Brownsville Bluff SNA

               

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Area and County

Houston County

 

 

 


Size

286 acres

Printable map
 
Maps

Printable Map with GPS coordinates

 
Parking

N43 40.700, W91 16.702

 
Hiking Trails

No maintained trails

Access Road: 0.7 miles

 
Hunting

Whitetail deer. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.

   

Ecological Classification

Province

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Section

Paleozoic Plateau

Subsection(s)

The Blufflands

Land Type Association(s)

Brownsville Slopes

Caledonia Ridgetops

Mississippi River Valley

 
Native Plant Communities1

Not mapped (2/2/2018)

Preliminary List

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Woodland

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest

 
Natural Features

Oak-hickory woodlands, oak-basswood forest, steep bluffs, old fields, and overlook.


Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        
 
Links

Minnesota DNR


Comments

This SNA lies within the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest.

History
This site was designated Brownsville Bluff Scientific and Natural Area on January 19, 2016.

Sanctuary
The 39-acre south section of this SNA is a wildlife sanctuary. It is closed to the public except to those with a research permit.

Hiking Trails
There are no maintained hiking trails. An access road leads from the parking area (walk around the gate) 0.67 miles to the top of the bluff. A footpath follows the cleared fields on the bluff top to the northern boundary. Another footpath leads east from there to an overlook at the northeast corner of the SNA, a dizzying 400 feet above the road below. The Gopherland Trail snowmobile trail passes through the sanctuary portion of the SNA and may be used by snowmobiles when covered with snow.

Overview
Brownsville Bluff Scientific and Natural Area, in Houston County, was designated on January 19, 2016, to protect habitat for the milk snake and the state threatened western ratsnake. Neither snake is poisonous. The 39-acre south section is a wildlife sanctuary that is closed to the public. The site consists of 286 acres bedrock bluff covered with windblown sediment. The eastern-facing slopes are moderately steep to very steep. They have a mature, moderately moist forest of sugar maple, basswood, ironwood, northern red oak, and white oak. The west-facing slopes are less steep. They have a dry to moderately moist mature forest of bur oak, northern pin oak, northern red oak, and paper birch, with some shagbark hickory, white oak, and black walnut. At the top of the bluff there is a prairie that has been used as an agricultural field. It will be restored to prairie and savanna.

An access road leads from the parking area (walk around the gate) 0.67 miles to the top of the bluff. A footpath follows the cleared fields on the bluff top to the northern boundary. Another footpath leads east from there to a spectacular overlook at the northeast corner of the SNA, a dizzying 400 feet above the road below.

 

 

 


Visits

5/13/2018

   

 

 

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Entrance

  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       

Parking

  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       
  Brownsville Bluff SNA    
       

Access road leads to the top of the bluff

  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       

State Wildlife Sanctuary

  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       

Old field on the bluff top

  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       
  Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA
       

Oak Forest

  Brownsville Bluff SNA    
       

Overlook

  Brownsville Bluff SNA    
       
       

 

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Birds

One bird species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:

 

Special concern

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

 
 

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

American Goldfinch

American Redstart

Baltimore Oriole Nest

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

Yellow-rumped Warbler


Fungi and Lichens

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus)

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea)

Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Polyporus alveolaris)

Dryad’s Saddle


Insects and Arachnids

common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens)

elm finger gall mite (Eriophyes parulmi)

goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

goldenrod gall fly


Mammals

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer


Plants

One plant species on the watch list is found here:

 

Watch list

licorice bedstraw (Galium circaezans var. hypomalacum)

 
 

Plants frequently found in:

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Woodland FDs38

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest MHs38

 
 

 

agrimony (Agrimonia sp.)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum)

American dog violet (Viola labradorica)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American plum (Prunus americana)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

baneberry (Actaea sp.)

Bell’s honeysuckle (Lonicera × bella)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

cut-leaved toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens var. pubescens)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum)

eastern prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern star sedge (Carex radiata)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

golden currant (Ribes aureum var. villosum)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)

hooked buttercup (Ranunculus recurvatus var. recurvatus)

interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

late horse-gentian (Triosteum perfoliatum)

May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota ssp. carota)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum)

rough-fruited cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

smooth Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

spotted lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida ssp. rigida)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sweet white violet (Viola blanda var. blanda)

touch-me-not (Impatiens sp.)

upland boneset (Eupatorium sessilifolium var. brittonianum)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white mulberry (Morus alba)

white oak (Quercus alba)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris)

wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

 

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea sp. (baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia (wood anemone)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Barbarea vulgaris (winter cress)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Carex radiata (eastern star sedge)

Carya ovata (northern shagbark hickory)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Daucus carota ssp. carota (Queen Anne’s lace)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Enemion biternatum (eastern false rue anemone)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Eupatorium sessilifolium var. brittonianum (upland boneset)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)

Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum (American cow parsnip)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Lonicera × bella (Bell’s honeysuckle)

Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Morus alba (white mulberry)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Persicaria maculosa (spotted lady’s thumb)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Podophyllum peltatum (May-apple)

Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (smooth Solomon’s seal)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Quercus alba (white oak)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus (bristly buttercup)

Ranunculus recurvatus var. recurvatus (hooked buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Ribes aureum var. villosum (golden currant)

Ribes cynosbati (eastern prickly gooseberry)

Ribes missouriense (Missouri gooseberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago rigida ssp. rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Triosteum perfoliatum (late horse-gentian)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena stricta (hoary vervain)

Viola blanda var. blanda (sweet white violet)

Viola labradorica (American dog violet)

Viola pubescens var. pubescens (downy yellow violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

American bladdernut

American cow parsnip

American plum

Bell’s honeysuckle

black raspberry

bloodroot

bristly buttercup

chokecherry

common blue violet

common mullein

cut-leaved toothwort

downy yellow violet

eastern prickly gooseberry

hoary vervain

interrupted fern

large-flowered bellwort

May-apple

Missouri gooseberry

Morrow’s honeysuckle

Queen Anne’s lace

red clover

rough-fruited cinquefoil

stiff goldenrod

Virginia waterleaf

wild columbine

wild geranium

wood anemone

woodland strawberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reptiles

One reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota and one tracked species have been seen here:

 

Threatened

western ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

 

Tracked

milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)


 

 

Binoculars

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