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“Not what I expected, but still liked what I found” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Ranked #47 of 205 things to do in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
59 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Not what I expected, but still liked what I found”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

In my mind, this is not a "garden". If you are expecting to see manicured plots of labeled wildflowers, you'll be surprised. This "garden" is located within a much larger park area. Parking is $.75 per hour via meters so bring change. Admittance is free. I would allow 1-2 hours. There is a large metal gate you must open to enter the garden...this immediate intrigued my kids (6 & 8 yrs old). There is 1 main path that leads you around most of the area, with other smaller loops you can take to see even more. The main path intersects itself twice so you could shorten your hike if you wanted also. The path is probably 4 feet wide in most parts, very clearly designated and mulched for easy walking. There are two hills that might be a little challenging for some, but the first hill is right inside the gate and it goes down. So if you can walk the first 100 yards of the trail, you're in business. Obviously the other hill goes up, is near the end of the trail and is a little more challenging...because it goes up. The garden is basically a thinly-densed forest surrounding a wetland with wildflowers, ferns and other growths intersperced. You can hear a lot of birds, but we really didn't see all that many (keep in mind I had 4 kids with me that were relatively quiet and respectful, but still....). There are many spots along the path to sit and observe...I'm sure that made for better birding. We saw chipmunks, toads, spiders and insects. A short distance in, there is a small visitor center packed with interesting info, including what flowers were blooming at this time (which was not many by the way). It was worth our time to stop, plus we sat and watched the birds at the feeding station for a bit also. Thankfully (and sadly) there were few other people there. We rarely saw or heard another person, which made for a really nice and relaxing adventure for us. We all thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank oceansoul39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Interesting place for a break from the city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

Dropped by here at the weekend (end of July) and managed to tag along with one of the free tours they have of the area. You can find tour times on their web page. The tours are free!

It was raining but the tour guide, a lady called Karen, was great helping us around even though it was raining. She let us pause the tour as we wanted to shelter in between showers.

She was very knowledgable and also great with the little person we took along (4yr old) answering his questions and engaging all of us.

The bugs were out, so you want to take bug spray. You also want to take quarters for the car park (75c an hour or you could call a number to buy parking time from the car park).

There were some pretty interesting plants there but I have to say, I we even more excited by the birds we saw. Apparently they have bird spotting walks early in the mornings (around 7:30).

A nice little place to visit and certainly soaked my little one in all the right ways. I'll be visiting again once the seasons change a there are different plant cycles to see.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kester B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“peaceful, off the beaten path.....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2013

If you want no crowds, time to smell the flowers, and picture perfect wildflower scenes, this is the place to be! Cute visitor center! Many trails to explore! Only downside: NO DOGS ALLOWED. hence why we do not go very often. You do have to pay for parking too :/

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank stampgirl5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
108 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Wonderful wild place in the city”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2013

Minneapolis has a number of places where the urban area disappears, and this is one of them. The garden is more like a forest reserve than a formal garden, with trails that take you from heavily wooded spots to meadow. Easy walks, with climbs that are only difficult for those who have mobility impairments, and some nice benches along the way to sit and enjoy the day. Great collection of feeders near main buildings, for those who want to watch a variety of birds feeding and flitting back and forth. Can get a little crowded on weekends, but it's big enough that it's rarely congested except near the entrance and the buildings.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Andy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“a leisure walk in Minneapolis”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

It's a serene place with to walk and enjoy the out doors so close to the city. In July and August or early spring the flowers are particularly fine.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank tim m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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