Carlos Avery is home to several ecosystems that are home to more than 50 butterfly species. These include wetland specialists like Mulberry Wing, Harris’ Checkerspot, Appalachian Brown, and Acadian Hairstreak. It’s also got woodland and prairie species such as Long Dash Skipper, Baltimore Checkerspot, Banded Hairstreak, and Arctic Skipper.
The best time to visit for butterflying is late June and early July.
The lower unit has a stretch of road with a vast array of butterfly species — all can be viewed from the road! Enter on 197th Ave NE from Lexington and pick a parking pullout (or park on the side fo the road) and walk along the woodlands and wetlands.
It’s a great place for butterflying with two caveats: 1) The deer flies are intense! 2) When the county/state mows the roadsides, it cuts down on the nectar sources.
You can check out the full list of species here.
If you see small dark skippers, try and get a picture! The Two-spotted Skipper has been spotted at Carlos Avery in the past. This skipper has become quite rare in Minnesota, and a sighting at Carlos Avery is the only one in decades. Learn more about this species here.