|Beaver Creek Valley State Park|
Wooded valley walls rise 250 feet above spring-fed Beaver Creek, ushering it through this beautiful park. The view from the upland oak woods is dramatic. Watch for brown and brook trout in the cold, crystal-clear creek. Watercress, a vibrant green aquatic plant, grows in the creek all year long.<...
Frontenac State Park
|Description: Frontenac State Park rises 450 feet above an expanse of the Mississippi River called Lake Pepin. A spectacular view of the river valley extends for miles in all directions. The park contains floodplain forest, maple-bass wood forest, oak woodland, bluff prairie and grassland.|
Since the turn of the century, Frontenac has had a reputation for great birdwatching. Some 260 species of birds make the park their home for part or all of the year, while others just stop by on their way up or down the Mississippi River flyway. Bald eagles are commonly seen in the fall, winter and spring. A few eagles even nest in the area.
Wildlife to Watch: In autumn you can see migrating eagles, tundra swans, turkey vultures and broad-winged, red-tailed and sharp-shinned hawks as they soar above the blufftops. Prairie wildflowers and native grasses cling to the bluff prairies, where fox snakes sun themselves on rock outcrops.
Contrast the blufftop experience with a hike through the silver maple and American elm in the floodplain forest. Birdwatchers flock to Frontenac in May to watch hundreds of warblers flitting in the floodplain forest canopy each spring. Take a spring evening excursion to the bottoms and be serenaded by choruses of frogs, toads and owls.
Other species to watch-for at Frontenac include wild turkeys, rose-breasted grosbeaks, hermit thrushes, scarlet tanagers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, sanderlings, ruddy turn-stones, white-tailed deer, red foxes and green, northern leopard, wood and tree frogs.
Frontenac State Park Birding Checklist
Check out the two and a half miles of self-guided trails in the park. Hiking or cross-country skiing often provides opportunities to see animals and birds not normally spotted while driving. Some of the bluffside trails may be closed seasonally for visitors’ protection.
Other Activities: Campsites at Frontenac State Park now can be reserved through the centralized
reservation service by calling 1-866-85PARKS (1-866-857-2757) or online at
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 2803 acres
Closest Town: Frontenac
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: