Pilot Knob

 

 

     
 
About
 
 

Ownership

 
 

City of Mendota Heights logo

 
 

City of Mendota Heights

 
     
 

Links

 
 

Pilot Knob Preservation Association

Dakota County Protected Lands

National Park Service, Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

 
     
 

Overview

 
 

Pilot Knob is an historic site in Mendota Heights on the east bank of the Minnesota River. Two overlooks provide spectacular vistas of Fort Snelling, the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, and the Minneapolis skyline. A half-mile of paved and mowed trails include interpretive signs that describe the history of the site. The trail connects to Dakota County’s Big Rivers Regional Trail, a paved bike trail. Bald Eagles and migrating raptors are often seen flying overhead.

Pilot Knob is known to the Dakota as Oheyawahi, or “a hill much visited.” It served as a burial site for for Dakota Villages along the Minnesota River. It is here that the Dakota signed a treaty in 1851 that transferred millions of acres of land to the United States. The City of Mendota Heights acquired 25 acres on the hill in 2006. Overhead power lines were buried underground, brush was cut and removed, prairie was restored, and wildflowers and oak trees were planted.

 
     
 

History

 
 

On March 14, 2017, Pilot Knob was added to the National Registed of Historic Places.

 
     
 

Management

 
 

 

 
     
 

Comments

 
 

 

 
     
 
Location
 
 

Maps

 
 

Interactive Pocket Guide

 
         
 

Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

 
         
         
 

Size

 
 

25 acres

 
         
 

Parking

 
 

2100 Pilot Knob Road
Mendota Heights

There is a small parking area on the east side of Pilot Knob Road.

N44 52.732, W93 10.029

 
         
 

Hours

 
 

 

 
         
 

Fees

 
 

No fee

 
         
 

Driving Directions

  Area and County  
 

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          Dakota County  
          Metro Area  
     
 
Activities
 
 

Hiking Trails

 
 

0.35 mile paved

0.1 mile mowed

 
     
 

Hunting

 
 

No hunting

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

   
  Ecological Section    

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

   
  Ecological Subsection    

St. Paul-Baldwin Plains and Moraines

   
  Land Type Association    

Wescott Moraine

   
             
 

Native Plant Communities*

   
 

Not mapped (10/11/2021)

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

Natural Features

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Kirk Nelson

 
 

Known to Dakota people as Oheyawahi, "the hill much visited," Pilot Knob is a place of distinctive historical, cultural, and environmental importance, a sacred site, a landmark of Minnesota's beginnings. Pilot Knob is located on the east end of the Mendota Bridge, south of Highway 55 in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

— Pilot Knob Preservation Association

 
 

Sheep grazing

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Road to Parking

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Sign

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Trail from parking area

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Council Fires Overlook

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Overlook area

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Up slope from Council Fires Overlook

 
    Pilot Knob    
           
 

Trail

 
    Pilot Knob    
           
 

View of Minneapolis

 
    Pilot Knob    
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Parking

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

A brochure with a map is available at the parking area

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Restored Prairie

 
    Pilot Knob   Pilot Knob  
           
 

View from the Top

 
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Interpretive Sign

 
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Council Fires Overlook

 
    Pilot Knob      
           
 

Future Trail

 
    Pilot Knob      

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Pilot Knob
Great River Greening
  Pilot Knob  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Conservation Grazing at Pilot Knob Hill
Great River Greening
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 19, 2013

As part of a long-term prairie reconstruction effort at Pilot Knob Hill in Mendota Heights, Great River Greening introduced horses and ponies for conservation grazing on a warm, sunny morning in July.

Conservation grazing is a restoration technique that introduces grazing livestock to feed on nonnative grasses as a means to increase the biodiversity of the native landscape.

In addition to conservation grazing, other efforts, including prescribed burning, mowing, and removal of buckthorn and sumac invasive species, have been implemented throughout the year. This combination of conservation efforts is carefully planned for native species to thrive and nonnative species to be eliminated from the area.

The city of Mendota Heights is funding this event through a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

About Pilot Knob
Pilot Knob is a sacred, spiritual site and burial ground for the Dakota people, known to them as Oheyawahi, "the hill much visited." It is also the signature site of the Treaty of 1851, where millions of acres of Dakota land were ceded to the United States. And, it is a historic navigational marker. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has identified Pilot Knob as one of Minnesota's 10 most endangered historic places.

Located on a high, prominent hill on the east bank of the Minnesota River near where it meets the Mississippi River, Pilot Knob provides sweeping views of both, as well as Fort Snelling State Park, and downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It attracts numerous uncommon and rare bird species and provides critical habitat for native grassland wildlife that includes eagles, migrating raptors and songbirds, long-eared owls, wild turkeys, and whitetail deer.

Prairie Restoration and Community Stewardship
Much of the rich biodiversity at Pilot Knob is due to a 10-year prairie restoration project Great River Greening began in 2007, under contract with the City of Mendota Heights, with a goal to bring back the native prairie and savanna habitats that were present in the mid-1800s, before the land was settled by Europeans. A great deal of the work has involved volunteers, an integral component in Greening's mission to secure the legacy of Minnesota lands and waters through community-based restoration, stewardship, and partnership.

