Tour #5 - The Wetlands



  • Jackson
  • Lakefield
  • Okabena
  • Heron Lake
  • Windom
  • Mountain Lake

Bird watching is a delightful treat here in the Mississippi Flyway with observation towers in county and state parks and blinds in nature conservancy wildlife preserves. Paddle a canoe on the Des Moines River to view bald eagles, turkey vultures and egrets. On the marshes surrounding Heron Lake, giant Canada geese, herons, pelicans and the very rare glossy ibis may be spotted.

Jackson - Canoe launching areas in municipal and county parks. Visit Fort Belmont, Fair Village and the Historic Courthouse.

Lakefield - Observation tower at Sandy Point County Park. "Prairie Schooler," Heron Lake Environmental Learning Center's mobile classroom at Sparks Park. Jackson County Museum.

Okabena - Dredge access to see many nesting birds, marsh birds and flocks of Pelicans.

Heron Lake - North Heron Lake Preserve on North Heron Lake - blinds for birdwatching. Sacred Hearth Catholic Church, a unique prairie church. Heron Lake Library - many mounted native birds.

Windom - Island Park, resident goose population, historic courthouse, Cottonwood County Museum.

Mountain Lake - Park on the shores of Mountain Lake. Mennonite Heritage Village depicts Russian Mennonite culture. Eat traditional Mennonite food at Ayte Shtade Restaurant on Village grounds.