Pine County (p. 193-195)


Park Forest Road in Nemadji State Forest (inset A) passes through mostly deciduous forest that is no different than the habitat along other more accessible roads in the county. The road north of Kingsdale (also see inset A) just west of the Wisconsin state line, however, does access some extensive sedge marshes and tamarack bogs that are more interesting. It is named Belden Forest Road or Gandy Dancer Road (depending on which sign or map you look at), and it now extends 12 miles to the Carlton County line and beyond. (If you turn left just north of the county line, you can zig-zag west and north a total of 7 miles and come out at Holyoke on Carlton County Road 8.)      

For access to Sharp-tailed Grouse blinds near Sandstone, call the local Department of Natural Resources office at (320) 245-6789.


Amended directions to the water impoundment and woods of Chengwatana State Forest: From downtown Pine City, go east on Third Avenue S.E. for 4 blocks to Second Street S.E., and turn right on Second to County Road 9 on the east side of town. Follow County Road 9 north for 3.5 miles to County Road 10, and turn east on 10 for 4.7 miles to Evergreen Road. Turn right on Evergreen, take an immediate left on Forest Road and go 2 miles east to west end of the water impoundment (where Yellow Rail was heard in 2019); the road dead-ends in the deciduous woods a mile east of the impoundment.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Askov – 0.5 mile east from Highway 23 on County Road 32 to Pionervej Road, then 0.3 mile south.

Finlayson – 0.4 mile east on Highway 18 to Scotch Pine Road, then 0.4 mile south.

Sturgeon Lake – 0.9 mile west from downtown on County Road 46.


Willow River – 1 mile south on County Road 61 to Long Lake Road, then 0.3 mile west and 0.2 mile north.

Carlton County (p. 195-196)

Spirit Lake Road in Fond du Lac State Forest (inset B) is no longer maintained and now impassable for passenger vehicles.  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Barnum – 3.8 miles west from downtown on County Road 6, then 0.3 mile south.

Cromwell – 0.6 mile west from Highway 73 on Highway 210, then north across railroad tracks.


Kettle River – 0.6 mile west on County Road 12.

Aitkin County (p. 197-201)


There is now an active Sharp-tailed Grouse lek 0.4 miles south of Tamarack, on the east side of County Road 16. Grouse are also active and visible here on some winter mornings.


Another active Sharp-tailed Grouse lek site is on the west side of Kestrel Avenue / County Road 31 north of Tamarack: from Highway 210, go north 1 mile on County Road 6 until it curves left, bear right to continue north on County Road 31, and go 1.6 miles. Grouse can sometimes be seen feeding here on winter mornings around the farmhouse.


There are blinds available from the Department of Natural Resources to view Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Township Road 380 / 450th Street area (site A2); see, or call (218) 429 3012.  

McGregor Marsh (A3) seems less reliable for Yellow Rails in recent years: e.g., there were no reports in 2014 as of mid-July, possibly because of high water levels. When rails have been heard here in recent years, they tend to be far from the road and harder to hear, and there is now a water-filled ditch along the highway which makes walking access into the marsh problematic. However, Nelson's Sparrows still continue to be found here with some consistency.


The back roads of this county are now numbered: Pietz's Road (site A1) is signed 320th Place. The east-west portion of Township Road 380 (site A2) is now 450th Street, and after 380 turns south it becomes 330th Avenue. The Township Road 49 access in Wealthwood to Mille Lacs Lake (site 5) is opposite County Road 51 and is now signed 385th Avenue.


Amended directions to the Rabey tree farm: the best access was to hike south from Highway 200 on the snowmobile trail, 1/4 mile west of Elliot Forest Road / mile marker 186. Boreal Chickadees and Cape May Warblers were formerly found along both sides of Highway 200, but this area has been logged and is no longer productive.

Farther west on the north side of Highway 200 is a large sedge marsh just east of the Cass County line, which looks like it has potential for Yellow Rails and Nelson's Sparrows. There is a small pull-out where you can stop and listen on the north side of 200 at mile 167.4, or 0.4 mile east of the county line.

The spruce-tamarack bogs along Hedbom Forest Road in northeastern Aitkin County have been consistent in recent years for Great Gray Owl, Black-backed (and sometimes American Three-toed) Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Connecticut Warbler (summer), winter finches, and other sought-after Northeast Region specialties. The area is most easily accessed from the east from Floodwood in St. Louis County: from Highway 2, go 1.7 miles west on County Road 832 / 9th Street to the T, 0.5 mile south to Laurie Road, 2.2 miles west and southwest to the 5-way intersection, jog right and then left to continue west for 3 miles to the Atikin County line and the start of Hedbom Road; the best bogs are along the first 4 miles west of the county line.     


The on-line version of the Aitkin County Naturally bird-finding guide no longer exists, but the book may still be available at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

McGregor – These ponds have been relocated: 0.7 mile south from the post office on County Road 8 / Maddy Street to the Union Woodland Cemetery sign opposite Carr Avenue, then 0.2 mile west.

Crow Wing County (p. 201-202)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Breezy Point – 1 mile south from County Road 11 on County Road 4, west on Thrane Drive and immediate left on unsigned gravel road (Plant Road), then 0.6 miles to the ponds.  

Emily – 1.4 miles west from Highway 6 on County Road 1, then 0.4 mile north on Yost Road.


Pequot Lakes – 1 mile south from County Road 11 on Highway 371, then 0.4 mile east on Old 371 and Derksen Drive.

Cass County (p. 203-205)


The address of the Chippewa National Forest headquarters is 200 Ash Avenue N.W., Cass Lake 56633; phone (218) 335 8600.

Some updates to access points on Lake Winnibigoshish (sites 1):

     • Forest Road 2163, the road to Birches and Tamarack Point public accesses, is now named Tamarack Point Road.

     • In Bena, there are access points at the end of South Winnie Road / County Road 140 and just west of town at Nodak


     • Forest Road 2074, the road to Richard's Townsite public access, is now named Richard's Road.

     • There is another access via Painted Turtle Drive, about 3 miles up West Winnie Road.

     • The road to the public access about 5 miles up West Winnie Road is now named Trapper's Drive.


Little Pelican Island on Leech Lake (site 2) can be accessed by boat from any of the three public accesses off Highway 200 (see p. 203), and probably the best place to launch your boat or to rent one is at Huddle's Resort in Whipholt. Caspian Terns now nest here, and recent records include Parasitic Jaeger, Whimbrel (among other shorebirds), and even an amazing Elegant Tern! Approaching or landing on the island is prohibited from May through August to protect the gull and tern nesting colony, but the birds can be seen fairly well from a boat anchored outside the bouys marking the protected area.

On the east side of Leech Lake, shorebirds are often seen at Sugar Point's beach and rice paddies: from Highway 200, go 11.8 miles north on County Road 8 (or from Highway 2, go 10.3 miles south on 8), then go 4.2 miles west on County Road 73, and continue west here and then south on County Road 136 a total of 4 miles to Sugar Point.


Local birders especially recommend two roads farther east of Leech Lake for breeding warblers and other boreal forest specialties:

     • One is County Road 135 and its mile-long tamarack bog (good for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler,

       etc.); from Boy River, go 2 miles north on County Road 63, then east 3-4 miles on 135.

     • The other is County Road 129 and its 6 miles of varied habitats between Highway 200 and County Road 7 (good for

       20 species of breeding warblers, Le Conte's Sparrow, etc.); turn south on 129 from Highway 200, either 6.5 miles east

       of Highway 84 or 7 miles west of Remer.


In the region where prairie-chickens were formerly resident near Oshawa (site 5), both Yellow Rail and Nelson's Sparrow were found in 2006. From Oshawa, go 3 miles west on Highway 87, and listen on the north / Hubbard County side of the road just east of the Highway 64 junction. (Note that the small prairie-chicken population in Cass/Wadena/Hubbard counties is reportedly nearly extirpated, except for one small Wadena County lek.)


In southern Cass County, the sod farms along County Road 1 can attract Buff-breasted Sandpipers and other shorebirds in early fall: from County Road 24 go south on 1 for 7 miles, or from Highway 210 go north on 1 for 10 miles. 


Also in southern Cass County, there are deciduous woodlands along County Road 36 (and connecting side roads) where such southeastern species like Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Northern Cardinal occur. County 36 turns south off Highway 210, 4 miles east of Pillager, goes 2 miles south, 2.5 miles east, and 2 miles north back to 210.


The current staff at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve east of Hackensack is especially knowledgeable about Cass County birding: from Hackensack, follow the signs to Deep Portage (east on County Road 5, then south on County Road 46), and inquire at the front desk for information, both on the Reserve and throughout the county. The Reserve's e-mail address is, and their website includes information on the county's birding sites (


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Cass Lake – 4 miles south from Highway 2 on Highway 371 to County Road 143 / 144th Street, then 0.6 mile east and 0.2 mile north.


Hackensack – From the junction of Highway 371 and County Road 5, go 0.4 mile south to Whipple Avenue, then 0.4 mile east to the gate and sign just south of the curve.


Longville – East from Highway 84 on Aspen Lane just north of downtown.


Pillager – 0.5 mile south from Highway 210 on County Road 1, then 0.7 mile west on Hazel Avenue.


Remer – 1 block south on First Avenue, then 1.1 miles southeast on Etna Avenue.


Walker – 2 miles south from Highway 200 / 371 on Highway 34 to 73rd Street N.W., then 0.7 mile east.

Wadena County (p. 205)


In 2006, there was still one small Greater Prairie-Chicken lek near Burgen Lake within the otherwise extirpated population in Cass/Wadena/Hubbard counties. Look and listen along County Road 18, 5-7 miles north of Nimrod.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Menahga – 3 blocks south from downtown on Highway 71 to County Road 31, 1 mile east to County Road 147 / 139th Avenue, then 0.5 mile south.


Verndale – 0.9 mile west from downtown on Highway 10, then south across the railroad tracks and 0.3 mile west along south side of tracks.

Hubbard County (p. 206)


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Akeley – From south side of town, 0.7 mile east from Highway 64 on County Road 12, then 0.3 mile south on road along east side of cemetery.

Nevis – 0.3 mile east from Highway 34 on County Road 82 / 210th Street, 0.5 mile south on Woodland Drive, then 0.4 mile east on unmarked road.


Park Rapids – 2 miles south from Highway 34 on Highway 71, then 2.4 miles west on 160th Street. (Please note: two birders here in 2107, while standing on the berm just inside the gate, were cited for trespassing and fined.)

Clearwater County (p. 206-208)


The large and excellent water impoundment along the Clearwater River (see inset B) still attracts summering and migrant water birds, although in 2009 there was no Yellow Rail/Nelson's Sparrow habitat. The access road turns north off County Road 5 just east of the river and Red Lake Indian Reservation sign: the impoundment starts after 3 miles, there is a good wetland (often with mudflats) just northwest of the corner at 5 miles, and the road dead-ends at 6 miles. Keep in mind the road is within the reservation and might be off-limits to non-natives, although there are no signs restricting access.

Elsewhere in inset B, the habitat is not as interesting as in previous years, with accessible sod farms and rice paddies limited to County Road 5 north of County Road 11, and possibly north of County Road 60 in the northwest corner of inset B. Rice paddies and sod farms can appear and disappear from year to year here and elsewhere in the state depending on market prices and water levels.

The Skoe rice paddies along County Road 5 have been sold, and birders are no longer permitted to access the property.         

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bagley – 0.6 mile south on Highway 92 to County Road 32, then 0.7 mile east to an unsigned driveway and 0.3 mile north.


Clearbrook – 2 miles east from County Road 5 on County Road 4, then 0.3 mile south and 0.2 mile west.

Beltrami County (p. 209-212)


A new and impressive interpretive boardwalk provides foot access into the Big Bog off Highway 72 (site 1): turn west at mile 45.2 at the sign for Big Bog State Recreational Area Boardwalk, which is 5.7 miles south of the Lake of the Woods County line or 8.5 miles north of the Tamarac River bridge in Waskish. Summer residents include Black-backed Woodpecker (and sometimes American Three-toed?), Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied flycatchers, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Connecticut and Palm warblers; Northern Hawk Owls also nested here in 2006.

Shoreline Drive, the east-west road along the north side of Upper Red Lake (site 1), has some rice paddies at 2-4 miles and 5.5 miles west of Highway 72, but it has no views of the lake. Rocky Point Road (4 miles west of 72) and Blanchard Road (6 miles west of 72) turn south off Shoreline, but neither road provides any good vantage points to scan the lake.

Near Waskish, there are also three sets of rice paddies along or near County Road 40 (see inset A), which goes 2 miles north and 4 miles east to the Koochiching County line: 1) at the corner where County Road 40 turns east; 2) 3 miles east of this corner (look for a small road leading south off 40 to the paddies); and 3) 2-3 miles farther east (or 1-2 miles inside Koochiching County along Pine Island Forest Road).                 


Some of the access points from which to scan Upper Red Lake (see inset A) no longer exist. Five locations still provide access:

     • Just north of Waskish along the north side of the Tamarack River.

     • 0.2 mile south of the Tamarack River across from the Big Bog State Recreational Area headquarters.  

     • Sunny Beach Road: turn west on County Road 111 about 4 miles south of Waskish, go 1 mile west to where 111 turns

       south, and continue west 1.3 miles on Sunny Beach Road.

     • Rogers Resort & Campground: from Sunny Beach Road, go 2 miles south on County Road 111, then 3.5 miles west

       on County Road 23, and north on Rogers Road.

     • The public access 3 miles west and 1 mile north of Shotley.

The only good access along the west side of Lower Red Lake is at the mouth of the Red Lake River along the Clearwater County portion of Highways 1 and 89, 5 miles south of the Beltrami-Clearwater county line. Relatively uninteresting deciduous woods predominate along both highways until the boundary of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, 5 miles north of where Highway 1 turns west towards Pennington County. Highway 89 continues north and west from here to Grygla in Marshall County through more interesting and varied open-country habitats, including a large sedge marsh 3-4 miles northwest of Thorhult (or 1-2 miles southeast of Fourtown).

There is now a water impoundment in northwestern Beltrami County: from Fourtown on Highway 89, go 2 miles north,

4 miles west, 2 miles north, and 1 mile west on County Road 44; then 1 mile north, 2 miles west, and north on Dike Road along the west side of the impoundment. (In a few more miles, Dike Road comes out on Moose River Forest Road, 4 miles west of Dick's Parkway Forest Road, which goes 12.4 miles south back to Fourtown, or north into Lake of the Woods County – see the Beltrami County map on p. 210.)

In Bemidji, the best places to check for migrant passerines along the shore of Lake Bemidji are:

     • Diamond Point Park (from Highway 197, 3 blocks east on 16th Street N.W., then 2 blocks north on Birchmont Drive

       and east into the park).

     • In the park by the Paul Bunyan statue (from Highway 197, east on 3rd Street N.W.).

     • From the public access boat ramp behind the Doubletree Hotel (from Highway 197 at the south end of the lake, east

       on Lake Shore Drive N.E.).

     • Along the hike-and-bike Paul Bunyan Trail from the boat ramp east to the Blue Ox / Voyageaur Trail (from Highway

       197, 0.8 mile east on 1st Street S.E. to Gould Avenue, then 4 blocks north to the trailhead and hike north).

In southern Beltrami County:

     • There is still spruce-tamarack bog habitat along County Road 20, but it is now difficult to access.

     • The jack pines in this part of the county are no longer recommended for Connecticut Warblers;

       there have been only a few records in the past several summers.

     • Three Culverts Road south of Tenstrike passes through good boreal forest habitat that is usually

       productive for a variety of nesting passerines. From the corner of 3rd Avenue and Main Street in

       Tenstrike, go 0.4 mile east on Main, then turn south and follow Three Culverts Road 5.6 miles

       south to its end at County Road 22 (from here it is 4.5 miles west to Turtle River).  

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Blackduck – From Highway 71, 1.9 miles west and north on County Road 30 / Blackduck Lake Road to the north end of the golf course, then 0.2 mile east and north on unmarked road.

Kelliher – 0.6 mile west from Highway 72 on 4th Street, 0.2 mile north on Derwall Road, then 0.6 mile east and north on unmarked road to the ponds.  

Redby – Revised directions from the previous update: from the Redby Community Center on Hwy 1, go 1.1 miles west to Reservation Road 42 (unmarked), 0.5 mile south on 42, and 0.6 mile back east on an unmarked road to the ponds. (Notes – It is best to use Google Maps to navigate here since there are no street signs. Also use discretion as you drive the roads to these and Red Lake sewage ponds: they are on Red Lake Indian Reservation property and generally traveled only by local residents.)

Red Lake – 0.8 mile south from Highway 1 on Highway 89, then 3.1 miles east on Walking Shield Road (which is unsigned); visibility is limited here without a gate key.

Lake of the Woods County (p. 212-216)

Much of Beltrami Island State Forest (see insets B, C, and D) has been logged in recent years and generally seems less productive for coniferous forest specialties. Habitat loss in 2012 was especially noticeable west of Norris Camp (site B2) and along Pitt Grade Forest Road (site C3).

There are two sites where Yellow Rails have been consistent recently. One is Browns Lake (see inset B): from Norris-Roosevelt Road, go 1.8 miles east on Faunce-Butterfield Road to an unmarked dirt road which leads 0.1 mile south to the lake (Red-necked Grebes also nest here); the other is Cecil's Landing marsh: from Browns Lake, return to Norris-Roosevelt Road and go 6 miles north.  

The most consistent Connecticut Warbler spot in the state forest is east and south of Browns Lake: continue 8 miles east on Faunce-Butterfield Road to Faunce Road, 11.7 miles south to Rapid River Road, and 2 miles east.

For information on access to Sharp-tailed Grouse blinds in this and other counties, see, or call (218) 634 1705.

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Baudette – 4 blocks north from Highway 11 on 1st Avenue N.E. (the access road to the border), bear left just before the customs station, and follow this unmarked road across the railroad tracks.

Williams – 0.7 mile east from County Road 2 on Main Street / County Road 97.

Koochiching County (p. 216-218)


County Road 13, the first forest road recommended for exploration, was especially productive in 2004: American Three-toed Woodpeckers and Spruce Grouse were both seen 2-3 miles south of Lindford / County Road 1; Black-backed Woodpeckers and Boreal Chickadees were also reported elsewhere along this road.

The east end of the Wisner Forest Road is at Highway 65 (as shown on the map), not Highway 6 (as stated in the text). The Holmstrom Spur Forest Road is misspelled: it should be the Holstrum Spur Forest Road.

Amended information from June 2013 on some of the recommended roads in the Pine Island and Koochiching state forests:

     • County Road 13 has been logged with less extensive boglands for coniferous forest specialties, although

       Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee were found in June 2013.  

     • The road which continues west into Lake of the Woods County from the west end of County Road 101 is Indian Pines

       Forest Road.

     • County Road 86 is also named Sandsmark Forest Road (birding habitat still recommended).

     • The north-south road between the west end of County Road 101 and Twomey-Williams Forest Road is Fiero Forest

       Road (birding habitat still recommended).

     • The road between the west end of County Road 30 and Twomey-Williams Road is Pine Island Forest Road.

     • The east (not west) end of Twomey-Williams Road is 9 miles west of Big Falls, its west end is at the Fiero Road

       junction, and its extensive boglands are still recommended; the road continuing west from this junction to Waskish in

        Beltrami County is Pine Island Road (not Twomey-Williams Road).  

     • There are extensive boglands along Highway 71 between Big Falls and Mispah, but they are relatively far from the

       road and not easily accessed.  

     • It is unlikely there is much bogland habitat after the first 8 miles of Gemmell Forest Road.

     • County Road 31 is still recommended: Great Gray Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Connecticut Warbler were

       found in June 2013.

The Pine Island State Forest map is useful and recommended (see; however, the comparable map for Koochiching State Forest is not detailed enough to be useful.

There is a new bog boardwalk east of International Falls at the Tilson Bay public access / Tilson Creek ski trail parking lot on the south side of the road: from Highway 53, go 8 miles east on Highway 11.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Littlefork – 2 miles east on Highway 217 to County Road 8 junction, continue 0.1 mile east on 217 to Township Road UT169, then 0.4 mile north.

Northome – 2.3 miles east from Highway 46 on Highway 1, then 1 mile north.

Itasca County (p. 218-219)


The hiking trail to the fire tower at Scenic State Park (site 1) starts near the north end of the main park drive and in less than 1/2 mile passes through a tamarack bog where Connecticut Warblers nest. This trail (where Spruce Grouse are still being seen in 2017) continues to the fire tower (generally parallel to the old fire tower road) through more mixed woods where Black-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, several warbler species, and other Northeast Region breeding specialties occur.

Much of the Alder Road (between County Road 48 and Marcell) has now been logged, and it is not as productive for Northeast Region specialties, although Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee are still possible in the spruce bog about 3 miles north of County Road 48.

In the southeast corner of the county, County Road 429 turns south off Highway 2 at Wawina and zig-zags mostly west for 4 miles by spruce-tamarack bogs, sedge meadows, and other boreal habitats; Great Gray Owl, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, Le Conte's Sparrow, and other specialties nested here in 2013. After sunset, the nearby sedge marsh along Highway 2 between Wawina and the Aitkin County line has the possibility of Yellow Rail and Nelson's Sparrow; note the small pull-out on the south side of the highway where you can safely park off the road: it is 1.1 miles southeast of Wawina or 1.2 miles northwest of the county line.

County Road 148, which leads to one of the access roads on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 2), is now named Williams Narrows Road, and the road which turns left off 148 to the lake is now named Bowen's Road. This road dead-ends at Bowen Lodge, which has allowed birders to scan the lake from their property.

The best way to reach West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 2) is from the west via Cass County Road 10: from the town of Cass Lake, go 6.3 miles east on Hwy 2, turn north on 10 and go 2.4 miles, turn east on Smurler Road S.E. and go 1.5 miles, turn northeast on Forest Road 2171 and go 5.7 miles, and at the sign turn south on Forest Road 2168 to the campground and lake access.


White Oak Lake just south of Deer River attracts a variety of nesting and migrating marsh birds and waterfowl, including species generally local or rare in the Northeast Region: e.g., Red-necked Grebes (and Westerns in 2013), bitterns, Forster's and Black terns, Marsh Wrens, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. To reach its public access, turn south off Highway 2 in Deer River on 4th Street, continue south to the T at 6th Avenue, then 1 block west to the public access road.

Amended directions to the fish hatchery ponds at Island Lake: turn east off Highway 46 on Rearing Pond Road, 0.7 mile south of the county line.


The website with birding information in Itasca County (formerly, has been discontinued.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

Bigfork – 0.4 mile east from Highway 38 on Golf Course Lane / County Road 77, north to the "Bigfork Valley Communities" sign just south of the hospital, then east to the Bigfork Valley Villa building and bear right to the ponds.


Deer River – 0.9 mile north on Highway 6, 1 mile east on County Road 128, then 0.5 mile north on the gated access road.


Grand Rapids – 4 blocks south from Highway 2 on Highway 169 to First Street S.E. / River Road, 1.6 miles east and southeast to 23rd Avenue S.E., then 0.2 mile south.


Nashwauk – 1.9 miles east from Highway 65 on Highway 169, then south and east on the access road to the ponds.


Warba – 0.5 mile west on Highway 2, then 0.2 mile north on County Road 10.

St. Louis County (p. 220-231)


On the bay side of Park Point in Duluth, entry is no longer permitted to the Army Reserve parking lot at 15th Street, but you can park and access the bay (and a good wooded area for migrants) from the adjacent Superior Bay Aquatic Center. There is another nearby wooded spot for migrants on the bay side at 17th Street: from the Army Reserve building, follow St. Louis Avenue to its end south of 16th Street, and from the dirt parking area look for the small path into the woods.     

Just before the entrance to the Park Point Recreation Area (site A1) by the bus turn-around at 43rd Street, be sure to check the Southworth Marsh woods between 41st and 43rd streets during migration; warblers and other migrants often concentrate here more than in the Recreation Area itself.

Unfortunately, the fields along the Sky Harbor Airport runway at Park Point in Duluth (site A1) have now been fenced off and are inaccessible. Also unfortunate is that the Duluth harbor area (site A2) has become less accessible to birders, as evidenced by new signs, fences, and security guards in the Port Terminal area and at the grain elevators and railroad yards along Garfield Avenue. Besides Garfield itself, the best street now for scanning the railroad yards and grain elevators is Helberg Drive, which turns east off Garfield Avenue between Railroad Street and the Goodwill store stoplight: follow Helberg as it crosses the tracks, curves south along the tracks parallel to Interstate 535 and Garfield, becomes Port Terminal Drive, and comes out at the UPS building under the bridge.  


Bayfront Park is located in Duluth's harbor area just west of the Great Lakes Aquarium: free parking and access on Railroad Street west of Fifth Avenue W. (see inset A). Its waterfront landscape with planted shrubs and open areas of gravel and weeds often attracts field birds (larks, pipits, longspurs), warblers, sparrows, and other migrants; recent records include Brant and Mountain Bluebird.

An effort in 2012 to restore birding access to the Erie Pier area in Duluth (site A2) was unsuccessful, and this site remains off-limits to birders in 2013.


In some recent years, spring or fall, the St. Louis River has been low enough to expose mudflats for shorebirds in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Duluth (see p. 225). The entrance road into Morgan Park at the stoplight on Highway 23 / Grand Avenue is now named Arbor Street: turn here and then left on Beverly Street (the first left after the church), follow Beverly to the ballfield and small park by the river, and follow the path by the playground equipment through the trees down to the railroad tracks near the mudflats.

An undeveloped tract of weedy fields and brushy edges south of Morgan Park can attract pipits, longspurs, sparrows, and other grasslands birds during migration; shorebirds also stop here during wet periods. From the stoplight entrance to Morgan Park, go 1.3 miles south on Highway 23 and turn left (east) on Nick Glumac Drive which leads to this area behind the Ikonics building.


As mentioned in the Superior, Wisconsin section (p. 226), that side of the harbor is better in some winters for Gyrfalcons and Snowy Owls. Besides the vicinity of the harbor, also check Superior's municipal airport (follow Tower Avenue south from downtown to 46th Street) and the fields adjacent to Murphy Oil Refinery (from the airport, continue south to 56th Street, then east and northeast on Stinson Avenue).

In recent years there have been far more jaeger sightings and larger gull concentrations in fall along Wisconsin Point in Superior than on the Park Point side in Duluth. The most productive site has been at parking lot #1, which is on the lake side a mile up the Wisconsin Point road (unfortunately, this is 2.4 miles from the Minnesota state line at the Superior Entry).


The Superior, Wisconsin landfill is now closed to birding access (both driving and hiking) as of January 2005 because of liability concerns. Gulls flying over or resting on the slopes can still be seen from the road outside the gate. If the road is plowed east of the landfill, follow it to the first left which leads to so-called Gull Bluff, where gulls are often distantly in view roosting on the lake.


A new fence around the Lakewood Pumping Station (site B6) now excludes birding access around the building, including the former site of the fall migration censuses. However, access to the woods and settling ponds behind the building is still available from the gravel parking area on the east side of Lakewood Road across the street from the church.


A so-called safe harbor has recently opened at McQuade Road, 2 miles northeast of Lakewood Pumping Station (see inset B). Its combination of a small harbor with rocky breakwaters, mixed woods bordering the parking lot, and open areas of grass, weeds, and gravel along the lakeshore is an attractive site for migrants.

There is no longer any fishing activity to attract gulls at the boat ramp mentioned along Scenic Highway 61 between the Duluth city limits and French River.


