Metro State faculty aren’t spending the summer holed up in their offices. They are out exploring all the Twin Cities have to offer, and they’re a fount of ideas for summer fun. Check out their recommendations for activities and events
Kal Tuominen, community faculty member in the department of natural sciences, is teaching NSCI 201 Minnesota Ecology and Conservation Biology this summer. They recommend students take a hike “a bit outside the Twin Cities.
“People who want to get out of the city for a few hours, or even for a few days, will find a lot to do at Afton State Park. This is my first choice when I want to go for an intense hike without driving too far!” Tuominen said.
The park offers 20 miles of hiking trails, including 0.6 miles that are wheelchair accessible. Terrain varies from flat to steep.
Tuominen points to the park’s “excellent examples” of deciduous forest, former pine plantation, oak savannah and restored prairie.
Park activities include camping, picnicking, swimming and fishing in the St. Croix River, volleyball, horseshoes and geocaching. An archery range will be open on June 10 and July 15.
Afton State Park is about a 30-minute drive east from the St. Paul campus. A one-day vehicle permit costs $5. A twelve-month permit is $25 and allows access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Entry is free on June 10 in celebration of “National Get Outdoors Day.” For more information about Afton State Park, see dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afto