Frontenac State Park is located along the wooded bluffs in Goodhue County, 450 feet above an expanse of the Mississippi River called Lake Pepin. The diverse habitat found here includes oak savanna, woodlands, wetlands and a lake.
Frontenac has had a well-deserved reputation for bird watching since the 1800’s. In the fall, you can see migrating hawks (sharp-shinned, broad-winged and red-tailed). Eagles and turkey vultures soar over the bluffs. Frontenac is a traditional spring site for birders. It’s a good migrant trap with as many as 27 species of warblers being seen in a single day.
The 2,773-acre park contains floodplain forest, oak woodland, bluff prairie, grassland, and maple-basswood forest. Prothonotary warbler, yellow-throated vireo, bald eagle, and American redstart nest here.
Other species to look for at Frontenac include wild turkey, clay-colored, grasshopper, and Savannah sparrows, rose-breasted grosbeak, hermit thrush, orchard oriole, scarlet tanager, ruddy turnstone, Acadian flycatcher, blue-winged warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, bobolinks, sedge wrens, eastern meadowlarks, and Bell’s vireos. Henslow’s sparrows and cerulean warblers are possibilities, too.
Sand Point offers opportunities to observe shorebirds, terns, gulls, and waterfowl. The tree-lined walk to Lake Pepin offers the chance to see prothonotary warbler and pileated and red-headed woodpeckers.