There are no islands in the country north of Red Lake, primarily because there are no lakes. However, when Glacial Lake Agassiz covered this region of the state, it contained one island between Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Today the island stands as a forested land mass raised slightly above the bogs and peatlands of these portions of Lake of the Woods and Roseau counties. Beltrami Island State Forest takes its name from the Italian explorer Giacomo Beltrami, who first entered the region west of here as a member of the Major Stephen Long expedition of 1823. Beltrami continued to explore the region to the south, from Lower Red Lake to the upper Mississippi watershed, tracing the Red Lake River and searching out and following the Mississippi River to its entry into Leech Lake.
Key birds: Turkey Vulture, Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Snowy Owl (winter), Great Gray Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Sedge Wren, Swamp Sparrow, Snow Bunting (winter). Don’t miss: County Road 1 turnoff from Highway 72 to explore area roads. This eTrail provides information on birding strategies for this location, birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful maps.
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