With hundreds of eagles nesting along
the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the
Eagle Center offers visitors an up-close
encounter with this majestic bird. Inside
the center are interactive exhibits about
the biology, ecology and natural history
of bald and golden eagles.
Following the Minnesota River
southeast from the South Dakota border
to Mankato and northeast to Belle Plaine,
the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway
passes by six state parks, charming
towns and important museums that tell
the state’s history. If you’re visiting in the
fall, don’t miss the Meander Art Crawl
to visit 45 local artists’ studios along the
Make a stop at Odessa for the Big
Stone National Wildlife Refuge, which
has more than 230 bird species, including
egrets, great blue herons, cormorants
and ducks. In total, the refuge has 10,795
acres of marsh and open water created
by a 3-mile dam.
Check out the National Trout
Center in Preston, a conservation center
aimed at protecting and educating the
public about trout and their habitats.
Located among southeast Minnesota’s
hundreds of miles of trout streams,
the center offers lectures, workshops
and tours during the trout fishing
season (mid-April through Labor Day).