By Jim Umhoefer
Beltrami County. On County 20, about 6 miles northeast of Bemidji via Old Highway 71.
Highway map index: F-7.
Regardless of weather conditions, the interpretive center should be your first stop in this park. Upstairs is the contact station, where you can register for campsites and get information about events in Bemidji. The action takes place downstairs, where the naturalist plots fun and (don't tell the kids) educational activities for park visitors. Kids usually make a beeline toward the animal displays and the touch boxes. The boxes are wooden compartments with hand-holes that permit the kids to reach in, feel, and guess the contents.
Perhaps the best feature of the interpretive center is the overview of the park. Clear, colorful diagrams depict the major park environments (lake, bogs, hills). Another graphic depicts Lake Bemidji fish life and the lake's food web (anglers take note). Read more: