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USA Parks
Twin Cities - Metro Region
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
3815 East 80th St.
Bloomington, Minnesota   55425

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is located within the urban and suburban areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It is a green belt of large marsh areas bordered by office buildings, highways, residential areas, and grain terminals. The refuge is comprised of eight linear units totaling approximately 12,500 acres, spanning 34 miles of the Minnesota River. <P>Refuge habitats include riverine wetlands, fens, seeps, floodplain forests, oak savannas and forest, and native grasslands. More than 250 species of birds use the area at some time during the year, including nesting bald eagles and peregrine falcons. The avian diversity is complemented by at least fifty species of mammals and thirty species of reptiles and amphibians. <P>The focal point of the refuge is the Visitor Center, which features 8,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 125-seat auditorium, two multi-purpose classrooms, a bookstore, an art gallery, and an observation deck. Environmental education and interpretation are conducted from this facility. Recreational activities include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, hunting, and fishing. <P>
History of the Area
You are surrounded by history as you travel through the Minnesota River Valley. The Dakota people gave the river its name: Mini Sota and fished, hunted, and harvested wild rice from floodplain lakes. Many names that we see today are reminders of Dakota leaders whose villages were located along the lower Minnesota River: Black Dog, Shakopee, and Mazomani. In the early 1600s, European explorers, fur traders, and missionaries traveled the Minnesota River and by the 1860s settlers built homesteads and farmed along the river's fertile banks. As railroads replaced steamboats, many river towns became ghost towns. In the Minnesota Valley Recreation Area you can see the only remaining building from the town of St. Lawrence or visit the Jabs Farm Homestead. You can also enjoy the landscape and wildlife that has attracted people here for centuries.
 Hiking Trailyes

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Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 8 Awesome habitat for birds and critters by mks
I saw the release of the rehabilitated birds yesterday and it was fabulous! A beautiful view in the middle of office buildings but feels like you are up north. I plan to do the trails soon. A must see!

Area Campgrounds

Town & Country Campground
12630 Boone Avenue South
Savage, MN

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Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
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The Refuge Office and Visitor Center are located just off of 34th Avenue in Bloomington, Minnesota, across the street from the Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport Hilton Hotel. From I-494, visitors should take the 34th Avenue exit south to East 80th Street. Turn left on East 80th Street and proceed east for 1/4 mile to the Visitor Center entrance which is on the right. <P>

USA Parks
Twin Cities - Metro Region
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
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