Youth observe a wild turkey from behind a window

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a premier, wild location just minutes from your doorstep in the Twin Cities. With over 14,000 acres of Refuge, two visitor centers, and more than 45 miles of trails, this urban Refuge can help you rediscover nature, and provide excellent opportunities to visit protected, public lands that are managed for wildlife, plants, and the natural spaces they need to thrive for generations to come.

You can discover hundreds of species of birds, numerous plants, mammals, reptiles, and insects during your visit. Seasons bring different opportunities to experience nearby nature, and every time you visit can bring a new discovery.

Things to remember:

  • Visitors are welcome to hike anywhere on the Refuge unless otherwise posted or they may choose one of the many trails the Refuge has to offer.
  • Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. Be a pet warrior and pick up their poo, then remember to plan to pack it out with you.
  • Hiking is permitted during hunting seasons. Please respect hunters by keeping your distance and for your safety wear orange or bright pink.
  • Bicycling is a wonderful way to see the refuge and experience our 40+ miles of trails. Cyclists must remain on trails, and most trails are open to biking except the Bluff and Hillside Trails in Bloomington. Please respect the land and refrain from biking after a flood or rain event to prevent erosion and maintain the trail surface.
  • For a list of all Refuge regulations see the Rules and Policies page.
  • Please note that, because we are located within the floodplain of the Minnesota River, many of our trails are subject to flooding. Check the Trails page often for updates on trail conditions.

Plan your visit 

What to take with you:

  • Refuge Map - intersections are well marked but will not make sense without a map. Maps are available at trail heads or the Refuge visitor centers, and can be viewed or downloaded from the Trails page.
  • Water - no potable water is available on the trails.
  • Protective Clothing - weather can change quickly and biting insects can be abundant. 
  • Bringing your dog? Pack your 6-foot leash, and bags for packing out pet waste.