Deep Portage Blog

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In the original Jurassic Park movie, Dr. Malcom said the infamous line “life, uh, finds a way.” So is the case for the spring of 2020! Deep Portage has seen only trace amounts of rain since the snow melted in early April. The 3.2 mile driveway has been very dusty, and the water levels in our vernal ponds are at late summer time levels. Even morel mushrooms have been a hard find!


Even with the lack of moisture our forest is green and lush with new spring plants! Spring wildflowers are in full swing. Flowers such as hepatica, wood anemone, violet, bellwort, and wild strawberry are easy finds along our trails. Our wildflower garden at the start of the tar trail has blooming trillium (also blooming along the driveway), bloodroot, and wild ginger.

Purple hepatica poking up through last year's dead leaves.


With the dry and warm weather we have noticed a quick migration of warbling bird species. Species that are common and numerous visitors around Bass Pond every spring like Blackpoll warbler, Cape May warbler, Canada warbler, and Magnolia warbler have been very rare to find. Most years during peak migration, a birder can spot a dozen or more species around Bass Pond but this year it has been hard to get above ten. As of May 23, Bass Pond did have a very healthy population of common yellowthroat, chestnut-sided warbler, American redstart, golden-winged warbler and a few more common warblers singing on territory. An uncommon northern parula was also sighted! Deep Portage Learning Center is a birding hotspot on eBird, check it out!


The buildings remain closed due to COVID-19 but our trails are still open to use, so please come out for a hike and explore! Bring the bug spray and long clothing because the ticks are out and the mosquitos have hatched!

  • Deep Portage Learning Center

Updated: May 24

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, and Deep Portage is no exception. For the safety of our staff and visitors, all DPLC buildings have been closed to the public. We are monitoring the situation closely, and we will reopen when it is safe to do so. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we can't wait to welcome you back when the situation improves!


However, our hiking and skiing trails remain open to the public. Getting out into nature can be a welcome solace in these difficult times, and we encourage you to enjoy the woods, water, and wildlife of Deep Portage. Please follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least 6 feet away from other visitors as you explore all that Deep Portage has to offer.


To all the schools who had planned to visit during these coming weeks, we will miss you terribly. You truly are the highlight of our work here, and these woods are not the same without you. While we can't bring you all the joys and adventures of a full Deep Portage visit, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for suggestions about activities that can help you discover the natural world around your own homes. We'll keep you posted on the latest news from the woods, water and wildlife of Deep Portage. And whether with your school, as a summer camper, or with your family, we hope you see you here in person someday soon.


Until we meet again, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay ever-curious about the world around you.



The Peace of Wild Things Wendell Berry When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.



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Tel: 218-682-2325

Email: portage@uslink.net

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2197 Nature Center Drive NW

Hackensack, MN 56452

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