PALISADE — After a nearly year and a half closure, Long Lake Conservation Center is officially reopened and is offering youth firearm safety training courses in July.

Long Lake will offer Forkhorn I courses for children ages 11-14 on July 6-9, and July 19-22, as well as Forkhorn III courses on July 12-15, Long Lake officials announced. These are day camps only (no overnight stays) and will be limited to 25 students per camp.

“We are thrilled to be open, and once again to be able to provide valuable environmental education programs like Forkhorn to the citizens of Aitkin County and the state of Minnesota,” Long Lake Manager Dave McMillan said in a news release. “We will be ramping up to full operations over the summer to be ready to welcome students to our Nature School in the fall.”

In Forkhorn I, students will earn their Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Firearms Safety Certificate by learning to become an ethical, and responsible hunter, participating in hands-on field training, and demonstrating their knowledge on the shooting range.

Forkhorn III is for youths ages 12-15 who already have their Firearms Safety Certificate and hunting experience. This camp is designed for those seeking to expand their knowledge of big and small game hunting tips and techniques, as well as hunter ethics. Forkhorn Camps are sponsored by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.

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For more information or to enroll a child, go to or call 218-768-4653.

In addition to day camps such as Forkhorn, Long Lake’s grounds and hiking trails are open for daily use. The trail system offers a wide array of scenic views and wildlife, including a bog boardwalk, hiking trails that wind around a lake that sits in the center of the 760-acre campus.