Visitors to Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area will find a peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Hiking, photography, and nature study are options for the inquisitive in an area of dry prairie on two crests with the first at 40-60 feet above the river and a second cresting at about 110 feet above the river. Gently rolling dunes cover both. Blowouts are common.
Distinct plant communities are present throughout the area, and plants include little bluestem, penstemon, prairie dropseed, sand reed grass, gramma grass, and silky prairie clover plants. Tree species consist of elm, silver maple, cottonwood, and box elder. Blue racers and prairie skinks are also present as are white-tail deer, coyotes, foxes and other common mammalian species.
Observant visitors will find species that are otherwise rare in the Twin Cities area, such as grassland-loving birds. There are no established trails, although there are some informal trails to wander. Access to the river is made by crossing ethe railroad tracks through a tunnel. Remember to tread lightly.
Hours, Directions, and Contact Information
Parking lot (southeast): 7501 110th St S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016, GPS: 44.790083, -92.955202
Last updated: February 28, 2020