At Idaho’s Round Lake State Park, “The best way to observe wildlife is to hike around the lake” on Stewardship Trail (approx. 3 miles) or Trapper’s Trail (approx. 2 miles), says Park Manager Mary McGraw. Dawn and dusk are prime times for wildlife spotting. “Animals commonly seen in the park are western painted turtles, great blue heron, osprey, bald eagles, bats, white-tailed deer, beaver, and bull frogs. Occasionally moose are seen feeding at the lake edge.”
Other birds to look for are pileated woodpeckers, cedar waxwings, barred owls, flycatchers, hummingbirds, Canada geese, and ducks. According to McGraw, beaver dams are found in Cocolalla Creek, both upstream from Round Lake to Cocolalla Lake and downstream towards Pend Oreille River.
Every Saturday during summer, Round Lake State Park offers a free guided Junior Ranger program, geared for children age 6-12, to learn about the park’s plants and wildlife. Or families can get a Junior Ranger Guide from the visitor center for self-guided discovery. The goal, McGraw explains, is “to help children have fun in the outdoors while learning about state parks and making connections to the natural world.”
Other local junior ranger programs in North Idaho include Priest Lake, Farragut, Heyburn and Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and Coeur d’Alene Old Mission State Parks, and at Lake Roosevelt’s Fort Spokane Visitor Center in Washington.