Coming to the park? Know the "Key 3:"
- Plan to be flexible. Explore new destinations and consider mid-week travel. Parks are busy as more people get outdoors, so we encourage you to discover a new favorite!
- Arrive prepared. Buy your vehicle permit, check visitor alerts and download maps before your trip.
- Recreate responsibly. Help conserve these special places for the future by staying on trails and leaving no trace.
How to see winter wildlife
Minnesota winters provide a stunning backdrop to any wildlife viewing. Stop by a Minnesota state park for some great programs on winter birding and how to identify animal tracks in the snow. Check out the snow conditions before you go
Purchase a vehicle permit today and get a year of unlimited visits to all of Minnesota's state parks and recreation areas.
- Bring binoculars
- Go out at dawn and dusk for the best viewing
- Be alert and move slowly and quietly
- Search for tracks in the mud or snow
- Look near the edges of forests and fields, pond margins and treetops
- Try these wildlife and nature viewing tips
November/December - Visit the Weaver Bottoms along the Mississippi River and watch thousands of migrating tundra swans en route to North Carolina and Virginia. From there, head south to Whitewater State Park to check for wintering bald eagles.
January/February - Try reading mammal tracks in the snow. You might find tracks for white-tailed deer, red fox, or coyotes. Open water along rivers provides habitat for Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and bald eagles.
Want some more tips? Check out our nature viewing guide.
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Please note: Occasionally, due to extreme weather or poor snow conditions, an event may need to be canceled or changed. When in doubt, call the park.