Blue Mounds State Park is located in the Southern Prairie region in the southwestern corner of the state near Luverne and Pipestone.
From the town of Luverne, go north 4 miles on Minnesota Hwy. 75. Turn east on County Road 20 and go 1 mile to the park entrance.
A huge outcropping of Sioux Quartzite bedrock, nearly 100 feet tall, ends in a 1.5-mile-long cliff and is one of the best places for rock climbing in Minnesota. The quartzite, though pink in color, is said to have appeared blue from a distance to early settlers.
The park has some patches of Minnesota’s remaining tall grass prairie. In early summer you will see a few flowering prickly pear cactus plants. Two dams on Mound Creek form the two lakes in the park. Years ago, thousands of trees were planted around the lakes.
Hike to the top of the mound, which rises 100 feet from the surrounding landscape. A hiking permit is required. You can fish in the lakes and enjoy the swimming beach at the campground. There is an interpretive center, a children’s playground, 14 picnic sites, and a picnic shelter.
Thirteen miles of hiking trails will take you through fields, along the stream, and to the top of the mound. A bike trail connects the park to the town of Luverne. Snowmobiling is permitted on six miles of trail in winter.
The main campground is situated in a shady grove of maples and oaks. Or choose one of the more private cart-in campsites. There are 73 tent and RV sites; 40 with electric hookup, 14 cart-in sites, and 1 hike-in group site that can accommodate up to 75 people. Amenities include fresh water (except at cart-in sites), picnic tables, fire rings, grills, showers, flush and vault toilets, and a dump station.
Visit Luverne's many museums and galleries. Watch a movie at the Verne Drive-In Theater. Come in June for Buffalo Days.
Highway 75 north of the park will take you to Pipestone and Pipestone National Monument. The ornate town buildings were constructed with the red Sioux Quartzite quarried in the area. Pipestone National Monument is one of Minnesota’s Native Americans’ most sacred places.
Watch Dakota artists carve pipes, bowls, and more, and purchase items in the gift shop.
While in the area, take a tour of the amazing Native American quartzite carvings at Jeffers Petroglyphs.Minnesota State Parks Guidebooks
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