Best Birding in Minnesota

This list represents the most popular birding in Minnesota. Use this list to plan your next Minnesota birding trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Duluth and Vicinity


Positioned at the head of Lake Superior, Duluth has always been an important stopover along the routes passing through the Minnesota territory. Explorers who first sought the North American interior w…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Duluth, MN - Birding BestBirding Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Waskish and Vicinity


The tiny hamlet of Waskish (on State Highway 72 northwest of Grand Rapids and northeast of Bemidji) borders the east side of Upper Red Lake and is notable only because of the lack of landmarks on this…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Waskish, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. North Shore and Vicinity


Lake Superior’s North Shore and the region surrounding it could be viewed as two separate life zones. The interior of the region, behind the steep ridge that guards the lake’s northwest side, enjoys t…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Grand Marais, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Itasca State Park and Vicinity


The word “Itasca” may sound like it has Native American origins, but it is a contrived composite of the Latin “Veritas Caput,” or “true head,” as its discoverer Schoolcraft christened it in 1832. Scho…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Bagley, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Frontenac State Park


Rarely is a birding area extremely productive of species, yet charming and scenic at the same time. Frontenac State Park is such a place, and it is well known to Minnesota birders. Perched on a point…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Frontenac, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge / Thief Lake


This book has already discussed the scope of the former Glacial Lake Agassiz, which covered northwestern Minnesota, much of Ontario and Manitoba, as well as parts of Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Ag…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Thief River Falls, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Bemidji and Vicinity


If you have trouble tracing the Mississippi River to its source in northern Minnesota, you are not alone. The “Father of Waters” winds and wends its way through bogs, deep forests, and lakes—and even…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Bemidji, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge


Saying “all rivers lead here” may be an exaggeration, but certainly the lands of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge rest upon a “height of land” that was important to Native Americans as well as early f…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
White Earth, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Aitkin / McGregor, Mille Lacs, and Vicinity


Aitkin has been the scene of commerce for hundreds of years. A fur post on Cedar Lake, just west of the present city, was built by the British in the mid-1700s. The post sat on the main Ojibway route…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Palisade, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Twin Cities Southwest


The southwestern portion of the Twin Cities includes some of the most beautiful landscapes the metropolitan area has to offer. Hundreds of years ago, the lands that surrounded Lake Minnetonka, Minneha…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Minneapolis, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Twin Cities Northwest


Hennepin County was named to honor Louis Hennepin (or Father Hennepin, as he has become known), a Franciscan missionary and one of the first European explorers to visit the area. In 1680, Hennepin nam…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Minneapolis, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Twin Cities Northeast


The northeastern portion of the metropolitan area bears landforms and habitats as different from each other as the state’s major biomes themselves. The eastern portion of this zone, close to the Missi…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Saint Paul, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Winona and Vicinity


Despite its gentle, feminine name, the lore surrounding the site of this beautiful river city reads like an historic soap opera. The Indian maiden Winona was the cousin of the last of the Sioux chiefs…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Winona, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Twin Cities Southeast


Though Minnesota seems relatively young in terms of settlement, more than three hundred years have passed since explorers of the 1600s made the turn at the confluence of the St. Croix River near Hasti…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Saint Paul, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Brainerd and Vicinity


Early explorers adopted the name Crow Wing from the Ojibway description of an island at the junction of the present Crow Wing and Mississippi rivers. The French translated the name to mean “River of t…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Merrifield, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Albert Lea and Vicinity


Southeastern Minnesota, with its beautifully wooded hills and hollows, has been described as “little Switzerland.” The area gets attention for its long, rolling grasslands, unusual “blue” coteaus, and…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Albert Lea, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Lake of the Woods and Vicinity


We refer to most of Minnesota’s lakes in acres, but reference to a body as large as Lake of the Woods must be made in miles. This lasting vestige of Glacial Lake Agassiz spans more than 2,000 square m…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Williams, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Moorhead / Felton Prairie and Vicinity


The Red River of the North separates the Minnesota city of Moorhead from its sister, Fargo, North Dakota. For about 400 winding miles it divides the two states themselves. The river begins at Lake Tra…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Moorhead, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Big Stone / Lac Qui Parle and Vicinity


The headwater of the Minnesota River, Big Stone Lake stretches 26 miles from Brown’s Valley to Ortonville, never more than 1.5 miles wide. Once the lower outlet of Glacial Lake Agassiz, the river toda…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Odessa, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Bear Lake and Vicinity


North of the Minnesota cities of Hibbing and Grand Rapids, about 25 miles north of the small town of Nashwauk, lies a remote forested region whose bogs, streams, and rivers drain northward to the Rain…
From the guidebook "Birding Minnesota"
Hibbing, MN - Birding
Published by Falcon Guides