Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Long Meadow Lake Unit

       
   

Area and County

    Hennepin County
    Metro Area
     
 

Driving Directions

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Size

2,400 acres

 
 
Maps

Long Meadow Lake and Black Dog Units Trail Map

 
Parking

There are five designated parking areas for this site (see refuge map). For the north loop, park at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center on American Blvd. or at the Bass Ponds Area at the end of E. 86th St. For the south loop, park at the Lyndale/Russell A. Sorensen Landing at the end of Lyndale Ave. When the river level is high, usually in spring, the Lyndale parking lot is under water. There is no parking at the Old Cedar Ave. area.

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, American Blvd.
N44 51.635, W93 13.047

Bass Ponds Area, E. 86th St.
N44 50.864, W93 14.138

Lyndale/Russell A. Sorensen Landing, Lyndale Ave. S.
N44 48.143, W93 17.345

 
Hiking Trails

According to the USF&WS there are 14.6 miles of maintained hiking trails on this unit.

Casual visitors can hike the 1 mile Hillside Trail loop at the Visitor Center area or the 1.3 mile Bass Ponds Interpretive Trail loop at the Bass Ponds area.

For a longer walk, hikers can take the 7.3 mile north loop trail. Park at the Visitor Center. The Long Meadow Lake Trail starts at the Visitor Center and follows the north bank of the Minnesota River to MN Hwy 77 (Cedar Avenue). A pedestrian bridge attached to Cedar Avenue crosses to the south bank of the river. From there, the State Corridor trail follows the south bank of the river to I-494. A pedestrian walkway crosses back to the north (east) side of the river and a trail leads back to the visitor center.

Serious hikers can take the 16 mile south loop trail. Park at the Bass Ponds parking lot. Take the Bass Ponds Interpretive Trail to the Hogback Ridge Trail and follow that to Cedar Avenue. Continue west on the Bluff trail through oak forest to the Russel A. Sorenson Landing on Lyndale Avenue. From there, follow an unnamed trail that closely follows the bank of the Minnesota River. At Cedar Avenue continue east on the Long Meadow Lake Trail to the Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center take American Blvd. E. to Old Shakopee Rd., which leads back to the Bass Ponds parking lot.

 
Hunting

No hunting

 
Ecological Classification Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification
Section  

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

Subsection(s)  

St. Paul-Baldwin Plains

Land Type Association(s)

Pig’s Eye Alluvial Plain

 
Native Plant Communities1

Black Ash - (Red Maple) Seepage Swamp

Bulrush Marsh (Northern)

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest

Sedge Meadow

Silver Maple - (Virginia Creeper) Floodplain Forest

 
Ownership

 
Links

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 
Comments

Overview
The Long Meadow Lake Unit is one of eight units that make up the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It is the most visited of the eight units. It lies on the north bank of the Minnesota River just south of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Fort Snelling State Park lies just across the river. There are more than 18 miles of hiking trails. Casual visitors can hike the 1 mile Hillside Trail or the 1.3 mile Bass Ponds Interpretive Trail. For a somewhat longer walk, there is the 7.3 mile north loop trail. Serious hikers can take the 16 mile south loop trail.

Oak Savanna Restoration
In the spring of 2013 USFWS began an oak savanna restoration project on 5 acres near the Bloomington Visitor Center.

 
Visits

11/3/2005

  10/18/2014        

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
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Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Bloomington office buildings

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Bridge and stream

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

The Old Cedar Avenue Bridge is open for bicycles and pedestrians.

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Spring Flooding

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Bee House near the entrance to the Visitors’ Center

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Long Meadow Lake Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Spur Trail leading to Long Meadow Lake Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Observation Platform Overlooking Peterson Pond

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Bass Ponds Entrance

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Bass Ponds Parking

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Bass Ponds Interpretive Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Bass Pond (Shallow Lake)

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Alternate Trail, Long Meadow Lake Service Road

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Old Cedar Ave. Bridge

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Bluff Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Mound Springs Spur Trail

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Pond

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Intermittent Stream

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Boardwalk

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Russel A. Sorenson Landing

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       

Sand Dunes in Silver Maple Floodplain Forest

  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit   Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit
       
  Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Long Meadow Lake
Ken Wolter
 
  Long Meadow Lake  
 
About

Long Meadow Lake, Bloomington Minnesota

 
     
  Long Meadow Lake
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Long Meadow Lake  
 
About

part of the Minnesota River Valley Nature Reserve.

