Farmland surrounds the small town of Caledonia, Minnesota in the southeastern part of the state. Tucked within the crops near the bluffs one of nature’s treasures, Beaver Creek Valley State Park, seems to appear out of nowhere like a mirage.
This wilderness park is a popular place to fish for brown trout. Famous for trophy winning trout, Beaver Creek winds through the valley in a thickly wooded forest of hardwood trees. The narrow steep valley is home to diverse plants and wildlife. Deer, raccoon, mink, wild turkey, gray fox and muskrats are a few of the animals seen in the valley. Timber rattlesnakes also live in the park but stay away from humans for the most part.
Birdwatchers visit Beaver Creek Valley State Park when the songbirds migrate hoping to get a glimpse of Acadian Flycatchers. Louisiana Waterthrush and Cerulean Warblers often nest on the creek banks. Visitors can hike trails following the creek bed through heavily wooded sections of the park that can only be explored on foot. Over 8 miles of trails offer a moderate challenge for hikers. The trail on the valley floor skirts the creek winding to the top of the bluffs. Once you get to the top, the reward is the scenic view spanning the valley.
In addition to fishing, bird watching and hiking, other park activities include snowshoeing and cross country skiing during the winter months. Outdoorsmen are welcome to use the trails provided for these activities but there are no groomed trails. The park is open year round with a heating station set up in an enclosed picnic shelter. Shelters with fireplaces are available to rent in the winter. A volleyball court is set up for use in the summer. Playground equipment and picnic areas in the campgrounds prove to be popular for family outings.
Once the home of an Indian village, Beaver Creek became a state park due to government legislation in 1937. The government Works Progress employees developed the camping areas and an entrance to the park. Much of the land was purchased from private owners.
Campers who want to be part of the wilderness experience can opt for remote walk-in sites with no vehicle access. You need to carry your tent and whatever gear necessary to the site. There are also secluded areas for groups to camp. Vault toilets are available in these settings.
Other camping areas are set on either side of the narrow valley in the 1,187 acre state park. Of the 42 drive-in spots in the campgrounds, 16 have electricity. There is also a cabin available for campers. If you are interested in rates or other details about Minnesota’s Beaver Creek Valley State Park, call 507.724.2107 or write to Beaver Creek State Park 15954 County 1 Caledonia, MN 55921.