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University of Minnesota Extension

Big Woods, Big Rivers - Palisade

Monday, September 9 - Friday, September 13

Explore the Big Woods, Big River biome in Aitkin County. We'll learn about the natural history of the area by taking geology treks and observing wildlife. We'll connect to the place, the woods and the mighty Mississippi.

In conjunction with our Master Naturalist training, we'll do archery, crafts, have campfires, make friends and create memories just like summer campers.


Long Lake Conservation Center, a Residential Environmental Learning Center in Palisade, Minnesota. Only 2.5 hours away from the metro, less than 2 hours away from St. Cloud, and 1 hour away from Duluth, Long Lake is an easy trip to the Northwoods.


The camp begins on Monday, September 9, and is followed by a 40-hour week of learning and exploration that includes field trips, guest speakers and class in Long Lake’s modern facilities or out on 760 beautiful acres.

Those who travel to the Northwoods for the week-long getaway can stay at Long Lake in modern lodges. Cost varies depending on lodging. Call Long Lake to reserve a lodge: 218-768-4653.

Local residents not staying at the camp can attend daily from 8 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. each day.

Cost includes manuals and supplies. Participants should prepare for a week of Minnesota September weather - could be 90 degrees and humid or 60 degrees and raining. Prepare for exploring in the woods and bring appropriate clothing and bug spray.

Master Naturalist volunteer certification courses

Event information

Monday, September 9 - Friday, September 13
8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Long Lake Conservation Center
28952 438th Ln.
Palisade, MN 56469
United States

Amy Rager, University of Minnesota Extension 
rager001@umn.edu or 320-589-1711; 888-241-4532, Ext. 2129

Julie Larson, University of Minnesota Extension administrative specialist
larso143@umn.edu or 320-589-1711; 888-241-4532, Ext. 2120


  • Basic 40-hour course (no lodging or meals): $295
  • 40-hour course with homemade, hot lunches only. Monday-Friday: $335
  • Week-long getaway! 40-hour course with lodging and breakfast, lunch, and dinner: $530

If the course fee is a hardship, please fill out the scholarship application and send it to us.


Please create an account on the Master Naturalist volunteer website to complete registration for this course.

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