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Outdoor briefs

Ause to lead nature walk

Local bird enthusiast and former Red Wing Environmental Learning Center Director Bruce Ause will lead a nature walk through Frontenac State Park Thursday June 13 at 9 a.m. The walk will feature various birds and flora.

Participants should bring binoculars and meet at the Frontenac State Park headquarters. The walk is free, but all vehicles will need a state park pass. Daily passes are $5. For more information, call 651-345-3401.

Fly Fishers group offers free workshop

The National Trout Center will offer a day of free fly fishing activities Saturday June 22 in Preston, Minn. The Federation of Fly Fishers instructors will teach people about equipment and basic to advanced fly-casting techniques. People will then have a chance to develop fly-tying skills.

One-on-one instruction will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your equipment or use the equipment provided by FFF.

Registration is preferred but not required. Contact the National Trout Center at 507-867-8801

State parks are free today

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is celebrating National Get Outdoors Day by offering free admission today at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Many special programs will take place at parks that day.

Families uncertain about which Minnesota state park or trail to visit will find a new trip-planning tool online: virtual tours. They feature 360-degree panoramic photos of 74 parks. The interactive photos allow viewers to pan right, left, up and down to see exactly what they would see if they were standing at that very spot in the park.

"The DNR conducted surveys and focus groups in 2007 to find out why people weren't getting outdoors more often," said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR's Parks and Trails Division. "One of the barriers the research identified was a lack of information. People specifically asked for more online trip-planning tools, such as virtual tours."