Morton Outcrops SNA

               
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Area and County

Renville County

 

 

 


Size

15 acres

Printable map
 
Maps

Detail map (MN DNR)

Printable Map with GPS coordinates

 
Parking

N44 32.991, W94 59.484
(Ask permission at the BP gas station)

 
Hiking Trails

A short trail leads from the Hambdecka Trail sign to the nearest rock outcrop. The sign asks visitors to stay on the trail. However, the trail disappears at the first rock outcrop. There are no maintained trails.

 
Hunting

No hunting


Ecological Classification

Province

Prairie Parkland Province

Ecological Classification

Section

North Central Glaciated Plains

Subsection(s)

Minnesota River Prairie

Land Type Association(s)

Gibbon Till Plain

 
Native Plant Communities1 Crystalline Bedrock Outcrop (Prairie): Minnesota River Subtype

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        
 
Links

Minnesota DNR


Comments

Parking
Ask permission at the BP station then park on the gravel drive/lot west of the site.

History
This site was designated a Scientific and Natural Area on June 27, 2011.


Visits

5/18/2012

   

 

 

Driving Directions

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Visitor Photos

   
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Parking

  Morton Outcrops SNA   Morton Outcrops SNA
       

Sacred Site

  Morton Outcrops SNA    
       

Quarry

  Morton Outcrops SNA   Morton Outcrops SNA
       
  Morton Outcrops SNA    
       

Crystalline Bedrock Outcrop (Prairie): Minnesota River Subtype

  Morton Outcrops SNA   Morton Outcrops SNA
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

     
  Morton Outcrops Scientific and Natural Area
Brian
 
  Morton Outcrops Scientific and Natural Area  
 
About

Photos in this album are from Morton Outcrops Scientific and Natural Area in Renville County in south-central Minnesota. This magnificent SNA is an outcrop of 3.5-billion-year old Morton Gneiss, some of the oldest exposed rock on our planet. It harbors many interesting plants, some of them very rare, and some of them at the extreme limits of their distributions.

 
     
  Morton Outcrops
Joshua Mayer
 
  Morton Outcrops  
     
  Morton Outcrops SNA
minnesota_snas
 
  Morton Outcrops SNA  
 
About

Morton Outcrop SNA is on a massive, high bedrock knob along the Minnesota River that contains one of the best examples of specialized plants adapted to rock outcrop remaining in Minnesota. Between 150 and 200 species of plants occur in these small areas. Seven rare plant and animal species have been documented in the area including the federally threatened prairie bush clover and the state endangered lichen Buellia nigra. This is the locality from which the rock type "Morton Gneiss" was first described. It is one of the oldest known rocks in the world, originating roughly 3.6 billion years ago.

 
   

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Minnesota River Valley: Morton Outcrop SNA
Tim Lundahl
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 20, 2015

The Morton Outcrop SNA (Scientific & Natural Area, DNR) is a unique site both geologically and biologically. This rock outcrop contain a geological formation known as potholes, which are created from swirling, rushing water. While potholes are fairly common, these potholes are high above the Minnesota River which indicates that they were formed after the glaciers melted. This site also contains a unique collection of plants including prickly pear cactus on dry rocks, and unique micro-habitats in some of the deeper potholes which are puddle sized ponds. For more information, visit the Minnesota DNR webpage the Morton Outcrop SNA.

 
     

 

Camcorder

               

Visitor Observations

   
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations

   

Birds

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

American Robin

Brown-headed Cowbird


Fungi and Lichens

One lichen with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

 

Endangered

Black Disc Lichen (Buellia nigra)

 
 

Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)

Leaf Curl (Taphrina communis)

Crown Rust


Insects and Arachnids

Two insect species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

 

Special concern

Argos skipper (Atrytone arogos)

regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia)

 
 

chokecherry finger gall mite (Eriophyes emarginatae)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

question mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

spring field cricket (Gryllus veletis)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

finger gall of chokecherry finger gall mite

question mark


Plants

One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

 

Threatened

prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya)

 
 

Plants frequently found in:

Crystalline Bedrock Outcrop (Prairie): Minnesota River Subtype ROs12a1

 
 

 

American plum (Prunus americana)

American vetch (Vicia americana)

bastard toadflax (Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata)

bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bracted spiderwort (Tradescantia bracteata)

brittle prickly pear (Opuntia fragilis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

field sagewort (Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata)

giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida var. trifida)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

June grass (Koeleria macrantha)

late goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium)

long-leaved bluet (Houstonia longifolia)

narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides)

prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii)

prairie blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium campestre)

prairie peppergrass (Lepidium densiflorum var. densiflorum)

quackgrass (Elymus repens)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rock spikemoss (Selaginella rupestris)

rough false pennyroyal (Hedeoma hispida)

round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata)

silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

smooth rose (Rosa blanda var. blanda)

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

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)

tall cinquefoil (Drymocallis arguta)

tall meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea)

western rock jasmine (Androsace occidentalis)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woolly plantain (Plantago patagonica)

yellow star grass (Hypoxis hirsuta)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)

 

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer saccharinum (silver maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia trifida var. trifida (giant ragweed)

Androsace occidentalis (western rock jasmine)

Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata (field sagewort)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Carduus acanthoides (plumeless thistle)

Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)

Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata (bastard toadflax)

Drymocallis arguta (tall cinquefoil)

Echinacea angustifolia (narrow-leaved purple coneflower)

Elymus repens (quackgrass)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Hedeoma hispida (rough false pennyroyal)

Hesperis matronalis (dame’s rocket)

Heuchera richardsonii (prairie alumroot)

Houstonia longifolia (long-leaved bluet)

Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Koeleria macrantha (June grass)

Lepidium densiflorum var. densiflorum (prairie peppergrass)

Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)

Lonicera tatarica (Tartarian honeysuckle)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Opuntia fragilis (brittle prickly pear)

Oxalis violacea (violet wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Plantago patagonica (woolly plantain)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

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

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Rosa blanda var. blanda (smooth rose)

Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium (little bluestem)

Selaginella rupestris (rock spikemoss)

Sisyrinchium campestre (prairie blue-eyed grass)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Solidago rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (tall meadow rue)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tradescantia bracteata (bracted spiderwort)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vicia americana (American vetch)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

American plum

bracted spiderwort

brittle prickly pear

chokecherry

common mullein

common yarrow

field sagewort

narrow-leaved purple coneflower

northern bedstraw

plumeless thistle

round-headed bush clover

smooth sumac

tall cinquefoil

violet wood sorrel

wild grape

yellow sweet clover


 

 

Binoculars

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