green Eco-Center
1927 South Valley Street
New Ulm, MN 56073
Contact: Laural Gamm
Phone: (507) 354-7888
E-mail: puttinggreen@newulmtel.net
Website: www.puttinggreen.org
Tour Focus: This is a 9-hole mini-golf course with every hole teaching an ecological lesson. They also run a truck-farm on site and teach a variety of eco-lessons. They teach an "Eco-preneur Program" to youth about how you can mix entrepreneurialism and how you can be conscious to preserve the environment.
Group Size: 20 minimum, 45 maximum, flexible
Cost: $3/person
Availability: By appointment for groups, Apr-Oct
Tour Guide: guides are available


Region: Metro
Eastman Nature Center
13551 Elm Creek Road
Osseo, MN 55369
Contact: Lee Ann Landstrom
Phone: (763) 694-7700
Fax: (763) 420-4477
Website: www.ThreeRiversParks.org
Tour Focus: On this tour, learn about nature, the environment, birds, plants, insects, and water quality, all while enjoying hands-on and outdoor activities.
Group Size: 5 minimum; 100 maximum
Cost: Free Parking
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: naturalists, by appointment

Pine River

Region: Northwestern
Happy Dancing Turtle
2373 Dancing Wind Road SW
Pine River, MN 56474
Phone: (218) 587-2303
Fax: (218) 597-5002
Website: www.happydancingturtle.com
E-mail: general@happydancingturtle.org
Tour Focus: the Hunt Utilities Group Campus is a destination point for research and development of sustainable living, renewable energy, and high efficiency housing. Tour points include experimental buildings incorporating straw bale and cob, Structural Insulated Panels, cob artwork, greenhouse, heat storage systems, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, water catchment, composting toilets, waste water reclamation, and sustainable landscaping. Hands-on activities can also be arranged.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum, but approximately 60 people
Cost: no fee at this time
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: educational staff


North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum
7136 Highway 61 PO Box 2312
Tofte, MN 55615
Email: info@commercialfishingmuseum.org
Website: www.commercialfishingmuseum.org
Tour Focus: This forty-five minute tour will provide the group with an opportunity to experience the Museum with the guided assistance of one of our professional tour guides. If you ever felt the need to ask questions and get the answers, then this type of tour is for you! In fact, your tour guide will be able to point out many of the 'fewer' known historical nuances as well as make the necessary connections between fine historical details that often get lost when visiting a site on one's own. Most of the time, these tours are accompanied by the presence of actual fishermen or descendents of fishermen. To guarantee the experience of interacting with actual fishermen be sure to inquire ahead of time.
Group Size: 20 or less
Cost:$35 for the group
Availability:May- October: 9-5 daily. Winter: Fri and Sat
Tour Guide: Director Don Hammer


Region: Southern
National Eagle Center
50 Pembroke Avenue
Wabasha, MN 55981
Phone: 651-565-4989 or (877) 332-4537
Fax: 651-565-5357
E-mail: info@nationaleaglecenter.org 
Website: www.eaglecenter.org
Tour Focus: The best place to see and learn about live eagles is to attend one of the Eagle Educational Programs at the Center. They are free with admission and given several times a day. Call to inquire about private group programs.
Group Size: 10+, call for group rates and special programs
Cost: $6/adults, $5/seniors (65+)
Availability: hours vary by season, call for information
Tour Guide: self-guided or by staff