"A little closer to home, down I-35 near Faribault is Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park. It's a small oasis of big woods, or the ancient deciduous forest that once occupied a significant chunk of southern and central Minnesota, from Mankato to St. Cloud and over to Faribault. There's an extremely reliable population of red-headed woodpeckers in the park's campground. That's a species that has declined 90 percent over 30 years. I don't want to say [seeing a woodpecker] is a guarantee, but it probably is at the campground."
Alex Watson, regional naturalist, DNR