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Walk for Glendalough is this Saturday

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with the Glendalough Park Partners, will host the 17th annual “Walk for Glendalough” at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 20, at the trail center at Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake.

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There is no fee to enter the park on this day, but because the walk is intended as a fundraiser, donations will be encouraged.

Past walk events have raised funds to provide year-round restrooms at the trail center, restore and furnish the historic lodge, build a picnic shelter and a hiking bridge, add heat and electricity to the camper cabins, purchase rental canoes, construct and fund a bird-feeding station and plant trees and native prairie flowers.

Through the years, the walk has contributed close to $250,000 in park improvements.

“Many of the amenities that park visitors enjoy today would not have been possible without the funds raised by the walk,” said Jeff Wiersma, Glendalough State Park manager.

This year’s “walk” will include lodge tours, eagle nest viewing, food and prizes. There will be a geocaching course, with instruction available. Participants should bring a GPS unit or check one out. Visitors can also see new park developments, learn about future park projects and meet the new area naturalist to see what’s in his nature cart.

Those who choose not to walk can ride a park shuttle down the trail to the eagle nest or take a tour of the 100-year-old Glendalough Lodge. Returning walkers will gather at the old tennis court to hear the latest park news and total funds raised. Free posters will be available.

The park’s new paved bike and pedestrian trail is under construction. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go toward benches, bike racks and interpretive kiosks along the new trail. The park and county portions of the trail should be completed early this summer, with the trail connection to the city of Battle Lake to follow by fall.

Two lakeside yurts will be constructed along the new trail next fall, one with a wood stove for year-round use. A yurt is a Mongolian-style, circular, fabric tent with a wooden frame set on a wooden deck. They will be equipped with bunk beds, similar to the park’s camper cabins.

The event will wrap up by noon, but visitors can extend their day with an overnight stay in the cart-in campground or one of four camper cabins.

For more information, call 218-864-0110 or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/glendalough.

Lina Belar, for the Focus

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