Hiking the Froland Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) Interpretive Trail is a furrific way to discover the native habitats of west central Minnesota with your pupper! This 1.7-mile trail gives visitors access to a large portion of the Froland Waterfowl Production Area, one of the 245 WPAs in the Morris Wetland Management District.
The interpretive trail winds through restored tallgrass prairies, oak savannas, and prairie pothole wetlands. Check out the interpretive panels at the trailhead to gain a better understanding of the area's natural features, and stop by the observation platform to take in the puptastic views. Spotting scopes are available for human eyes to get a closer look at the surrounding wetland, while four-legged visitors will just have to enjoy the scenery without any assistance.
The rich environments in the Morris Wetland Management District provide suitable habitats for a variety of wildlife, making it a pawpular destination for nature observation, birdwatching, and hunting. As you and your pooch tackle the trail, look for blue-winged teals feeding and resting along the edges of shallow wetlands. Other critters you can spot include the western meadowlark and Dakota skipper.
The Froland WPA Interpretive Trail is handicap accessible from the parking area to the observation platform, so be considerate of visitors in wheelchairs and make sure your pup behaves. Beyond the platform, the trail continues on as a mowed single track. Benches can be found along the way, should you and Fido need to rest your feet and paws.
While the trail welcomes furry hikers, drinking water and pick-up bags are not supplied, so be sure to bring your own. Remove any waste right away if Fido goes to the bathroom.
Experience west central Minnesota as it used to be, before any human development, on the Froland WPA Interpretive Trail!
Bring sunscreen as shade is limited along the trail. The first two weeks of November is deer hunting season, so wear bright colors if you're visiting during this time.