|Lake Maria State Park|
Lake Maria State Park was designed for hikers, backpackers and horseback riders looking for a wilderness experience. Three major landscapes are found within the park: wetland, remnant prairie and the oak-maple forest known as the "Big Woods". Here the northern hardwood forest meets the southern p...
Sibley State Park
|Description: Sibley State Park lies in a transition zone between two ecosystems; where the Big Woods of the east meet the grasslands of the west. Plants and animals found here are representative of both. The area's lakes were formed about 10,000 years ago as glaciers passed through the state and deposited rock, gravel and sand.|
Large tracts of prairie developed where the land was unprotected from fire or too dry for forests to grow. Most of these areas were grazed or converted to agricultural land, but attempts are being made to restore prairie areas in the park. Plant life includes bur oak, ironwood, basswood, hackberries' green ash, aspens, grassland plants and wetland communities.
Wildlife to Watch: Over 2,500 acres of woods, prairie and lakes make Sibley State Park a premier birding area in central Minnesota. Twenty-eight species of warblers use the park for resting, feeding and nesting. The park is the northwestern-most breeding location for the yellow-throated warbler in the United States.
Sibley's woodlands are home to ruffed grouse and wild turkey. Also look for broad-winged, Cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks and great horned, barred and eastern screech owls.
Grassland habitats host bobolinks, grassland sparrows and other prairie birds. Thrushes, redstarts, flycatchers, vireos, woodpeckers, white-tailed deer, foxes, swallows, and many species of sparrows are commonly found in the park.
Mount Tom, at an elevation of 1,375 feet, provides an excellent spot to watch hawk migration. Lake Andrew and other water bodies are good places for observing waterfowl and marsh birds.
Lakes and marshes are home to great blue herons, great egrets, American white pelicans, mink, beavers and waterfowl. You can regularly hear the call of the common loon on Lake Andrew during the spring/summer breeding season.
State Park Bird Checklist
Campsites at Minnesota State Parks now can be reserved through the
centralized reservation service by calling 1-866-85PARKS (1-866-857-2757) or
online at stayatmnparks.com
Other Activities: No hunting except during special 2-day muzzleloader hunt for deer the first weekend in December.
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 2510 acres
Closest Town: New London
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: