|Mille Lacs Kathio State Park|
Soaring eagles and osprey, staging loons, gliding gulls and migrating waterfowl and warblers are just a few of the highlights of Mille Lacs Lake.<br><br>This is one of the largest lakes in Minnesota, encompassing 132,510 acres and 76 miles of shoreline. In conjunction with the thousands of acres ...
Mille Lacs WMA
|Description: The 39,000-acre area supports biodiversity because of its "patchwork distribution" of marshes, bogs, streams, forests and fields. It's about 60 percent forested with aspen, oak, maple, basswood and ash. Food plots for wildlife are planted through agreements with local farmers.|
The WMA was established in 1949 largely, from tax-forfeited lands. For nearly 25 years the University of Minnesota studied the responses of grouse to various forest clear-cutting patterns.
One hundred and fifty miles of trails, firebreaks and roads criss-cross the site. Spring (before leaf out), early summer (before biting bugs invade) and autumn (before hunting begins) are the best times to visit. Whether you're hiking, mountain biking or cross-country skiing, a good starting point is the loop trail that begins near the headquarters. Although this trail is not groomed, winter skiing offers solitude, as well as wildlife sightings and signs.
Wildlife to Watch: Much of the area's attraction is due to the variety of wildlife found here, including ruffed grouse, red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, waterfowl, owls, song and marsh birds, white-tailed deer, raccoon, beaver, mink and musk-rat. Check out Dewitt or Ernst Pools to see a bald eagle, osprey or possibly even a trumpeter swan or frolicking otter. Listen for the low, loud musical rattle of the sandhill cranes, which nest on the unit, and look for signs of the black bear as you hike or bike the trails. Everything from woodcock to warblers to woodpeckers frequent the woods and wetlands.
Special Tips: Bugs are bad during the summer and deer ticks are plentiful, so be prepared. Bring both mosquito and tick repellent.
Primitive camping is an option from September through February.
Additional wildlife watching may be found at the Rum River State Forest, Mille Lacs Lake-North Shore and Mille Lacs Lake Area-Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 39,000 acres
Closest Town: Onamia and Isle
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: