Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 to protect and restore wetlands and enhance waterfowl and other migratory bird habitat. Visitors are invited to experience the Refuge. Sandhill cranes and a host of other wildlife may be seen or heard as they use the sedge meadows, shallow lakes, wetlands, grasslands, oak woods, and other habitats on the Refuge.
The Platte River Hiking Trail offers a scenic 3.5-mile hike that leads the visitor along the banks of the Platte River to the edge of Rice Lake. The trail is comprised of 3 loops of varying distance with a one-tenth mile accessible trail and observation platform near the trailhead. The Platte River Hiking Trail is groomed for cross-country skiing during winter as conditions permit.
Directions: The trailhead for the Platte River Hiking Trail is located southeast of Little Falls, MN. From Highway 10, go 4.5 miles east on County Road 35, cross the Platte River Bridge and take the first road north to the trailhead parking. For more information, contact Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 19502 Iris Road, Little Falls, MN 56345. Telephone: 320-632-1575. Email: R3Rw_CMD@fws.gov. Visit the Friends of Crane Meadows website or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website for additional information.