Destination Up North 2016 Up North - Page 30

30 • March 2016 State Parks are bird friendly MILLE LACS LAKES AREA (Continued from page 29) hardwoods and pine forest) meet. The park has recorded 230 bird species. Northland Arboretum The Northland Arboretum, situated on Brainerd’s north side behind the Westgate Mall and bordered by the Paul Bunyan Trail, is an Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs provide essential habitat for breeding, wintering, and/ or migrating bird species. Habitat here includes grasslands, restored prairie, pine forest, wetlands, shrub bog and jack pine savanna. Yellow-headed Blackbird Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area The Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, located near Crosby and Ironton, covers 1,800 acres of woods, water, rolling hills and old iron-mine pits. Nearly 170 species have been documented. The Ironton sewage ponds provide viewing opportunities for a variety of ducks, gulls, loons and shorebirds. Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge From Little Falls, follow State Highway 10 south two miles to County Highway 35 East. Travel 4.5 miles to the Platte River Bridge, Mille Lacs Lakes Area Lake Mille Lacs, just an hour north of the Twin Cities, is one of Up North’s premiere fishing destinations. Surrounded by resorts and campgrounds, anglers come here for walleye, northern pike, muskie, jumbo perch, small-mouth bass, black crappie, burbot and tullibee. Whether you like to fish the shallows or in the lake’s 40-foot depths, Minnesota’s second-largest lake makes for a rewarding experience. Running and hiking trails, community celebrations and big-name entertainment at Grand Casino Mille Lacs ensures that you and your family will have plenty to do during your vacation on the lake. Make Mille Lacs Lake your Up North destination this summer. Mille Lacs Area Events April 16 - Kevin Nealon & Norm MacDonald - Grand Casino/Mille Lacs cross the bridge and take the first driveway on the left. Crane Meadows features a wetland/upland complex with sedge meadow, lake, oak savanna, prairie, shrub and forest habitats that provide critical habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, nesting sandhill cranes and other species. Mille Lacs Kathio State Park Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is Bald Eagle located eight miles north of Onamia, off Highway 169. Look for black terns on Ogechie Lake and check out the cattail marsh between Shakopee and Onamia Lakes. My wife’s favorite bird, the indigo bunting, is found in abundance there. Lake Osakis Lake Osakis near Osakis (Where else would it be?) has a colony of Forster’s terns. Good birding. Every bird is worth looking at. Al Batt is the author of “A Life Gone to the Birds.” American White Pelican April 22 - Starship - Grand Casino-Mille Lacs May 13 - Rodney Atkins - Grand Casino-Mille Lacs May 21 - Officer Down 5K - Aitkin May 30 - Memorial Day Pow Wow - Mille Lacs Indian Museum June 10-12 - Onamia Days - Onamia June 24-25 - Nitti’s Hunters Point Walleye Invitational - Isle June 24-2