|Migizi Trail (Cass Lake-Chippewa National Forest)|
This beautiful trail is named for the bald eagle, “migizi” in Ojibwe language. Dedicated in 2003, the Migizi Trail circles Pike Bay on a paved loop through the big red pines of the original Ten Section of the Chippewa National Forest. Pike Bay is connected to the south end of Cass Lake.
Lake Bemidji State Park
|Description: First established in l923, this park is special for wildlife and plants associated with old-growth red pine, white pine and northern hardwoods. Black spruce and tamarack bog, basswood and sugar maple, birch, jack pine, lowland hardwood and wetland species may all be found.
A quarter-mile boardwalk will take you through the tamarack spruce lowland forest. Most flowers are blooming in the bog during late spring and early summer. If you’re there at the right time, you’ll be able to view stemless and showy lady’s slippers, dragon’s mouth orchids and distinctive insectivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews. Plant enthusiasts can look for alder, bog birch, Labrador tea and grass pink orchids.
Two spots in the park are particularly scenic: Rocky Point and Bass Creek. Rocky Point sits high on a bluff above the blue waters of Lake Bemidji and offers excellent opportunity to see ducks. A boardwalk to Bass Creek gives you a spectacular view of eagles, herons and grebes, as well as an undisturbed view of the stream.
Wildlife to Watch: In addition to the plants, Lake Bemidji State Park offers a wide variety of habitats and trails for bird watching. The boardwalk winds through a boreal bog to Big Bog Lake. This area is rich in northern boreal forest birds including warblers, flycatchers, vireos, thrushes and woodpeckers. More than 25 species of loons, grebes, swans, geese and ducks have been seen on Lake Bemidji. Excellent birding opportunities abound, especially in winter.
The park has active bald eagle nests. You should also keep your eyes open for diverse species ranging from osprey, common loons, great blue and green herons, wood ducks, goldeneyes, ruffed grouse, belted kingfishers, black-backed and pileated woodpeckers, eastern wood pewees, hermit thrushes and brown creepers to scarlet tanagers and Nashville and chestnut-sided warblers. Almost 200 bird species may be seen throughout the year.
Fifty-plus mammals have been found in the park. Among these are star-nosed moles, Franklin’s ground squirrels, red fox, long-tailed weasels, fishers, black bears and white-tailed deer. Occasionally, a wolf may be seen or heard.
Special Tips: There are interpretive boardwalks and observation decks located at Sundew Pond, Bass Creek and Rocky Point. The trail center is open all year; the park has a full-time naturalist and a large pontoon boat for guided excursions.
The site has more than a mile of lakeshore, a beach and a boat launch/marina offering boats and canoes for rent. There is access to the multi-purpose Paul Bunyan State Trail.
Other Activities: Canoeing, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking.
Ownership: MN DNR
Size: 1700 acres
Closest Town: Bemidji
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: