Birdwatchers, hikers, and nature photographers have a lot of beautiful ground to cover on the trails surrounding the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls. More than 325 acres of natural and restored prairie and wetland environments, to be exact, including nearly four miles of foot trails overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Depending on the day and season, visitors may catch monarch butterflies floating along their migration path, a colony of purple martins, or a number of other intriguing waterfowl (hooded merganser, orange-eyed killdeer, yellow-headed blackbirds, and sky blue-billed ruddy ducks among them). All told, more than 293 species of birds have been spotted throughout the Prairie Pothole Region, of which the PWLC is a part.
The Learning Center itself is 2,500 square feet and mostly used for educator workshops and elementary school classes, but admission to its interpretive exhibits is free and open to the public. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, although folks are welcome to wander the well-maintained paths seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.
Prairie Wetlands Learning Center
602 Minnesota State Hwy 210 East, Fergus Falls, MN; 218-998-4480.