In the Sax-Zim Bog (inset C), a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek has been active the last few years near Meadowlands along the east side of County Road 29; it was formerly 1.5 miles north of County Road 133, but it is now located 2.2 miles north of 133 on County Road 29, northeast of the junction of 29 and Racek Road. Non-displaying grouse (along with Le Conte's Sparrows, Bobolinks, both meadowlarks, and other field birds) can also be seen along the side roads adjacent to County Road 29 in this vicinity. Sharp-taileds sometimes frequent the brushlands farther northeast along 29: from the lek, go 0.7 mile north, 2 miles east, and 2 miles north.

In recent winters several feeding stations have been set up in Sax-Zim Bog, and three of these are usually the most productive (see inset C): 1) the Morse feeders on Blue Spruce Road a mile north of County Road 133 (attractive to Evening Grosbeaks during the morning); 2) the suet feeders on Admiral Road, about 3 miles north of Sax Road (especially consistent for Boreal Chickadees); and 3) the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog feeders on Owl Avenue, 1.7 miles south of Arkola Road (site of a new Welcome Center; see

Other feeders (especially Mary Lou's on County Road 444 for Evening Grosbeaks), a boardwalk (at Warrren Nelson Bog on Blue Spruce Road), and several protected spruce-tamarack tracts have been established in recent years. A revised and very useful map showing these and other sites is on the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog website (

Do not stop to bird along the north end of Stickney Road, within 1/2 mile south of Sax Road (see inset C); the local resident here is not birder-friendly.

The contact phone number for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness entry permits has changed to (218) 444 6777).

The access and habitats at the Embarrass wetlands area (site 9) have recently been restored, and the site is now designated as the Darwin Meyers Wildlife Management Area.

An area of spruce bogs east of Cook was productive for Spruce Grouse, American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers in early spring of 2017. The best area was at the junction of Johnson Road (County Road 948) and Sassas Road (County Road 512): from Highway 53 just south of Cook, follow Johnson Road as it zig-zags east and south for 4.3 miles to Sassas Road; other bogs elsewhere along Johnson Road were also productive. (Grouse and woodpeckers have been seen in past years in other spruce bogs west and southwest of Cook: look especially along Highway 73 between Highway 1 and County Road 22, and along the first 5 miles of County Road 25 south of 22.)    

There are blinds available from the Department of Natural Resources to view Sharp-tailed Grouse in the Orr and Palo areas; for information, call (218) 744-7448 in Eveleth.

The North Shore Birding Trail is a new 64-page bird-finding guide to 52 sites between Duluth and Grand Portage, distributed by Adventure Publications (


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Chisholm – 3.3 miles east from Highway 73 on Highway 169, then 0.5 mile north and west to the gate opposite the County Road 5 junction.  

Floodwood – 0.7 mile west from Highway 2 at the BP gas station on Ninth Avenue / County Road 832, then 0.2 mile south on Triplett Road to the gated access road.

Nett Lake – 1 block east from Nett Lake Store to Lake Drive, then 2 blocks northwest to unmarked two-track road on right, then 0.2 mile to the gate.  


Tower-Soudan – From downtown Soudan, east on Main Street to McKinley Park Road, then 0.3 mile northwest.


Ely-Winton – 0.5 mile north from Highway 169 on County Road 88 to unmarked dirt road, then 0.1 mile east to gated access road.

Lake County (p. 231-240)


In Two Harbors, the cemetery along Highway 61 on the west side of town often attracts fall migrant geese, Black-bellied and golden-plovers, pipits, longspurs, and Snow Buntings; also note the small settling pond near the southwest corner.


There are more than two ponds at the golf course in Two Harbors (inset A) with potential for shorebirds: they are a short walk east and mostly north of the parking lot. Later in fall, these ponds sometimes attract Snow Geese, with an occasional Ross's or Greater White-fronted among them.

County Road 3 (see p. 234), an alternate route between Two Harbors and Beaver Bay, features species partial to sedge marshes, fields, and forest edges which tend to be local and harder to find elsewhere in the county: e.g., American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Brown Thrasher, Golden-winged Warbler, Clay-colored and Le Conte's sparrows, Indigo Bunting, Bobolink, both meadowlarks, and Brewer's Blackbird.


There are now sewage ponds in Castle Danger: from Highway 61 go 0.6 mile west on County Road 106 / W. Castle Danger Road, turn right on Bunker Hill Road, and in 1.1 miles the road ends at the large gated/fenced ponds (which can be scanned from outside the fence). Even more interesting is the extensive adjacent clearing with scattered brush, rocks, and small muddy ponds; such open habitat with good potential for migrant shorebirds, sparrows, and other field birds is scarce in this part of the state.


Iona's Beach (site 3) is more clearly marked on Highway 61 by the "Twin Points Public Access" sign.

The fencing around the Beaver Bay sewage ponds (site 3) has been reinforced, so that walk-in access is no longer recommended; however, the ponds can still be scanned from outside the fence.


