Park Info

Image of Savanna Portage State Park

Quick stats

16,259 acres
57,952 annual visits
13,679 overnight visits

Wildlife

Walk the hiking trails among the oak woods and see deer, bear, skunk, wolf, moose, and coyote. The bogs of the park attract many small animals and songbirds, especially warblers. The lakes are home to migrating loons and other waterfowl.

History

Savanna means open grassland and refers to the expanse of marsh grass in the park. The park contains the historic Savanna Portage Trail that the Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, explorers and voyageurs found a challenge. The trail required a six mile portage across marsh, swamp, and forest which took an average of five days to reach the West Savanna River. Today, visitors can hike a large portion of the Savanna Portage Trail. Currently the eastern 1.6 miles of the trail is minimally maintained.

Geology

Savanna Portage contains many features which are the result of the glaciers that moved through Minnesota. The large bogs are old glacial lakes that once covered many thousands of acres of land. These old lakes are the result of water that collected behind glacial moraine deposits. These mark the greatest advance of these massive ice sheets. When the great ice melted, the glacial lake water began to seek its natural drainage. These glacial lakes helped form the Savanna River and the St. Louis River which exists today.

Landscape

Savanna Portage is a wilderness retreat. Northern hardwoods with birch, aspen and some conifers dominate the forest. Old-growth hardwoods and tamarack peat bogs provide diversity to the northern woods.