Wannigan Regional Park will be located in Becker County, Burlington Township, just north of the City of Frazee boundary and includes roughly 0.75 miles of Otter Tail River frontage. The site is adjacent to the high school & elementary school complex, about 0.5 miles from downtown Frazee. The site is about 10 miles southeast of Detroit Lakes, 45 miles northwest of Fergus Falls, and 55 miles southeast of the Fargo/Moorhead metropolitan area.
Wannigan Park has a total acreage of 174.55. The property is now vacant, mixed habitat land bisected by the Otter Tail River, that includes almost 0.75 mile of riverfront. Three ecological provinces meet in the area; the site contains some habitats of each: Laurentian Mixed Forest, Eastern Broadleaf Forest and Prairie Parkland. The site lies within the Eastern Broadleaf Forest province, in the Hardwood Hills subsection of the MN and NE Iowa Morainal Section. The site includes wetlands and forested sections. Some of the site is open grassland that was former pasture/cropland; the eastern side of the river has likely never been tilled. The lower quality former agricultural land will be developed with the park facilities, and the wetlands and forest will be preserved, as will a 50 foot buffer on each side of the river. Portions of the open land will be restored to oak savannah habitat. At buildout the park will include over a mile of the North Country National Scenic Trail, the Heartland Spur trail (a 0.5 mile connection to the State trail), a launch site and 0.75 mile of Ottertail River water trail, and a well appointed trailhead for each.
Trails will remain open in the winter for snowshoeing, walking and cross country skiing. A variety of trail users, campers, and park visitors will be accommodated. Beginning outdoors people will be able to visit the center, see a concert, or take the gradually sloped, accessible paved trail. Experienced people may use the park as a launch for multi-day hikes or paddles.
Programming will start with invasive species removal and habitat restoration through a partnership with FFA and Frazee Schools. After development, school classes will be able to walk from the adjacent schools for outdoor classrooms, RiverWatch & Adopt-A-River programs. Other schools will also be welcomed.
Informal programs will include: