The Prairies and The Great Lakes

Harrows have turned the vast midsection of North America into one giant breadbasket, following under what was once a shimmering sea of prairies grasses.

Though little remains of this important ecosystem, nature travelers can still find remnants in such places as the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma.

In North Dakota’s badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park provides a safe haven for descendents of the approximately 25 million bison that once roamed the prairies.

There are other wildlife strongholds in the Midwest, as well. In Minnesota, you can paddle a canoe through Voyageurs National Park, a 340 square mile (880 km2) patch of forested, watery wilderness that straddles the United States-Canada border.

The Park is home to wolves, moose, black bears, bald eagles, river otters, and waterfowl. You may well hear the eerie cry of the common loon – the sound of the North Woods.