Brownsville Bluff SNA

 

 

     
 
About
 
 

Ownership

 
 

Minnesota DNR logo

 
     
 

Links

 
 

Minnesota DNR

 
     
 

Overview

 
 

Brownsville Bluff Scientific and Natural Area, in Houston County, was designated on January 19, 2016. The 39-acre south section is a wildlife sanctuary that is closed to the public. The site consists of 286 acres bedrock bluff covered with windblown sediment. The eastern-facing slopes are moderately steep to very steep. They have a mature, moderately moist forest of sugar maple, basswood, ironwood, northern red oak, and white oak. The west-facing slopes are less steep. They have a dry to moderately moist mature forest of bur oak, northern pin oak, northern red oak, and paper birch, with some shagbark hickory, white oak, and black walnut. At the top of the bluff there is a prairie that has been used as an agricultural field. It will be restored to prairie and savanna.

An access road leads from the parking area (walk around the gate) 0.67 miles to the top of the bluff. A footpath follows the cleared fields on the bluff top to the northern boundary. Another footpath leads east from there to a spectacular overlook at the northeast corner of the SNA, a dizzying 400 feet above the road below.

 
     
 

History

 
 

This site was designated Brownsville Bluff Scientific and Natural Area on January 19, 2016.

 
     
 

Management

 
 

 

 
     
 

Comments

 
 

 

 
     
 
Location
 
 

Maps

 
 

 

 
         
 

Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

 
  Printable map      
         
 

Size

 
 

286 acres

 
         
 

Parking

 
 

N43 40.700, W91 16.702

 
         
 

Driving Directions

  Area and County  
 

Get driving directions from Google Maps to this destination from any address, and send those directions to your phone.

   
          Houston County  
          Southeast Minnesota  
     
 
Activities
 
 

Hiking Trails

 
 

There are no maintained hiking trails. An access road leads from the parking area (walk around the gate) 0.67 miles to the top of the bluff. A footpath follows the cleared fields on the bluff top to the northern boundary. Another footpath leads east from there to an overlook at the northeast corner of the SNA, a dizzying 400 feet above the road below. The Gopherland Trail snowmobile trail passes through the sanctuary portion of the SNA and may be used by snowmobiles when covered with snow.

 
     
 

Hunting

 
 

Whitetail deer. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

   
  Ecological Section    

Paleozoic Plateau

   
  Ecological Subsection    

The Blufflands

   
  Land Type Association    

Brownsville Slopes

Caledonia Ridgetops

Mississippi River Valley

   
             
 

Native Plant Communities*

   
 

Not mapped (10/11/2021)

Preliminary List

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Woodland

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest

   
  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      
         
 

Natural Features

     
 

Oak-hickory woodlands, oak-basswood forest, steep bluffs, old fields, and overlook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Forest

This SNA lies within the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest.

 

 

 

 

Sanctuary

The 39-acre south section of this SNA is a wildlife sanctuary. It is closed to the public except to those with a research permit.

Sanctuary

           
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this destination.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
           
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Entrance

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
 

Parking

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
    Brownsville Bluff SNA      
           
 

Access road leads to the top of the bluff

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
 

State Wildlife Sanctuary

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
 

Old field on the bluff top

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
    Brownsville Bluff SNA   Brownsville Bluff SNA  
           
 

Oak Forest

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA      
           
 

Overlook

 
    Brownsville Bluff SNA      

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this destination.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
     
     
     

 

Camcorder

           
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Share your sightings or comments about of this destination.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
 
 

 

 
 

 

 
         
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

Visits

5/13/2018                
 
 

Birds

 
 

One bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

 
 

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

 

American Goldfinch

American Redstart

Baltimore Oriole Nest

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

Yellow-rumped Warbler

 
 

Fungi and Lichens

 
 

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Dryad’s Saddle (Cerioporus squamosus)

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea)

Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Neofavolus alveolaris)

  Dryad’s Saddle  
 

Insects and Arachnids

 
 

common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens)

elm finger gall mite (Aceria parulmi)

goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

  goldenrod gall fly  
 

Mammals

 
  whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)   whitetail deer  
 

Plants

 
 

Plants frequently found in:

Southern Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Woodland FDs38

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest MHs38

     
 

 

agrimony (Agrimonia sp.)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum)

American dog violet (Viola labradorica)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American plum (Prunus americana)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

baneberry (Actaea sp.)

Bell’s honeysuckle (Lonicera × bella)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

cut-leaved toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens var. pubescens)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum)

eastern prickly gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern star sedge (Carex radiata)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

golden currant (Ribes aureum var. villosum)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)

hooked buttercup (Ranunculus recurvatus var. recurvatus)

interrupted fern (Claytosmunda claytoniana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

late horse gentian (Triosteum perfoliatum)

May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum)

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota ssp. carota)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum)

rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

smooth Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

spotted lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida ssp. rigida)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

sweet white violet (Viola blanda var. blanda)

touch-me-not (Impatiens sp.)

upland boneset (Eupatorium sessilifolium var. brittonianum)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white mulberry (Morus alba)

white oak (Quercus alba)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris)

wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

 

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea sp. (baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia (wood anemone)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum (northern lady fern)

Barbarea vulgaris (winter cress)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Carex radiata (eastern star sedge)

Carya ovata (northern shagbark hickory)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Daucus carota ssp. carota (Queen Anne’s lace)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Enemion biternatum (eastern false rue anemone)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Eupatorium sessilifolium var. brittonianum (upland boneset)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)

Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum (American cow parsnip)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Lonicera × bella (Bell’s honeysuckle)

Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Morus alba (white mulberry)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Claytosmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Persicaria maculosa (spotted lady’s thumb)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Podophyllum peltatum (May-apple)

Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (smooth Solomon’s seal)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Quercus alba (white oak)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus (bristly buttercup)

Ranunculus recurvatus var. recurvatus (hooked buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Ribes aureum var. villosum (golden currant)

Ribes cynosbati (eastern prickly gooseberry)

Ribes missouriense (Missouri gooseberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago rigida ssp. rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut)

Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Triosteum perfoliatum (late horse gentian)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena stricta (hoary vervain)

Viola blanda var. blanda (sweet white violet)

Viola labradorica (American dog violet)

Viola pubescens var. pubescens (downy yellow violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

 

American bladdernut

American cow parsnip

American plum

Bell’s honeysuckle

black raspberry

bloodroot

bristly buttercup

chokecherry

common blue violet

common mullein

cut-leaved toothwort

downy yellow violet (var. pubescens)

eastern prickly gooseberry

hoary vervain

interrupted fern

large-flowered bellwort

May-apple

Missouri gooseberry

Morrow’s honeysuckle

Queen Anne’s lace

red clover

sulphur cinquefoil

stiff goldenrod

Virginia waterleaf

wild columbine

wild geranium

wood anemone

woodland strawberry

 
 

Reptiles

 
 

One reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Threatened

western ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

 
         

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.