Fort Ridgely State Park

 

 

About

Ownership

Minnesota DNR logo

 

Links

Minnesota DNR

 

Overview

 

 

History

 

 

Management

 

 

Comments

 

Location

Size

1,044 acres statutory, 477 owned

 

Driving Directions

Get driving directions from Google Maps to this destination from any address, and send those directions to your phone.

  Area and County
    County   Nicollet and Renville Counties
    Region   Central and Southwest Minnesota

Parking

72158 County Road 30
Fairfax, MN 55332

N44 26.877, W94 43.602

 

Hours

Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

 

Fees

Daily park permit: $7

Annual park permit: $35

 

Maps

all season (PDF)

all season (GeoPDF)

Activities

Hiking

Biking

Mountain biking

Horseback riding

Picnicking

Camping

Backpacking

Rock climbing and bouldering

Swimming

Boating

Canoeing

Birdwatching

Nature photography

Geocaching

Cross country skiing

Skate-skiing

Winter hiking

Snowshoeing

Snowmobiling

 

Trails

Hiking

9 miles

Paved bike

0.5 mile

Horse

13 miles

Cross country skiing

5 miles ungroomed

Snowmobile

8 miles

Snowshoe

Anywhere except on groomed trails

 

Hunting and Fishing

No hunting. The park may hold one or more managed hunts in the fall.

In most cases, Minnesota residents do not need a permit to fish in Minnesota State Parks.

Ecology

Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification
Ecological Province Ecological Province  

Prairie Parkland Province

 
Ecological Section Ecological Section  

North Central Glaciated Plains

 
Ecological Subsection Ecological Subsection  

Minnesota River Prairie

 
Land Type Association    

Gibbon Till Plain

Milan Alluvial Plain

 
         

Native Plant Communities*

 

Dry Hill Prairie (Southern)

 
* Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources    
     

Natural Features

   

 

 

 

 

 

Visitor Photos
 

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Kirk Nelson

Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Amphitheater

  Fort Trail
     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Minnesota River Valley Overlook

  Oak Savanna Trail
     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Powder Magazine and Commissary

  Prairie Trail

Martha Decker

Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Rustic CCC-built Picnic Shelter

  CCC-built Park Buildings
     

 

     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park
 

Monument & Commissary Building

Example of Self-guided Tour Info

   
     
Fort Ridgely State Park    

Commissary Building with foundations of other fort buildings in foreground

   
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Park entrance

     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Minnesota River Lookout

     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

 

 

 

Minnesota River Lookout

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Monument
     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Fort Ridgely Creek

     
Fort Ridgely State Park   Fort Ridgely State Park

Trails

 

Camera

Slideshows

Fort Ridgely State Park
Richard Sanders

Fort Ridgely State Park
About

Fort Ridgely State Park. MN

Fort Ridgely State Park, Minnesota
campsitephotosdotcom

About

Published on Oct 28, 2013

Favorite Sites: 1, 7, 13, 17, 19, 21, 31, 37

 

slideshow

Visitor Videos
 

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Other Videos

Fort Ridgely State Park
Prairie Public Broadcasting

About

Published on Dec 30, 2015

Fort Ridgely State Parks outside Fairfax in southern Minnesota boasts many unique features including an authentic reconstruction by the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1853 fort which was the site of many of the fiercest battle of the US-Dakota War.

Production funding provided by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund and by the members of Prairie Public.

About the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
In 2008, Minnesota voters passed a landmark piece of legislation — the Minnesota Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment — which provided funding to public television stations serving audiences in Minnesota. Its mission is to help preserve and document the treasures of culture, history, and heritage that make Minnesota special, and to increase access to the natural and cultural resources we all share.

Kayaking (Snow) at Fort Ridgely 2-6-2016
Russell Sabo

About

Published on Feb 6, 2016

Snow kayaking at Fort Ridgely State Park, MN. With Adam Smith, Chris Bollingmo, Cassandra Brown, Danny Rockvam, and Russell Sabo

Fort Ridgely State Park cannon
Jerry Nowell

About

Uploaded on Jun 18, 2011

Cannon demonstration at Fort Ridgely State Park

two tubers tubing on two tubes on youtube
petersthorn

About

Uploaded on Dec 23, 2009

This was a tubing experience we had at Fort Ridgley State Park. Tubes were only $2.50 a piece. We had some other people come up and they used our tubes when we went in the warming house. We felt bad that we had to take the tubes back but we DID pay for them after all...

