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These two parks lie along the Saint Paul bank of the Mississippi River, and are linked by a trail. Crosby Farms Park is directly across from the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers and Fort Snelling State Park. Hidden Falls Regional Park is North of it in the Mississippi River gorge, just South of the dam and across the river from Minnehaha Falls Regional Park. Both parks are accessed from Mississippi River Boulevard, which is flanked by a scenic walking/biking path running along the top of the bluffs. You could even do all three as a large loop trail on foot or bike. These parks are part of a large network of parks and preserves along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers in the heart of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
Crosby Farms Park is the nicer, larger and less crowded of the two parks. It also has an abandoned old trail perched halfway up the side of the bluff, which allows you to walk level with the canopy of the valley floor and watch many birds in the trees at eye-level.
In February I and found an abundance of Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker and Red-bellied Woodpecker in these parks. The trees here must be quite buggy. There were also many White-breasted Nuthatch and a few Brown Creeper. The usual assortment of Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, etc was present. American Crow patrolled the river, Bald Eagle soared just above the trees, and Canada Goose and Mallard crossed the river valley high overhead. This was the best birdwatching area I visited in February, and its sheltered location in the river valley makes it a haven from the winter winds.
In May/June interesting residents included American redstart, yellow warbler, eastern phoebe, house wren, prothonotary warbler and indigo bunting.
In October kinglets, yellow-rumped warblers and white-throated sparrows were numerous.
Birds you can see here include:
Tip: after a day of exploring the parks it's nice to enjoy the sunset while walking the scenic path along Mississippi River Boulevard.
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Content and images originally posted by bkrownd