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Places to go: Visit the nature center

Among the special events at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center are bird releases, like the release of this bald eagle. There are also more than 10 miles of hiking trails and programs for adults and children alike.

The Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings provides area residents and visitors several unique opportunities to connect with nature.

Open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the center has a number of exhibits that are available for adults and children to enjoy. There are bald eagles, falcons and owls that have been injured and are in captivity. Turtles, snakes and frogs are also available to watch in an interpretive center located near the entrance.

Carpenter also plays host to several special events every year, including the release of birds back into the wild, thanks to their partnership with The Raptor Center. For information on special events like these, call the nature center at 651-437-4359.

There are more than 10 miles of hiking trails, beach access, an apple orchard and apple shack, picnic grounds and rental facilities. Activities and programs for adults and children are also available.

The nature center is closed only three days a year -- Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center is a non-profit organization.

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