|Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, purchased by the Richard King Mellon and donated to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a national wildlife refuge in 1992, is located in the Prairie Pothole Region of Northwestern Minnesota, between the flat Red River Valley Floodplain to the west and the rolling hardwood forest and lake regions to the east. The refuge was once home to at least 19 homesteads, and remnants of log structures still exist along our trail system, with a historic oxcart trail passing through the western portion of the refuge. |
The refuge itself is located on the historic Glacial Lake Agassiz beach ridge transition zone, changing from northern tallgrass prairie/aspen parkland to eastern deciduous forest. Current ecological communities on the refuge consist of northern tallgrass prairie, prairie wetlands, evergreen plantations, maple-basswood forest, oak savannah, and aspen-ironwood-ash-birch regrowth. Sundew Bog, a rich fen area that sustains the carnivorous round-leafed sundew plant, as well as other rare indigenous plants, is the most unusual remnant plant community on the refuge.
The refuge visitor center and an extensive trail system allow for optimum wildlife observation and photography. The unique combination of habitats provides an impressive diversity of wildlife, including various diving and dabbling ducks, geese, trumpeter swans, white-tailed deer, moose, ruffed grouse, otter, beaver, black bear, mink, fox, and numerous hawk, eagle and owl species. Over 100 species of migratory songbirds breed and migrate through the refuge each year.
|Directions:||Rydell National Wildlife Refuge is located along U.S. Highway 2, approximately 60 miles east of East Grand Forks, between Erskine and Mentor, Minnesota. From U.S. highway 2, turn south on Polk County Road 210 and follow for approximately 2.5 miles to the refuge gate. Various directional signs are located along the route. |
Fish and Wildlife Service
17788 349th St. SE (Polk County 210)