|Frontenac State Park|
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.<br><br>Since the tur...
Whitewater WMA & State Park
|Description: The Whitewater WMA contains 27,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Three sparkling branches of the Whitewater River flow together in the Whitewater Valley, converging below dramatic river valley bluffs. Wildflowers abound in the area's oak woodlands, savanna, wetlands and bluff prairies. Remnant stands of white pine and other plants usually found further north remain here from a time when the climate was colder and glaciers covered other parts of the state. Nearly 50 kinds of mammals and 250 kinds of birds use the Whitewater River Valley during the course of a year.|
Wildlife to Watch: The wetlands along Highway 74 attract migrating and nesting waterfowl. Look for ospreys, great egrets, giant Canada geese and belted kingfishers. Stop by the wetlands just after dark on warm evenings in late April through May for a real treat: thousands of frogs join voices in a symphony of peeps, chorts, chuckles and moans. You might see chorus, leopard, pickerel and green frogs.
Another option is to explore from the north parking lot along Highway 74. Listen for the piercing call of red-shouldered hawks and keep an eye out for wild turkeys in the wooded valleys. Wild turkeys from Whitewater have been successfully introduced into other wildlife areas around the country.
Other bird species you can look for include cerulean, prothonotary and blue-winged warblers, ruffed grouse, sandhill cranes, rose-breasted grosbeaks and indigo buntings.
In the savanna where the oak woods are more open and prairie plants cover the ground, you may discover eastern bluebirds, endangered Karner blue butterflies and their host plant, wild lupine. If you hike or cross country ski in the valley, watch for wintering golden eagles. White-tailed deer frequent the meadows and birds chatter throughout the steep wooded slopes and stream corridors.
Whitewater State Park Birding Checklist
Other Activities: Campsites at Whitewater 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: WMA - 27,500 acres, Park – 2700 acres
Closest Town: Elba
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: