You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Minnesota State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Southern Region
Frontenac State Park
start slideshow
Frontenac State Park Frontenac Entrance © Wes Gerber
Park entrance.
Frontenac State Park Eastern Bluebird © Patricia Larkin
Eastern Bluebird
Frontenac State Park Big bluestem © Nancy Bauer
Frontenac State Park Goldenrod Wonder times two © Cynthia H Bonawitz
Butterflys on Goldenrod
Frontenac State Park Cedar Waxwing © Patricia Larkin
Cedar Waxwing
Frontenac State Park American Redstart © Patricia Larkin
American Redstart
Frontenac State Park Western Meadowlark © Patricia Larkin
Western Meadowlark
Frontenac State Park Field Sparrow © Patricia Larkin
Field Sparrow
Frontenac State Park Chestnut Sided Warbler © Patricia Larkin
Chestnut Sided Warbler
Frontenac State Park Yellow Warbler © Patricia Larkin
Yellow Warbler
Frontenac State Park Cedar Waxwing © Patricia Larkin
Cedar Waxwing
Availability Search
29223 County 28 Boulevard
Frontenac, Minnesota   55026

Phone: 651-345-3401
Toll Free: 888-646-6367
Reservations: 866-857-2757
Email: park email button icon
Located on the Mississippi River, Frontenac is a birdwatcher's paradise. It's one of the best spots in the country to view birds migrating in the spring and fall. More than 260 species of birds have been recorded here. No wonder: Lake Pepin's diverse habitats -- bluffland, prairie, floodplain forest and upland hardwood forest -- attract numerous warblers, hawks, waterfowl and shorebirds. Hikers and skiers enjoy spectacular views of this beautifully wooded river valley. Fishing, swimming and boat tours are all available nearby.
Nature of the Area
Frontenac offers visitors a rich diversity of natural communities and landscapes: bluffs, prairie, floodplain forests, and hardwood forest in its 2,773 acres.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, Minnesota was covered by shallow seas. At the bottom of the seas, sediment accumulated and slowly hardened into rock. This rock now makes up the bluffs along the Mississippi River. Following the glacial period, Glacial River Warren cut a large valley through which the Mississippi River now flows. When the river was at its peak, most of Frontenac was underwater, except the park's bluff. One landmark in the park today, In-Yan-Teopa, a giant rock on the edge of the bluff, is believed to have religious importance to American Indians. At one time a stone quarry operated within the park boundaries that produced high quality limestone, a material popular for building. In 1883, John LaFarge and George L. Heins chose limestone from this quarry to construct part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Wildlife. Since the turn of the century, Frontenac has had a reputation for great birdwatching. Some 260 species of birds make the park their home for part or all of the year, while others just stop by on their way up or down the Mississippi River flyway. Bald eagles are commonly seen in the fall, winter and spring. A few eagles even nest in the area. Several species of warblers visit every year, particularly the first part of May. Frontenac has numerous other wildlife including deer, raccoon, opossum, red fox, coyote, woodchuck, various ground squirrels, beaver and wild turkey..

History of the Area
Archeological excavations at Frontenac in 1976 uncovered artifacts from the Hopewellian culture dating from 400 B.C. to 300 A.D. Some sites were burial grounds; others indicated that these people lived here. Research also shows that the Dakota and Fox Indians hunted and fished on the shores of Lake Pepin. Later, the famous French missionary, Father Louis Hennepin, led the first European exploration to this area of the Mississippi River in 1680. In June 1727, an expedition left Montreal to set up a post in this area to launch further exploration westward in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean. It is believed that this post was located on Sand Point, although no evidence remains today.

Frontenac State Park is located near Red Wing, Rochester

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 6 Very scenic views! by Jen
park review stars; one to five You have every type of area, hilly and meadowy. Every now and then you see a barge on Lake Pepin (Mississippi)
August 9 Best of Minnesota by Laura
park review stars; one to five This is my favorite state park in Minnesota! The staff are wonderful, the community is great, and the park is beautiful. If you enjoy hiking, this is the place to go!
write a review
Share On

Nearby Hotels

Frontenac State Park is located approximately 10 miles SE of Red Wing on Highway 61 or 5 miles northwest of Lake City, then 1 mile north on County Road 2.

state route ranger badge

Minnesota State Parks