Just northeast of Silver Bay on Highway 61 (mile 54.9), the weedy and brushy clearing around the AmericInn Motel is a good place to look for migrant pipits, sparrows, longspurs, and the like. This is a half mile before you reach East Lakeview Drive (mile 55.4), which leads back southwest past a water treatment plant and continues past Black Beach Park on the lake until the road dead-ends at the edge of the Northshore Mining property. The open area around the second water treatment plant is no longer accessible. You can also access Black Beach Park by turning east off Highway 61 just southwest of the AmericInn on either Industrial Park Road or Mensing Drive.  

The ponds at the former Department of Transportation garage (site 3) may now be off-limits since the gates to the property are sometimes closed (formerly they had always been open).

Connecticut Warblers can be found in some years singing from the jack pines at the Sand River (site B4) along County Road 2.

Though much harder to find in recent years, a Boreal Owl or two can still be heard singing on territory in late winter-early spring, usually in March. The best road for them may now be the Tomahawk Trail: this signed road turns east off Highway 1, 6.5 miles northwest of the County Road 2 intersection, and (if plowed in winter) eventually ends after about 19 miles near Lake Isabella – see insets C and D. Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpeckers have also been found here recently (e.g., along the last 9 miles of this road, and in the burned areas near the Boundary Waters access parking lot about 18 miles east of Highway 1), as was an American Three-toed in 2016 (4 miles east of Hwy 1).

Three navigation aids on inset B:

     • The construction at the intersection of County Roads 2 and 15 is now complete: to continue north on 2, you must still

       jog east, as shown on the inset B map and as signed on the road.  

      • Forest Road 102 at the east end of the Whyte Road (site B5) is also named the Snake Trail, and it comes out south of

       Isabella on Highway 1 at mile 330 (see inset D).

     • The Mitawan Lake Road turns north off Highway 1 immediately east of mile 319.

In some years, birders have been having the best luck with American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers along the Spruce Road itself (inset C), about 1/4 mile beyond the Endless Waters Road corner.


North of Isabella (see p. 238), the forest road which connects to Forest Roads 173 and 373 is numbered 369, not 396 (it is correctly shown on inset D).


The configuration and numbering of the roads leading to the west side of Tettegouche State Park (site 7) have been changed again:

     • From Beaver Bay, follow County Road 4 / Lax Lake Road north to the junction with County Road 5; turn left to stay

       on Lax Lake Road as it joins County Road 15 / Forest Road 11; turn right (north) on County Road 31 to stay on Lax

       Lake Road to the Tettegouche access, 0.7 mile beyond Lax Lake.

     • From Finland, turn right (southwest) off Highway 1 on County Road 31 / Lax Lake Road.

Black-throated Blue Warblers have been harder to find in recent years (and may now be absent) along the service road on the west side of Tettegouche State Park (site 7).

Cook County (p. 240-246)


For easier access to the Lutsen sewage ponds: go 1.3 miles north from Highway 61 on County Road 5 to the Caribou Highlands sign, turn left, bear right past the first driveway on the left, bear left at the next intersection, in another 1/4 mile the road ends at the last condominium (Poplar Ridge #687), then park off to the side here and follow the path and two-track road to the ponds.  

Grandview Park in Lutsen at mile 93.7 on Highway 61 is a new location from which to scan Lake Superior.

The marsh on County Road 60 just northeast of Grand Marais (see inset A) was dry and unproductive in May 2013.

As mentioned in the St. Louis Co. revisions (see above), the Boundary Waters phone number is now (218) 444 6777.  


The Gunflint Trail / County Road 12 has been rerouted through Grand Marais, and now intersects Highway 61 on the east side of town. To reach the Gunflint Trail from the west side of town, follow W. Fifth Avenue north to the stop sign at the Gunflint Trail, and turn left.

Nesting Boreal Owls are no longer consistently found in recent years in Cook County (or apparently anywhere else in Minnesota?); it is not known if this is the result of excessive logging or from a natural range contraction.


The Lima Mountain Trail is marked with a sign on the Lima Grade Road (site C5), just north of the south tip of the "triangle"; Black-throated Blue Warblers have nested along the hillsides about a half mile up this trail. Black-throated Blues, along with Philadelphia Vireo and Bay-breasted Warbler, have also been found in some recent summers along the Lima Grade Road about a mile north of the triangle. Another recent site for Black-throated Blues on the Lima Grade Road is 3.5 miles south of the South Brule Road, or 0.5 mile north of where the Lima Grade ends at East Twin Lake.  

Another Black-throated Blue Warbler location is off the Gunflint Trail about 29 miles north of Grand Marais: just southeast of the Trail Center Restaurant, go 1.8 miles northeast on County Road 21 (formerly numbered 65) to the trailhead parking area on the right, hike uphill on the trail across the road to the overlooks at West Bearskin and Moss Lakes, and listen in the area between the two overlooks.



Roy Zimmerman photo