About Great River Greening
Restoring the Land, Renewing Communities.
Since 1995, Great River Greening has worked to secure the legacy of Minnesota land and water through community restoration, stewardship and partnerships. We have ecological expertise in natural resource and water quality management, and in community building. We work in collaboration at a grassroots level so partners, landowners and volunteers feel connected to an area, understand the power of working together, and are protective of the legacy that we pass on to future generations.

www.greatrivergreening.org

   
  Butterflies
dalebunny
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 12, 2016

10 AUG 2016 Butterflies and flowers on Pilot Knob, Mendota Heights, MN.

   

 

Camcorder

           
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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Kirk Nelson

 
 

Plants

 
  leadplant (Amorpha canescens)   leadplant  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

Visits

1/15/2017

  6/7/2017            
 
 

Amphibians

 
 

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Amphibians and Reptiles List

 
         
 

Bacteria, Viruses, and Other Pathogens

 
  apical chlorosis of Canada thistle (Pst) (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis)   Pst  
 

Birds

 
 

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

Special Concern

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

 
 

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Birds List

eBird Field Checklist

 
 

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

 

American Goldfinch

Northern Cardinal

 
 

Fungi and Lichens

 
  Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)   Crown Rust  
 

Insects and Arachnids

 
 

One insect and arachnid species with conservation status has been seen here:

Federally Endangered

rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

 
 

blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina)

clay-colored leaf beetle (Anomoea laticlavia)

common green darner (Anax junius)

common ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)

goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

midland clubtail (Gomphurus fraternus)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

Virginia ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica)

 

blue dasher

clay-colored leaf beetle

monarch

 
 

Mammals

 
 

eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  eastern cottontail  
 

Plants

 
 

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List

 
 

 

absinth wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa)

American plum (Prunus americana)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

annual fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)

bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bracted spiderwort (Tradescantia bracteata)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

catnip (Nepeta cataria)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common three-square (Schoenoplectus pungens)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

crown vetch (Securigera varia)

cut-leaved coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata)

early figwort (Scrophularia lanceolata)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

field thistle (Cirsium discolor)

fringed brome (Bromus ciliatus)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

heart-leaved four o’clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)

Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)

Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)

June grass (Koeleria macrantha)

large-flowered beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus)

late goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

leafy spurge (Euphorbia virgata)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

prairie alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii)

prairie blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium campestre)

prairie peppergrass (Lepidium densiflorum)

prairie spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis var. occidentalis)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

redtop (Agrostis gigantea)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)

slender willow (Salix petiolaris)

smooth brome (Bromus inermis)

smooth oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra)

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

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida ssp. rigida)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

tall cinquefoil (Drymocallis arguta)

tall tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum)

Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

timothy (Phleum pratense)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

water smartweed (Persicaria amphibia)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)

 

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Agrostis gigantea (redtop)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Andropogon gerardi (big bluestem)

Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Artemisia absinthium (absinth wormwood)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Bromus ciliatus (fringed brome)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium discolor (field thistle)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Drymocallis arguta (tall cinquefoil)

Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Euphorbia virgata (leafy spurge)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra (smooth oxeye)

Hemerocallis fulva (orange daylily)

Heuchera richardsonii (prairie alumroot)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Koeleria macrantha (June grass)

Lepidium densiflorum (prairie peppergrass)

Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy)

Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle)

Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus (bird’s-foot trefoil)

Matricaria discoidea (pineapple-weed)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (alfalfa)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Mirabilis nyctaginea (heart-leaved four o’clock)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Nepeta cataria (catnip)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Penstemon grandiflorus (large-flowered beardtongue)

Persicaria amphibia (water smartweed)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Phleum pratense (timothy)

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)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Ratibida pinnata (gray-headed coneflower)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower)

Salix petiolaris (slender willow)

Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium (little bluestem)

Schoenoplectus pungens (common three-square)

Scrophularia lanceolata (early figwort)

Securigera varia (crown vetch)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Sisymbrium altissimum (tall tumble mustard)

Sisyrinchium campestre (prairie blue-eyed grass)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago rigida ssp. rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tradescantia bracteata (bracted spiderwort)

Tradescantia occidentalis var. occidentalis (prairie spiderwort)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena stricta (hoary vervain)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

 

American vetch

annual fleabane

bird’s-foot trefoil

black raspberry

bracted spiderwort

Canada anemone

catnip

common evening primrose

common mullein

crown vetch

smooth oxeye

golden alexanders

ground ivy

heart-leaved four o’clock

large-flowered beardtongue

orange daylily

oxeye daisy

Philadelphia fleabane

prairie spiderwort

rough cinquefoil

swamp milkweed

tall cinquefoil

Tatarian honeysuckle

white campion

yellow sweet clover

 

 

 

Binoculars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare Bee

During a bumble bee survey conducted in July, 2016, a rusty patched bumble bee was found here.


Created: 12/22/2016

Last Updated:

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