 
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
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Other Videos
 
  Trumpeter Swans..Long Meadow Lake, MVNWR..Bloomington, Mn.
pefawa
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 28, 2012

Trumpeter Swans pair for life, and each pair returns to its nesting area in spring as soon as the weather allows. Territories are established that average 30 acres, sometimes more than 100 acres, and are vigorously defended...the adults even exclude their own offspring of previous years. The male performs such territorial defense, but the female participates in mutual "triumph ceremonies" after territorial disputes and also helps defend the nest site. Both sexes help construct the rather bulky nest, which may require a week or more. The eggs are laid at two day intervals, and no incubation is performed until the clutch is complete. Thereafter the female performs all the incubation, while the male defends the nest. Most of the cygnets hatch within a few hours of each other and are led from the nest within 24 hours of hatching. The nest may later be used for resting or brooding, but often the brood is led some distance from the nest for rearing on quiet and secluded ponds.The fledging period is approximately 100 days which takes up the entire summer and makes it impossible for birds to re-nest in the event of nest failure..

Typical breeding habitat consists of large, shallow marshes to shallow lakes, with an abundance of submerged plants and emergent vegetation. The emergent plants provide important nesting cover, and the submerged vegetation is the major food source.

   
       
  Trumpeter Swans..Long Meadow Lake..MNVWR..Bloomington, Mn.
pefawa
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 28, 2012

Trumpeter Swan nests are greatly scattered, owing to the extreme territorial behavior of the adults, and nest sites are usually used for several years. Island locations are preferred over shoreline sites, and when nests are built in emergent vegetation the water is usually between 12 and 36 inches deep. Sometimes muskrat houses or beaver lodges serve as nest sites..

Swans lay between 3 to 9 eggs, averaging about 5. Eggs are creamy white and somewhat granular. The incubation period is 32 - 37 days, usually about 34 days.

   
       
  Long meadow lake minnesota
reaj2010
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 7, 2011

A small creek that comes out of the lake and flows half a mile to the minnesota river. Only fell thru the ice once lol.

   
       
  28 JUL 2013 North American River Otter
dalebunny
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 28, 2013

I saw these otters in Long Meadow Lake in the MN Valley NWR opposite Hog Back Pond.

   
       

 

Camcorder

               
Visitor Observations
   
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Kirk Nelson

               
Birds

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Red-bellied Woodpecker

 
Fungi and Lichens

False Coral Fungus (Tremellodendron pallidum)

Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

Shaggy Mane
 
Insects and Arachnids

common whitetail (Plathemis lydia)

curve-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia curvicauda)

common whitetail

 
Mammals

northern river otter (Lontra canadensis)

thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer
 
Plants

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

nodding bur marigold (Bidens cernua)

Dutchman’s breeches

 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations
   
Amphibians

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
Birds

The Long Meadow Lake Unit contains two birding hotspots, the Bass Ponds and Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. The best time for birders to visit is from early March to late June when migrating waterfowl and warblers rest here.

 
 

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

 

Endangered

King Rail (Rallus elegans)

 
 

Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail

USFWS Bird Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

eBird Field Checklist

 
 

American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

American Coot (Fulica americana)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

American Robin

Canada Goose

Dark-eyed Junco

Mallard

Mourning Dove

 

 
Insects and Arachnids

USFWS Damselfly and Dragonfly Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units) (butterflies)

 
 

bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

little yellow (Pyrisitia lisa lisa)

bald-faced hornet Nest
 
Mammals

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
 

American beaver (Castor canadensis)

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
albino eastern gray squirrel

albino eastern gray squirrel

 
Plants

Plants frequently found in:

Black Ash - (Red Maple) Seepage Swamp WFn57a

Bulrush Marsh (Northern) MRn93a

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest MHs37b

Sedge Meadow WMn82b

Silver Maple - (Virginia Creeper) Floodplain Forest FFs68a

 
 

 

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Canada lettuce (Lactuca canadensis)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common reed (Phragmites australis)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

crown vetch (Securigera varia)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus var. atropurpureus)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

green foxtail (Setaria viridis)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica var. japonica)

narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia)

narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

Norway spruce (Picea abies)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

silky dogwood (Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

velvet-leaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white mulberry (Morus alba)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

wild oat (Avena fatua)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

 

Abutilon theophrasti (velvet-leaf)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Asarum canadense (wild ginger)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Avena fatua (wild oat)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua (silky dogwood)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Echinacea angustifolia (narrow-leaved purple coneflower)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Euonymus atropurpureus var. atropurpureus (eastern wahoo)

Fallopia japonica var. japonica (Japanese knotweed)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Lactuca canadensis (Canada lettuce)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Morus alba (white mulberry)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Phragmites australis (common reed)

Picea abies (Norway spruce)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Securigera varia (crown vetch)

Setaria viridis (green foxtail)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

black-eyed susan

bur oak

common evening primrose

common yarrow

eastern wahoo

gray dogwood

narrow-leaved purple coneflower

prairie rose

Velvetleaf

wild ginger

zigzag goldenrod

 
Reptiles

USFWS Wildlife Checklist (Minnesota Valley NWR, All Units)

 
 

common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)

common garter snake

 

 

Binoculars


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