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Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is located in Bloomington. Plan to see Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and other attractions that appeal to you using our Bloomington trip builder.
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  • We attended a talk on the monarch butterfly and photographing butterflies and really enjoyed it. The presenter was well informed and interesting. The variety of plant life was very nice and gave us lo...  read more »
  • Had a great 14 mile trail ride. It's pretty flat and not super technical but not boring either where we road. No bathrooms in site though :) 
  • We've been here just once the fall. We visited on a day when the information center was closed and never got an opportunity to check it out. Luckily on this was open. It is fairl...  read more »
  • Beautiful hikes, bird watching and outstanding Visitor Center. Comfortable, modern building with plenty of parking and ready access from Interstate 494 & 34th Avenue.
  • The trails are horribly marked. My wife and I got lost many times and had to back track. We ended up walking over 10 miles. We just barely made it out before dark. We almost had to stop and call for someone to get us. Have you ever heard of trail groomers? One of the trails had 4 foot high weeds. We had to guess where the trail was. How about putting in some benches? Worst experience of my life.
  • I've been coming here almost weekly for 15+ years. It's great in ALL seasons. The hiking is wonderful and the trails vary in length from just a mile or more to > 6 miles. You can also combine them. The views are varied and quite pleasant. The hike pass through several types of terrain including lowland swamps, open fields, oak savannah & river bottoms. There are a few old homesteads that are fun to explore. Its a great place to get in tune with the seasonal fluctuations of Minnesota. You can witness the ebb & flows of low water, high water, snows, the heats of the summer, bird migrations, nesting season, hunting seasons, etc. It's a great place to bring your kids to see how the water cycle works. You are likely to see hikers, mountain bikers, people on horseback, hunters, X-country skiers and the occasional rock climber. There is one BIG boulder around the midpoint of one of the hikes. Though fortunately never that many people over all. It's still pretty quiet. An earlier review mentioned the bridge out & muddy sneakers- The bridge was washed away by one of the more severe seasonal floods, but was replaced a few years later with money from the America Recovery Act. The trails are generally very well maintained & have even had a few minor re-routes where they were frequently flooded. Yes, you are likely to get muddy in the spring and summer, deal with ticks & other denizens of the woods. Also, the western end of the swamp can be an obstacle depending on the water level. You may end up making a 20-40 foot stream crossing. It ranges from very simple to potentially quite dangerous. The footing is not great & if the water is high & fast, you might want to consider going back the way you came. If you are not comfortable with those possibilities, you may want to find a different place to hike.
  • Lots to do here. Hiking and mountain biking.
  • Terrific place to hike/walk. No annoying paved trails. The historic farm was a great surprise the first time I ran across it and is a go to for afternoon walks. Lots of tall grasses and native prairie to explore.
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