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Recreation-Bird-Watching.pngNature Viewing

The LMRWD contains a multitude of parks, trails, and natural areas for your recreational benefit. Activities include hiking, biking, nature viewing, skiing, snowshoeing, and so much more. There are many opportunities to observe wildlife in the LMRWD, including:

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, this wildlife refuge in Bloomington, MN, boasts nearly 50 miles of trails along the Minnesota River in prairie bluffs and through floodplain forests. The area also nests more than 100 bird species with 200+ species spotted on the property. There is also the opportunity to see many different plant species, mammals, reptiles, and insects with different seasons hosting different nature viewing opportunities.

Minnesota Valley State Recreational Area

The Minnesota Valley State Recreational Area, located in Jordan, MN, provides excellent bird watching opportunities along the Minnesota Valley State Trail. A bird watching checklist for the recreational area is available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Click here to download

Seminary Fen Scientific Natural Area

Calcareous fens, such as the Seminary Fen in Chaska, MN, are unique wetland resources that grow plants not seen elsewhere. The Seminary Fen Scientific Natural Area is recommended by the Minnesota DNR to view wildflowers, ferns, grasses, sedges, trees, shrubs, and birds. As scientific natural areas are protected, a full list of DNR rules for visiting the Seminary Fen can be found here.

Raguet Wildlife Management Area

This wildlife management area, located in Carver and Scott counties near Shakopee, MN, is entirely within the floodplain of the Minnesota River. As such, it is composed of floodplain forests, wetland areas, and grasslands. The area is managed carefully to maintain and improve habitat for wetland species.

Fort Snelling State Park

The Fort Snelling State Park in Saint Paul, MN, contains 18 miles of hiking trails and several picnic areas idea for observing nature. Many of the trails can be used to bike, snowshoe, and ski. You can also canoe, fish, or swim on Snelling Lake, or visit Pike Island, where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet. A bird checklist for the park is available here.

A bird in nature
Binoculars and a bird watching book

To find general nature viewing tips, tricks, and guides, visit the
DNR website ​​​​​​here.