Upper Sioux Agency State Park contains the site of the Upper Sioux or Yellow Medicine Agency. The park was established in 1963 to preserve and interpret the remains of the old Agency site. The park covers 1,280 acres and offers diversity: open prairie knolls, bluffs, and cool, wooded slopes. From the vistas, visitors enjoy the trails which are ideal for birding - especially with the Minnesota River serving as a suitable corridor for migrants.
DIRECTIONS: From the town of Granite Falls at the intersection of State Hwy 212 and 23, go south about one block to State Hwy 67. Turn left on 67 and go eight miles to park entrances. The first of the park's three entrances will take you to the horse rider campground. The second entrance takes you to the main park entrance. The last entrance takes you to the campground.
Watch for white pelicans and great blue herons along edges of shallow pools. Spotted sandpipers, killdeer and other shore birds frequently hunt for insects on the gravel bars and mud flats along the river. Red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures and white pelicans catch the air currents above the valley. Bald eagles winter in the Minnesota River Valley.
Migrations brings warbler diversity, includeing Blue-winged, and Black-throated Green warblers. Tanagers and Flycatchers are diverse as well, with Yellow-bellied Flycatcher being observed as recently as 2006. Towhee and other sparrow species can be found in abundance in the camping area, and bluebirds nest throughout the park.
The landscape in the park is diverse with grasslands, wetlands, woods, rivers, open prairie knolls, old fields and meadows. Scattered bur oaks are the oldest trees in the park. The Minnesota River flows along the park's northern boundary. The rugged scenic beauty of the river valley can be viewed along the trails and the prairie knolls.
Click Here for the Bird Checklist at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.
Written by Roger Schroeder