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Plan Your Visit

Bloomington VCMinnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge has two visitor centers, gateways to over 14,000 acres of land dedicated to wildlife and wildlife-dependent recreation. To get a glimpse of the multiple habitats within the refuge, visit either visitor center or any of the refuge units. Visitor Center hours of operation vary seasonally.

Know Before You Go:

Both visitor centers are closed on all federal holidays, and may experience weather-related or other periodic closures. (Call for more information). 

Trail conditions on the refuge vary throughout the year. Be prepared, as you may encounter changes in trail conditions while hiking, including periodic flooding, wet or muddy areas, thorny vegetation, and rough ground. Bug spray, sunscreen, and drinking water are recommended during warm weather. Trails are ungroomed in winter and may be snow-packed and icy. To protect wildlife, please stay on designated trails and keep pets leashed at all times while visiting the refuge. 

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge also manages a fourteen county Wetland Management District (WMD), stretching from Blue Earth County to Chisago County.  Within the WMD, over 2,600 acres of land have been designated as Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) lands set aside for the production of waterfowl and other wetland and prairie dependent species.  WPAs, like portions of the refuge, are open to the public.  Click here to see maps of these public lands.  In addition, over 2,000 acres of wetlands and grasslands are protected through permanent easements.  Thank you, and enjoy your visit!

 

Information for the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

Address:

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd. East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: 952-854-5900
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
minnesotavalley@fws.gov
 

**GPS USERS** Type the visitor center address in to your GPS.  If you type in "Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge", Google, Bing, and Mapquest will bring you to the Refuge's Louisville Swamp Unit. 

 

Driving Directions:  

From Interstate 494, exit 34th Avenue and head south. Proceed east on American Blvd East for 1/4 mile to the entrance on the right.

Metro Transit: 

Hiawatha Light Rail - Depart at the American Blvd/34th Avenue Station. Proceed east on American Blvd East for 1/4 mile to the entrance on the right.


Hours:

 

Summer hours until October 31st will be Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Winter hours on November 1st will be Tuesday - Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

 

 


 

 


RLEVC

Information for the Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center:

Address:

Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center
15865 Rapids Lake Rd. (formerly Carver Highlands Dr.)
Carver, MN 55315
Phone: 952-361-4500
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 
minnesotavalley@fws.gov 

**GPS USERS** Type the visitor center address in to your GPS.  If you type in "Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge", Google, Bing, and Mapquest will bring you to the Refuge's Louisville Swamp Unit.

 

Driving Directions from Hwy 169: 

From Hwy 169 in Jordan, proceed north 3.5 miles on County Road 9 across the Minnesota River (where it becomes County Road 11) to Carver Highlands Drive and turn right. Continue onto Rapids Lake Road.  Follow to the visitor center.


Driving Directions from Hwy 212:

From Highway 212, exit on Jonathan Carver Parkway (County Road 11) and turn south. Proceed 2.5 miles, continuing on County Road 11 by turning left. Proceed 1.9 miles and turn left on Carver Highlands Drive. Continue onto Rapids Lake Road.  Follow to the visitor center.

Hours:
We are open year-round, Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

(Note:  We may be closed at other times if staff are leading school programs or other outreach events off-site, please call ahead).  

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2016
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