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Minnesota State Parks

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...
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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.

Special Tips:  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 stayatmnparks.com.

Ownership: MN DNR 
Size: WMA - 27,500 acres, Park – 2700 acres 
Closest Town: Elba

RestroomsParkingTent CampingFishingCross Country SkiingHikingHandicap AccessibleFeeSmall BoatsTrailer CampingDrinking WaterCamp FireShowers

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Pickerel Frog - photo by USFWS
Please use Map Link below

Driving Directions:
The Whitewater Wildlife Management Area office is located 2 miles north of Elba, Minnesota, on State Highway 74. Whitewater State Park is located 3 miles south of Elba on State Highway 74.

Map Link

Whitewater WMA & State Park : Wildlife Viewing Area