The Agassiz Beach Ridges are the former boundaries of Lake Agassiz, a glacial lake that was at its peak larger than any currently existing lake in the world.
As the glaciers withdrew and the lake drained, the beach ridges that were its former boundaries were left behind. The lake covered most of what is now the Red River Valley. This area now has some of the last examples of tallgrass prairie remaining in Minnesota (some growing over 6 feet tall!), and a high concentration of prairie remnants. It’s a far cry from the estimated 18 million acres of prairie Minnesota used to have, which makes it so vital that we protect and restore the less than 1% of original prairie left.
This unique land is habitat to a number of species, including bear, moose, sharp-tailed grouse, and western meadowlark. It’s also habitat that some of the three Minnesota Elk herds rely on.