(Taking a break from the #MNGPHO2018 to bring you an exceptional hiking spot!)
The Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Zimmerman was established in 1965 as a refuge for over 230 species of birds, 58 species of mammals, and 25 species of reptiles and amphibians.
The 30,700-acre forested, marshy Refuge has massive bodies of water making it a thriving ground for large and diverse wildlife populations.
The size alone makes it possible to incorporate habitats like oak savanna, Big Woods, and wetlands.
My favorite, and the most dynamic place in the Refuge is the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive, which is open to automobiles, bicyclists, and hikers.
Its 7.3 miles of gravel roads that weave through expansive wetlands and include three smaller hikes.
I was able to see an incredible amount of birds including the American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Trumpeter Swan, Sandhill Crane, and even the Blanding’s turtle, a Minnesota State threatened species.
I also loved the Blue Hill Trail that heads to the top of 90-foot Blue Hill, the highest point in the refuge. Fun fact: Hikers can pick berries and mushrooms for personal consumption within 100 feet of the trails.
The majority of the refuge lies within the St. Francis River watershed with a canoe route on a stretch of the St. Francis River and its tributary Battle Brook.
Because it is partly designated a wildlife sanctuary it is closed to public access for part of the year to allow wildlife to breed and raise their young free from human disturbance.
This post was brought to you by Explore Minnesota, but opinions are all my own. #onlyinmn
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