Minnesota

Birds & Blooms: Spring in the Mississippi River Valley

Program No. 22824RJ
The Mississippi River Valley in Minnesota is the largest of North America’s major flyways. Join naturalists to witness warbler migrations, beautiful spring wildflowers and bald eagles!

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At a Glance

Spring in Minnesota's Mississippi River Valley spells a time of great seasonal beauty, grand landscapes, and dramatic changes. Dozens of species of warblers and other songbirds serenade from greening trees as they migrate north on one of the world's great flyways. Gorgeous spring wildflowers carpet the woods and the riverbanks with vibrant colors. And while migrating waterfowl take to the river, bald eagles soar majestically overhead. Explore the unique 'Bluff Country" portion of the Mississippi River and discover beautiful State and National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the National Eagle Center. Learn about the history and habitats of the famous unglaciated 'driftless area' with expert naturalists as you explore the best of the Mississippi in spring.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking 2-5 miles per day. The terrain will be varying within state and city parks. Trails will have rocks, roots, crushed limestone, gravel and some will be paved.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Exploring Whitewater & Frontenac St. Parks. Known as famous warbler migration sites and premier birding destinations for feathered jewels of the sky.
  • Learn firsthand about Bald Eagles at the world-class National Eagle Center and observe migrating waterfowl at Trempeleau National Wildllfe Refuge and other prime sites, both well-known and secret.
  • Discover a burbling trout stream lush with wildflowers; view spectacular limestone bluffs brushing the spring sky; and explore delicate prairie dunes.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood has been called "Minnesota's Renaissance Man." An author, artist, naturalist, musician and wilderness leader, he is the creator of 38 books for adults and children, and the recipient of many honors and awards. As a group leader, he has led scores of trips from southern Minnesota's Bluff Country to the Northwest Territories, focusing not just on the natural world of geography and geology, flora and fauna, but on the timeless relationship between nature and the human spirit.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood View biography
Douglas Wood has been called "Minnesota's Renaissance Man." An author, artist, naturalist, musician and wilderness leader, he is the creator of 38 books for adults and children, and the recipient of many honors and awards. As a group leader, he has led scores of trips from southern Minnesota's Bluff Country to the Northwest Territories, focusing not just on the natural world of geography and geology, flora and fauna, but on the timeless relationship between nature and the human spirit.
Profile Image of Larry Dolphin
Larry Dolphin View biography
Larry Dolphin was the Executive Director of Hormel Nature Center for 30 years and has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota Branch of the Izaak Walton League, the Listening Point Foundation and his local Austin Audubon Chapter. During Larry's tenure at Hormel Nature Center, he taught birding and wildflower classes to tens of thousands of participants. His extensive knowledge of Minnesota's natural history makes each outing with him a rewarding and learning experience.
Profile Image of Bryan Wood
Bryan Wood View biography
Bryan Wood has been the executive director of the Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center since 2009. Bryan is also an adjunct professor at Hamline University in their natural sciences and environmental education master's program. Bryan has been working with Road Scholar since 2007.
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