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Jul 24

Great Zoo Exhibit: Minnesota Trail

Otter
Many zoos have gone the route of designating an area filled with wildlife from their state.  It is a great way to get people interested in protecting their local resources as well as housing animals that are already adapted to the climate of the area.  Many of these exhibits are well done.  However, I think the Minnesota Zoo and their Minnesota Trail has topped them all.
bald eagle
The Minnesota Trail is indoor/outdoor immersion enclosure that shows off a rich diversity of Minnesota wildlife.  Home to small animals like raccoons, turtles, and frogs. All the way to the top of the food chain with black bears and wolves.  Walking down the trail is like a who’s who of Minnesota animals.  It seems like the only thing missing from the trail is a moose, but that animal can be found in a large enclosure at another part of the zoo. So, when I said they had it all, I meant it.
seeing the Turtles
One thing we really appreciated was the little add-ons that they have in their immersion exhibits.  Both the Grizzly Trail and Tropics Trail had them and the Minnesota Trail is no different.  The walkway is designed like an old backwoods log cabin with large wooden beams everywhere.  For the kiddos, they have a paper press for each of the major animals on display.  Each time a child sees one they put their scavenger hunt card in the little machine and press down.  It leaves an imprint of the animal on their card.  Both my little girls enjoyed looking for them and then getting their stamp.
Bear enclousure
We really enjoyed our walk down the Minnesota Trail.  The enclosures were well designed the animals seemed to be happy, about, and moving.  The exhibit starts off like you are visiting a large lodge.  There are some small tanks along the walls with turtles and frogs.  As well as a desk with zoo a volunteer to help answer any questions about the exhibit.  From there the Minnesota Trail took us through a variety of ecosystems found in the state.  Waterways with a large beaver bond that has a video monitor in case the animals are tucked into their lodge another area with river otters playing.  The woodland area with wolves, bears, and pumas.  As well as the forest glade home to animals like raccoons and lynx.  They even had a wild bird deck that attracts native birds to a viewing area.  All-in-all it was a really nice setup to introduce people to Minnesota’s natural wildlife.
Having Fun
While yes, a visit to most first-class zoos like the Minnesota Zoo can be a big hit to the wallet.  There is one simple step you may be able to take to save quite a bit of money along the way.  If you live close to an affiliated zoo buy a membership. After a few trips to your local place it usually pays for itself and then most zoos offer at least 50% off when you visit them.  It definitely takes the sting out of a visit.  Though with the quality of exhibits like the Minnesota Trail on display the Minnesota Zoo is worth the admission price.

For more of our reviews of Minnesota attractions, click here
Grace and bear
Minnesota Zoo
Location: 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley Minnesota
Hours of Operation: Summer Months May through September 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with extended hours on Saturday and Sunday and October through April 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Cost as of this Posting: Ages 13-64 $18.00 Ages 3 to 12 and 65 and over are $12.00
For more information visit their website at http://www.mnzoo.org/

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