Sand Hill River Recreation Area & Agassiz Learning Center

MODERATE 5 reviews

Sand Hill River Recreation Area & Agassiz Learning Center is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Fertile, Minnesota that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

3.8 miles
295 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly


cross country skiing



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips






wild flowers


Tons of trails, rolling sand hills, nature preserve, river, picnic area, and primitive camping. The AELC, also known locally as "The Nature Center" is located in the 640 acre wilderness area located just west of Fertile. There is a Visitor's Center with a meeting room, kitchen and restroom facilities including showers, in addition to a primitive campground. There is an extensive trail system maintained for hiking in the summer and groomed regularly for cross country skiing in the winter. In the Visitor's Center, there is cross country ski equipment available to rent. There is also a five mile horse riding trail around the perimeter as well as a horse loading and unloading area. The AELC is also a snow school and offers snowshoe rentals. The Fertile Sand Hills is a beautiful and unique wilderness area that offers a diversity of natural communities, including two of Minnesota's most endangered - prairie and oak savannah. Other natural communities include the Sand Hill River, riverine forest, birch bluffs, active sand dunes and oak woodland. The AELC is a private non-profit corporation devoted to providing educational and recreational experiences about the natural world. The Visitor's Center is open from 2 to 5 daily from April through October and from 1 to 4 daily from November through March. Funding for the AELC is provided by the City of Fertile, membership, donations and use fees.

1 month ago

Had a difficult time finding the head of the main trail, and it would have been nice for the information posts to have maps on them, but the area itself was beautiful. Saw nearly a dozen deer, a variety of birds, and interesting bugs and plants.

3 months ago

Nice peace and quiet near Fertile. Saw lots of deer! Beautiful white snow and sweet serenity. No one but the wife and I out exploring the snow covered trails today. A little tough knowing what trail we were on as there were biking, horse, cross country ski, and hiking trails all of which had white fluffy stuff covering them. All in all, a great place to explore!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

We went there for our first time today. It has awesome hiking trails. The scenery is beautiful. We saw a few deer and lots of pretty flowers. I definitely wanna go back. The camping area is cool too.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Pure as the driven snow. Peace and quiet. Love it!

3 days ago