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Minnesota State Parks

Carlos Avery WMA
The Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area encompasses more than 23,000 acres, representing the largest public land tract in the seven-county metro area. The land, once owned by the Crex Carpet Company, was managed for the wiregrass used to make rugs. In 1933, the land became tax-forfeited and was...
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Afton State Park
Description: Spectacular views, minimal development and rugged terrain are all part of the wildlife watching experience at Afton State Park. Explore the oak savannas, prairies, oak woodlands and floodplain forests. The river overlooks provide excellent vantage points for watching migrating raptors and the Trout Brook Valley area is great for spring warblers and other migrating and nesting songbirds.

You can often see deer along the drive from the gatehouse to the visitor center. Look for field sparrows and savanna sparrows, eastern and western meadowlarks, indigo buntings, blue-gray gnatcatchers, scarlet tanagers, wood thrushes, eastern bluebirds, Baltimore orioles and pileated woodpeckers. Listen as frogs and toads call in the spring.

Although the terrain here is quite rugged and hiking can be strenuous, you can see many different animal species and great views of the St. Croix River without hiking very far.

Wildlife to Watch: Birdwatchers can observe hawks and waterfowl on the St. Croix flyway, bluebirds and meadowlarks in the grasslands, and waves of migratory birds in the floodplain. Deer, fox, and badgers live here along with the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, turkeys, gray and fox squirrels.

Special Tips:  Afton State Park Birding Checklist

Campsites at Afton State Park now can be reserved through the centralized reservation service by calling 1-866-85PARKS (1-866-857-2757) or online at stayatmnparks.com.

Ownership: MN DNR 
Size: 1695 acres 
Closest Town: Afton

RestroomsParkingTent CampingFishingCross Country SkiingHikingPicnic tablesVisitor CenterHorse TrailsHandicap AccessibleFeeLarge BoatsSmall BoatsTrailer CampingDrinking WaterSwimmingCamp FireBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Red-tailed Hawk - photo by USFWS
Please use Map Link below

Driving Directions:
Afton State Park is located east of Saint Paul. Take I-94 east to County Road 15, turn right, and then drive 7 miles to County Road 20. Turn left and continue three miles to the park entrance.

Map Link

Afton State Park : Wildlife Viewing Area