 

Camcorder

Visitor Sightings
 

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

Visits

5/18/2012

Birds

Eight bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)

Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist (Complete)

eBird Field Checklist (Fort Ridgely Horse Camp)

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)

Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

 

American Robin

Black-capped Chickadee

Northern Cardinal

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker <em>(Sphyrapicus varius)</em> sign

Fishes

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fishes List

     

Fungi and Lichens

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Fungi List

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)

  Black Knot

Insects and Arachnids

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Insects List

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

lime nail gall mite (Eriophyes tiliae)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

orange sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

plum finger gall mite (Eriophyes emarginatae)

question mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

 

monarch

twelve-spotted skimmer

Mammals

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Mammals List

Plants

One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

Special Concern

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List

Plants frequently found in:

Dry Hill Prairie (Southern) UPs13d

   

 

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

American hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

American plum (Prunus americana)

American stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

bastard toadflax (Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata)

bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis)

black maple (Acer saccharum ssp. nigrum)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Blue Ridge carrionflower (Smilax lasioneura)

blue vervain (Verbena hastata)

bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis)

Canadian white violet (Viola canadensis var. rugulosa)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

clustered black snakeroot (Sanicula odorata)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

cut-leaved coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata)

dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis ssp. matronalis)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

heart-leaved golden alexanders (Zizia aptera)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens)

hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus)

leadplant (Amorpha canescens)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

mountain blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum)

narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra var. glabra)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii)

prairie blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium campestre)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea var. purpurea)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)

smooth Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sweet William catchfly (Silene armeria)

Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western marbleseed (Lithospermum occidentale)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

wild licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

 

Acer ginnala (Amur maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. nigrum (black maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Aesculus glabra var. glabra (Ohio buckeye)

Allium tricoccum (wild leek)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)

Antennaria neglecta (field pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana (white sage)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd’s purse)

Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata (bastard toadflax)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Dalea purpurea var. purpurea (purple prairie clover)

Echinacea angustifolia (narrow-leaved purple coneflower)

Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Glycyrrhiza lepidota (wild licorice)

Hesperis matronalis ssp. matronalis (dame’s rocket)

Heuchera richardsonii (prairie alumroot)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Lithospermum canescens (hoary puccoon)

Lithospermum incisum (fringed puccoon)

Lithospermum occidentale (western marbleseed)

Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (American hophornbeam)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Penstemon grandiflorus (large-flowered beardtongue)

Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii (wild blue phlox)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (smooth Solomon’s seal)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ratibida pinnata (gray-headed coneflower)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Ribes missouriense (Missouri gooseberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower)

Sambucus canadensis (American elderberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanicula odorata (clustered black snakeroot)

Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Silene armeria (sweet William catchfly)

Sisyrinchium campestre (prairie blue-eyed grass)

Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum (mountain blue-eyed grass)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax lasioneura (Blue Ridge carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Solidago rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis (American stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena hastata (blue vervain)

Verbena stricta (hoary vervain)

Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American highbush cranberry)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola canadensis var. rugulosa (Canadian white violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

Zizia aptera (heart-leaved golden alexanders)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

 

American elderberry

American highbush cranberry

American plum

black raspberry

bloodroot

blue vervain

bouncing bet

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

common evening primrose

common mullein

cut-leaved coneflower

dame’s rocket

fragrant bedstraw

gray-headed coneflower

heart-leaved golden alexanders

hoary vervain

leadplant

narrow-leaved purple coneflower

northern bedstraw

northern prickly ash

purple prairie clover

smooth sumac

purple meadow-rue

Virginia waterleaf

western poison ivy flowers

wild columbine

yellow sweet clover

yellow wood sorrel

 

Reptiles

One reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:

Special Concern

bull snake (Pituophis catenifer sayi)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

     

 

 

Binoculars

 

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