Day Trip from Fargo: Agassiz Environmental Learning Center

Agassiz Environmental Learning CenterIf you’re looking to get out of the busy hustle and bustle of city life, consider taking a day trip to Agassiz Environmental Learning Center (AELC)! It’s located in Fertile, Minnesota, just one hour and 15 minutes northeast of Fargo-Moorhead.

Agassiz Environmental Learning Center

This 640-acre nature area offers beautiful scenery everywhere you look. The Fertile Sand Hills (sand dunes) offer spectacular views of rolling hills, lush prairies, and the Sand Hill River, which flows through the site.

Agassiz Environmental Learning Center

What to Do


This is a beautiful place to hike and, in my personal experience, seems quieter than trails at a major state park, where traffic may be more congested. And there are over 12 miles of scenic trails.

In addition to hiking, the trails can be used for skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, or snowmobiling. Check their maps for specific information regarding which trails are designated for these activities.

Tubing, Canoeing, & Kayaking

Spend the day exploring the Sand Hill River. My husband and I tubed the river and it was a highlight of our summer! Also, rental equipment might be available, if you call ahead.


There are five site campgrounds near the Nature Center with available bathrooms and showers. Each site is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Fees are $15 per night and camping fees can be deposited in a drop box.


Throughout the year, AELC offers a variety of classes for all ages. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events.


Take the family out for a treasure hunt while you’re here! A typical geocache is a weatherproof container hidden somewhere, which contains a logbook. Often, it will also contain little trinkets, or “swag,” too. The geographic coordinates of the cache are provided and used with a GPS unit, or viewed through a smartphone app.

Agassiz Environmental Learning Center

The objective is to use the GPS coordinates or information provided by the app to locate the cache. Once you find the cache, you record your find in the logbook. You can also bring a trinket or small item along to exchange for one of the items in the cache.


If you are looking to enjoy recreational activities at AELC, there are rentals available. Note that all equipment rentals do require a waiver signature, and the waiver can be found here.

Skis, poles, and boots are available for rent for a total of $6 per day and snowshoes are available for $6 per day.

After you’re done exploring the Agassiz Environmental Learning Center, here are some more fun activities to do in Fertile!

More Things to Do in Fertile, Minnesota


Coffee / Florist

  • Morning Glory: Stop and grab a coffee while you’re in town. This adorable coffee shop also offers shopping, gift ideas, and books. They also have a supply of locally handmade goods including local artist, Willow Larson’s coffee mugs (now also sold in SCHEELS). Whenever I stop here, the staff is very friendly and I always feel like I’m in some kind of sweet Hallmark film!



Fertile, although a small town, still has a lot to offer for play! Here you can find a nature park, school park, splash pad, beautiful golf course, basketball courts, or explore the Polk County Fair Grounds.

Our family recently relocated to Fertile, Minnesota, we have enjoyed getting to know the friendly business owners and love to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer.

I highly recommend visiting the Agassiz Environmental Learning Center if you’re looking to explore nature or camp with the family!

Previous article4 Apple Recipes to Try This Fall
Next articleWrinkle Relaxers: 5 Things To Know for a First-Timer
Kallie Swenson
In 4th grade, Kallie sported two things: an awkward haircut and the title of “new kid.” Her family moved from Crookston to Moorhead, where she went on to graduate from Moorhead High. After graduating, she packed up and migrated south, to the Twin Cities area. There she lived with an amazing set of roommates… her grandparents! She still considers this one of the best decisions of her life. She attended one year at a community college before deciding she would venture back to Moorhead to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her career spanned across local organizations, including for SCHEELS and The Salvation Army. In 2016, Kallie made the huge decision to buy a house in Barnesville. She closed on her 25th birthday and moved in with her dog, Lily. In 2017, she began dating a long-time friend (not all love is love at first sight!) and got married in March of 2019. She and her husband, Jordan, enjoy traveling, the outdoors, live music, and finding treasures during garbage week. Kallie is now a proud stay-at-home mom to 2 girls. She loves writing about thrifty living, party planning, and nurturing relationships on her blog. When Kallie bought her small, 980-square foot home she never imagined so much love would grow there. Her family eventually plans to build in the country but for now, enjoy the closeness of small living.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.