Lac qui Parle County is full of natural resources, both along the Minnesota River and Lac qui Parle Lake, as well as throughout the county. Look for the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, the Lac qui Parle State Park, and historic places such as the Oxcart Trail, and Camp Release State monument.
Lac qui Parle Lake & State Park
Lac qui Parle is French for “lake that speaks”, a fitting name the Dakota Indians gave the lake in the region. Visit the lake in Lac qui Parle State Park in the spring or fall and you’ll understand why. As a stopover for thousands of migratory Canada geese and other waterfowl, the lake area resounds a delightful chorus of honking, quacking, and other birdcalls. Today, the lake and river define the northeast boundary of Lac qui Parle County. Bordering lakes (including Marsh Lake upstream from Lac qui Parle Lake) offer some of the area’s best wildlife viewing and birding opportunities. Paddle the lake; cast a line and catch walleye, northern, perch, and crappies; explore the trails by foot or horseback. Convenient access points lure anglers and hunters from throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest, while paddlers canoe or kayak the many challenging stretches of Lac qui Parle River.
Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area
In the fall of 1958, a mere 150 Canada Geese appeared at Lac qui Parle. Since the formation of the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area as many as 150,000 geese at a time converge during the spring and fall. Truly a magnificent sight! They arrive in early March from their primary wintering post at Swan Lake, Missouri. Spring migrations continue through April. Then, in late September, geese arrive continually until the last ones leave in early December. Flights of whistling swans pass over Lac qui Parle in April and November. Pelicans also nest in the area on a one-acre island in the lake. While in the area, don’t miss the 27,000- acre Lac qui Parle Wildlife Refuge.
While in the area, don’t miss the 27,000-acre Lac qui Parle Wildlife Refuge. On the northern border of the county, in addition to all the refuge’s amenities, there are several excellent birding routes, the most famous being the Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area. In addition to being the only alkaline wetland in Minnesota (1/3 as salty as seawater) this 312-acre body of shallow water attracts an amazing variety of birds. With more than 150 bird species documented, the area is a sort of migrating bird haven. Each spring, in late April, the Minnesota Ornithological Union conducts a special birding field trip to this site, near Marietta, Minnesota.
Lac qui Parle County Fair
The Lac qui Parle County Fair takes place each September in Madison, MN. With plenty of rides to live entertainment there is something for all ages. Be sure to check out the demo derby Saturday night followed by music in the beer gardens. The fair isn’t over Saturday night, be sure to check out the races Sunday night! Bring the kids for fun and enjoy the company of your neighbors and friends.
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