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Kinnickinnic State ParkNature

Wildlife watchers in Kinnickinnic State Park can observe a wide variety of birds and animals in their natural environments. The gorge and delta are designated as a state natural area.

The valley of the Kinnickinnic River, a cold water trout stream, is a rare sanctuary with majestic white pines and sheer limestone cliffs. In addition to having an excellent brown trout population, the Kinnickinnic valley is a haven for birds and other wildlife. More than 140 species of birds frequent the valley during the migrating season.

At the tops of the bluffs, the upland portion of the park offers still more enjoyment. Unwooded portions of the park are being restored to prairie plants which flourished before white settlers came with their horses and plows.

Birds

The various ecosystems of the Kinnickinnic River Valley support a rich variety of bird life. As many as 85 to 90 species may be observed on any one day during the spring migration and more than 140 species - about half of all Wisconsin nesting bird species - have been identified nesting in the river valley during the season.

Ringneck pheasants, partridge and many other species of birds are commonly seen in the park's restored prairie savanna areas. Large numbers of waterfowl and other migratory birds use the marshy bottomlands during their fall and spring migrations.

The delta at the mouth of the Kinnickinnic River constricts the St. Croix River to about one-quarter of its normal width. This constriction causes a substantial increase in the current and keeps this area free from ice. Bald eagles fish in this open water during the winter.

Wild turkeys were reintroduced in the park in 1989. Although near the northern edge of their range, they seem to be handling the cold winters quite well and are a frequent sight throughout the entire river valley.

Mammals

Deer are plentiful throughout the park and are commonly observed during the early morning and evening. You often can see many other smaller woodland, prairie and water animals. Some of these include raccoons, mink, gray and red fox, squirrels, rabbits, weasels and an occasional beaver.

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014