Have You Visited Buffalo River State Park?
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Have You Visited Buffalo River State Park?

For the past few years, Fargo Monthly has put together an annual “pet” issue, featuring Fargo’s furry friends. This year, we move away from domesticated animals and venture into the wild... well, as wild as the Red River Valley gets! With help from North Dakota Game and Fish, the team at Buffalo River State Park, and the Red River Zoo, we learned about wildlife in and around the Valley. With your family, your friends, or even by yourself, take some time to explore our area—we might be biased, but we think it’s pretty great!

Buffalo River State Park

Buffalo River State Park, located about 30 minutes east of Fargo, offers a world full of recreation, nature, and serenity. With 12 miles of easyto-walk trails through wooded areas that meet natural prairie land, and even streams and rivers, the area allows you to escape the everyday life in the cities of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo and explore what the park is home to!

Let’s take a peek at what you could spot in Buffalo River State Park.

These animals are part of the “Friends in the Campground” at Buffalo River State Park Campground, meaning they are often found in the camping area and it is highly encouraged to not feed! These guys will appear around sites, and campers are advised to keep their trash cleaned up and say hello to these furry friends with a wave!

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Woodchuck (also called Groundhog)

Keep your eyes out in the picnic area by the Picnic Shelter—you will probably spot a Woodchuck around the area. You might also call these animals Groundhogs. They come up from their wooded areas by the river to graze in the grassy areas and return to their homes that are burrowed into the ground, typically by a fallen log or something similar.

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Plains Pocket Gopher

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Franklin Ground Squirrel

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Richardson's Ground Squirrel

Both the Franklin and the Richardson’s squirrels enjoy hanging out in the prairie area between the campground and the road. You can also find them on the Prairie View Trail on the western side of the park!

Did you know?
There are two threatened species of squirrels in Minnesota, and you can see both inhabiting Buffalo River State Park—the Franklin Ground Squirrel and the Richardson’s Ground Squirrel!

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Thirteenlined Ground Squirrel

Buffalo River can be accessed at a few points in the park, and each offers its own “best spots” for recreation. You can find swimmers in parks of the river, as well as those fishing often. Not often, but sometimes, you can even spot a snapping turtle in the river. Around this time of year, you might even see a baby snapping turtle!

You can spot deer around Buffalo River State Park—in fact, there is a mom who has twins every year and it’s not uncommon to spot her and the twins around the park!

Least and Eastern Chipmunk

While you’re wandering through Buffalo River State Park, you can pick berries for a snack from the wild raspberry bushes!

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With a name that’s fun to say, and a call even more fun to listen to, you’ll find the Bobolink bird at the highest population Buffalo River has ever seen before. The Bobolink bird population is rapidly decreasing as they lose their habitat—large areas of grassland; but Buffalo River State Park has some of the perfect prairie land for them!

Bobolinks have a unique call that sounds like a “broken R2-D2” or a robot that’s dying— you can hear it for yourself at the park! Head to the River View, Bluestem, or parts of the Prairie View Trails at about dawn and dusk (6-8 a.m. and close to dusk) to catch the Bobolink singing

Did you know?
Bobolinks lay their eggs on the ground rather than a tree—a reason why the prairie grassland is so important to their species and why they’ve made their way to the park!

Buffalo State River Park is a natural hidden gem just 30 minutes from Fargo, head out to the park to explore! Learn more about the park and check out its many guided hikes, family-friendly activities, hands-on learning, and so much more!

Buffalo River State Park

565 155th St S Glyndon, MN


Written by Brady Drake

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