Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sibley State Park

A little history...

Sibley State park, located near New London Minnesota, is a beautiful and calm nook in mid-west Minnesota. Peter Broberg, a Minnesota resident, along with many of his neighbors, were successful in getting the Minnesota State Legislature to provide funds to purchase land which became Sibley State Park. Realizing that the area was a popular spot for more than the local people, the Legislature established Sibley as a state park in 1919. The park was named after Henry Hastings Sibley, Minnesota's first governor. In 1935 the Federal government sent the Veterans Conservation Corps to Sibley State Park. For the next three years, this group of up to 200 men built roads, buildings, and trails within the park. When the camp was finished, they left behind several granite buildings and a popular state park.

And some demographics...
The park spans about 2,509 acres of grasslands, dense forests, lakes, and large hills, fro, which you may see for miles in about any direction. (except North, because of a nasty tree line just perfect for blocking your view) The forest consists mainly of ironwood, aspen, oak, green ash, red cedar, basswood and maple.  The wildlife is just teeming with deer and chipmunks and other such normal Minnesota critters, and while I have yet to see any, I am told that coyote are found in those woods! My most memorable experience with birds there was watching an egret descend gracefully onto a pond early one morning. Once, I saw a pelican and thought I was seeing things, but it is true, there really are pelicans in the Minnesota lakes! The mosquitoes are not as bad as some other places I know, but is is a really bad idea to hike through those woods without bug-spray on after dark. TRUST me. I know. Speaking of which, there are oodles of trails twisting through the forests and up the "mountain" which are all beautiful places for your feet to take you when you need some reflection time, or a good place to pray the rosary.

Fun Activities and recreational stuff...
Volleyball, all the way. There are two courts I know of currently, the best one located at the beach on Lake Andrew. Which, of course means that there is fishing and swimming, all the time. There are miles of bike paths around the lake and the surrounding area, horse trails, cross-country skiing, skating, snowmobile trails, Snowshoe-ing and even ice-fishing! A plethora of things for families to do there. I definitely recommend it to any one wanting to get out of the cities for some genuine family time. The People of Praise Servant branch has a group of about eight to ten families that go at the same time every year, and it is a blast.

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