Wildlife in Minnesota

Discover the Wild Side of Life


Minnesota is home to four national wildlife centres and will soon be home to a fifth centre opening in 2025.


Visit the International Wolf Centre in Ely, Minnesota, heart of the Superior National Forest to have a close encounter with the exhibit pack as they play, eat, sleep and tussle. Several times daily, our staff naturalists will introduce the pack through captivating programs for children and adults. Guests won't be able to resist the new interactive and entertaining Discover Wolves exhibit. Guests will learn how wolves were important to various cultures over time. Plus explore a field exam station where young and old alike can learn how—and why— these field exams are done. These are just a few of the features of the new exhibit.


The National Eagle Centre is a world-class museum located in Wabasha, Minnesota. It is the world's premier resource for impactful eagle education and experiences and offers wild eagle viewing, up-close eagle experiences, daily programs, field trips, and the Preston Cook American Eagle Collection. Live eagles are on public display each day featuring live eagle ambassadors and naturalist educators to answer all your eagle-related questions. The centre recently underwent a renovation to add more education rooms and an open space amphitheatre.


The North American Bear Centre is a nonprofit museum with indoor and outdoor viewing of live black bears in their natural habitat. The enclosure is home to three resident bears – Tasha, Lucky, and Holly that are always within view if the large windows and balcony. The North American Bear Centre has a wide variety of daily programs, and a hands-on children's area. People of all ages learn bear behavior from the bears themselves. It is recommended to allow at least a two-hour visit for this unique, world-class experience that the whole family will enjoy!


Few people are lucky enough to see these nocturnal raptors in the wild, but everyone can see live owls at the International Owl Centre in Houston, Minnesota. Not only can you meet the owl ambassadors, but you can also feel how soft an owl wing is, explore owl art from around the world, find out more about the language of the Great Horned Owl, learn how to identify owls by their calls, and experience a stunning collection of mounted owls. The gift shop will tempt you with everything from plush owl puppets to locally made owl art.

Loons / Photo Credit: Travis Novitsky


Located in the heart of loon habitat, the National Loon Centre will offer visitors an intimate look at freshwater and Minnesota's state bird. Docks, exhibits, boardwalks, bird sanctuaries, native gardens and more will offer a plethora of outdoor experiences for nature lovers. From private education rooms to enjoying coffee in the café, visitors will have reasons to return time and time again. The National Loon Centre is also undertaking a large shoreline restoration project, providing protected shoreline while offering lake access to the public. Featuring exhibits that include digital and virtual reality as well as hands-on learning, the Centre will engage all the senses. This will be a state-of-the-art sustainable and regenerative facility. The goal is to create a zero-energy building with the lowest environmental impact possible. The National Loon Centre will open in Cross Lake, Minnesota in 2025.

Posted on: 02/05/2024

Visit USA newsletter

Get more inspiring US travel ideas, news and offers in our newsletter.

Sign up here to receive USA Travel News, the regular Visit USA e-mail newsletter with the latest news and information

By providing your email address and clicking “sign-up” you consent to be contacted by Visit USA with offers and updates which we feel may be of interest to you. To opt out, use the unsubscribe link or email Find out how Visit USA safeguards user information by reading our Privacy Statement.