State Park Information
Frontenac State Park
  3 Stars (1 Rating)
  29223 County 28 Boulevard
      Frontenac, Minnesota 55026
  United States
  (651) 345-3401
  Unknown
Description

Located on the Mississippi River, Frontenac is a birdwatcher's paradise. It's one of the best spots in the country to view birds migrating in the spring and fall. More than 260 species of birds have been recorded here. No wonder: Lake Pepin's diverse habitats -- bluffland, prairie, floodplain forest and upland hardwood forest -- attract numerous warblers, hawks, waterfowl and shorebirds. Hikers and skiers enjoy spectacular views of this beautifully wooded river valley. Fishing, swimming and boat tours are all available nearby.

Wildlife
Since the turn of the century, Frontenac has had a reputation for great birdwatching. Some 260 species of birds make the park their home for part or all of the year, while others just stop by on their way up or down the Mississippi River flyway. Bald eagles are commonly seen in the fall, winter and spring. A few eagles even nest in the area. Several species of warblers visit every year, particularly the first part of May. Frontenac has numerous other wildlife including deer, raccoon, opossum, red fox, coyote, woodchuck, various ground squirrels, beaver and wild turkey.

History
The park is named after the town of Old Frontenac, which in turn was named for Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the governor of New France in the late 1600s. After many attempts to preserve the area as a park in the 1930s, Frontenac State Park was finally established in 1957.

Geology
Hundreds of millions of years ago, Minnesota was covered by shallow seas. At the bottom of the seas, sediment accumulated and slowly hardened into rock. This rock now makes up the bluffs along the Mississippi River. Following the glacial period, Glacial River Warren cut a large valley through which the Mississippi River now flows. When the river was at its peak, most of Frontenac was underwater, except the park's bluff. One landmark in the park today, In-Yan-Teopa, a giant rock on the edge of the bluff, is viewed as a sacred site by some American Indians. At one time a stone quarry operated within the park boundaries that produced high quality limestone, a material popular for building. In 1883, John LaFarge and George L. Heins chose limestone from this quarry to construct part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Landscape
Frontenac offers visitors a rich diversity of natural communities and landscapes: bluffs, prairie, floodplain forests, and hardwood forest in its 2,300 acres.

Park Stats
Campgrounds: 2 Campsites: 59
Photos: 47 Reviews: 1
Views: 58 Likes: 0
   

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Jeff P.
3 Star Rating3.0 out of 5 stars
  Great views of Lake Pepin but came up a little short
Reviewed on June 19th, 2020
We camped at Frontenac this past weekend and had a nice trip. While the park was kept up very well and the staff were friendly, we found it to be a bit limiting on things to do. The park offers quite a few hiking trails, but be warned that a fair amount of them can be quite rugged with trees down and some really steep slopes. The picnic area is easy to get to and has some beautiful views of Lake Pepin below. From here, bald eagles can frequently be seen. We can vouch for this since a couple flew right in front of us! We were told you can normally go swimming at Sand Point (Point Au Sable). However, the water was too high so they didn't recommend it. We went to go take a look, but just to get there you need to hike .7 miles through the woods. The mosquitos were so bad we turned back and never made it. Another main attraction is the In Yan Teopa Rock (Rock with Hole). It's a large rock on the side of a slope with a hole in it. It sounded important in the literature, but felt like an afterthought when we went to go see it. The main sign is above it and you can't see the rock due to trees, and the fact that you are essentially on top of it. Then you go down a steep trail and if you don't stop to try and see the rock you might miss it since it's hidden in the trees. I think I was the only one in our group who actually stopped to look for it. I debated between 3 or 4 stars as a rating and if we could do half stars I would have given a 3.5. The group I was with said they would give it a 3 so that's what I'm rating it as. From reading the history of the area and why the park was created, I felt they came up a little short on delivering the historic signifigance to visitors.
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