New assistant park manager introduced at annual meeting

The COVID pandemic hasn’t scared people away from the great outdoors, and Maplewood State Park. 

Visitation at Maplewood topped 100,000 from January to August 2021—despite a number of public events and activities being scaled back or cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Visitations totalled 106,714 over the eight month period in 2021. 

This compares to January 2020 – August 2020 visitation of 85,821; and 91,660 during the same period in 2019. 

The visitation report was among many topics covered at the annual meeting Sept. 2 of the Friends of Maplewood State Park, which was attended by nearly 40. 

Park visits up 20 percent

Compared to other years at this time, Maplewood is 20% higher than 2020 and 15% higher than 2019, reported park manager Don DelGreco. 

New assistant manager introduced 

Introduced at the annual meeting was Kristina Somes, who is the new assistant park manager.  Somes was Peace Corp Volunteer and also worked for the DNR Division of Forestry for five years.

There have been a couple of land acquisitions at Maplewood—including an island on South Lida and the Fladmark property near the park. The DNR is developing a plan as to how to utilize the added acreage.

A new shower building coming will be added to the campground, with construction in the spring of 2022.

Legislator Rasmusson to sponsor funding request for Pelican-Maplewood trail 

Jordon Rasmusson, Minnesota House Representative from the area, spoke about the bike path going from Pelican to Perham. Next year the Fergus Falls area Republican will sponsor a bonding bill to provide the funds to complete the trail.

Leaf Days Sept. 25-26 ‘Chair lift’ to offer future rides atop Hallaway Hill 

for scenic overview 

The Friends of Maplewood will be reviving Leaf Days Autumn festival this year—but will be only one weekend. September 25 and 26. 

 More information on the popular Leaf Day events are pending. 

Visitors will soon be able to catch a lift to the highest ground in the Pelican area. 

Maplewood State Park will be one of five parks in the state to get a Action Trak Chair. 

 It is a pilot program that will allow people who normally couldn’t get up Hallaway Hill trail to be able to do so—and enjoy the scenic overview of the greater Pelican lakes area.