Plan Your Visit

Directions, Address & Contact Information

Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in Central Minnesota, approximately 30 miles north of St. Cloud and 8 miles southeast of Little Falls. From State Highway 10, take Morrison County 35 east five miles to refuge headquarters. 

Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
19502 Iris Road
Little Falls, MN 56345

Hours: The trails are open year-round, 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. The maintenance office is open intermittently, due to staff shortages. Note that wearing a mask is required in the maintenance office, regardless of vaccination status (as of 8/6/2021).

Refuge Complex Headquarters: (763) 389-3323
Maintenance Office: (320) 632-1575



Points of Interest

The Platte River Trailhead, situated just off Morrison County 35 and the refuge entrance road, offers an informational kiosk, restroom and access to the trail. It is a scenic 3.7 mile accessible hiking trail that leads visitors along the banks of the river, through oak savanna, prairies, wetlands and woodlands to the edge of Rice Lake. Look for waterfowl, songbirds, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys and white-tailed deer. The trail is for foot travel only. There are two observation platforms; one is adjacent to the Platte River near the trailhead and the other, outfitted with a spotting scope, overlooks Rice Lake. The trail is groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter, as snow conditions permit. 


Know Before You Go

Insect repellent is recommended if you are visiting in warm months, especially June through mid-August. In spring and early summer, wood ticks are common and it is recommended that you check yourself thoroughly after a visit to remove any unwanted “hitchhikers.” Bring drinking water and sunscreen for your spring, summer and early fall visits.