Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hike or bike at the annual ‘Walk for Glendalough’

The pasque flowers are blooming, the ice is off the lakes, and the loons and bluebirds have returned — all signs that it is time for the annual Walk for Glendalough. For the 19th year, this popular event for visitors of all ages will take place at Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake. Hosted by Glendalough Park Partners and staff from Minnesota state parks and trails, the event will start at the park’s trail center at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 25.

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

The Glendalough Park Partners will provide lodge tours, eagle nest viewing, food and door prizes. Meet the area naturalist and see what surprises he has in his cart. For those that are unable to walk or bike long distances, shuttles will be available for a trail tour. As always, the walk provides an opportunity for park visitors to see new park developments and learn about future projects.

Glendalough State Park’s new paved bike and pedestrian trail now connects to the city of Battle Lake, just three miles away. Pedal around the east side of Annie Battle Lake and get a glimpse of the park’s new Legacy-funded yurts. By Sunset Lake, check out the new block fire ring that will be used for evening campfire programs this summer. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward bike racks along the new trail, furniture and window coverings for the trail center, and a new gas grill for groups to use.

Over the years, the Walk for Glendalough has contributed close to $250,000 in park improvements. Funds have been used 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 camper cabins.
  • Purchase rental canoes.
  • Construct and fund a bird-feeding station.
  • Plant trees and native prairie flowers.
  • Create the campfire program area.
  • Purchase automated external defibrillators.
  • Create an outdoor seating area, which will be installed this spring.
“Many of the amenities that park visitors enjoy today would not have been possible without the funds raised by the walk,” said Park Manager Jeff Wiersma.

Donuts, coffee, and cider will be served at the trail center beginning at 9 a.m. A bratwurst lunch will be served at 11 a.m., and returning walkers will gather at the old tennis court to hear the latest park news, total funds raised and, if they’re lucky, choose a prize. Free posters are available to all. The event wraps up by noon, but visitors can always extend their day with an overnight stay in the cart-in campground, a camper cabin or a yurt. For more information, call the park at 218-864-0110 or visit