Attraction Spotlight: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 9:20am.

National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center -  Image Credit:

Check out the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington. It was established in 1976 to provide a habitat for a plethora of migratory fish, waterfowl and other threatened wildlife species. They’ve provided a safe refuge for wildlife in risk of commercial and industrial development and that also provides environmental education and recreational opportunities for residents of the Twin Cities.

You can visit the visitor centers and land dedicated to wildlife recreation all year round. Here is a look at what the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is all about.

About the Wildlife Refuge

The wildlife refuge is a federally managed nature preserve that gives a safe haven for a range of waterfowl and migratory birds. They offer an interpretive center featuring programs and exhibits to learn more about the natural history of the Minnesota River area. 

In addition to learning about the wildlife, you can enjoy the Minnesota Valley Recreation Area where people are commonly found hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and bird-watching along with picnicking.

Visiting the Refuge

You can visit the refuge lands daily from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open April through October on Tuesdays through Sundays 9am-5pm and during November through March weekdays from 9am-4pm. There is no charge for admission.

Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing with a wide diversity of wildlife and plants to observe. You’ll see Wetlands, Tallgrass Prairie, Floodplain Forest, Prairie Skink, River Otter and Wood Duck.

Go shore fishing or ice fishing but stick to boat fishing on the Minnesota River. Hunting is acceptable during certain seasons. Enjoy interpretation through self-guided hikes, staff-led programs, environmental education for schools and youth groups or enjoy taking wildlife photography.

Visit the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge located at 3815 American Blvd. E in Bloomington, MN. You’ll get to enjoy 14,000 acres of free outdoor recreational experiences and see part of the 70 miles of land and water the refuge is part of along the Minnesota River.

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