It was established in 1905 to preserve Minneopa Falls, a large waterfall for southern Minnesota, and was expanded in the 1960s to include the lower reaches of Minneopa Creek and a large tract of prairie. The campground and bison range area may be accessed via State Highway 68. Minneopa State Park Parks Directory of the United States / State Parks / Minnesota Location:5 miles west of Mankato on State Highway 68 and US Highway 169. Could have had a few more signs out. It was established in 1905 to preserve Minneopa Falls, a large waterfall for southern Minnesota, and was expanded in the 1960s to include the lower reaches of Minneopa Creek and a large tract of prairie. The upper falls drops 7 to 10 feet and the lower falls tumbles another 40. Minneopa is Minnesotas third oldest state park, after Itasca and Interstate. 1. Minneopa State Park, Mankato: See 267 reviews, articles, and 247 photos of Minneopa State Park, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 22 attractions in Mankato. The 2,599 acre park is home to more than just the bison. Minnesota's third oldest state park is home to a newly re-established American Bison herd. The larger northern part lies along the Minnesota River. Chase these waterfalls for days and spend the nights at Red Fox Campground. Since we were on a time crunch we didn’t return and were disappointed that they would not offer the proper number of bathrooms for families on a busy day. Their vegetation includes bluegrass, bromegrass, Russian thistle, alfalfa, and seedlings of eastern cottonwood and willow. [18] The rest of the gang circled back into the gorge and hid there for another three or four days before heading southwest. [4]:47 There is a stand of yellow birch at the extreme southwestern limit of this range. [3], The area of Minneopa State Park has been inhabited for thousands of years. [4]:25 As the water level diminished in stages over time, fluvial terraces were left like steps on the sides of the valley. You can reserve a site either via phone, or you can make a same-day reservation on-site. After two weeks of rough travel while evading posses, the gang made camp under the railroad trestle over Minneopa Gorge. Minneopa State Park is a beautiful park in Mankato, Minnesota. The park is divided into two parts. The hike to Minneopa Falls was easy but well worth it. Depictions of the falls by artists and photographers spread their fame across southern Minnesota. Minneopa State Park WPA/Rustic Style historic resources are architecturally significant as outstanding examples of Rustic Style construction featuring sandstone. There are also four group camps, each accommodating up to 15 people, and a camper cabin. The railroad opted not to build a train station in South Bend due to its proximity to Mankato, so Evans convinced them to build a station at the falls. The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language and is interpreted to mean "water falling twice," referring to the beautiful waterfalls of the Minneopa Creek. [4]:46 Its 355 acres (144 ha) are dominated by junegrass, with a mix of other grasses, forbs, and small eastern red cedars. In 1927, the head of the park's local advisory board planted an orchard of black walnut trees (thinking nut sales could be a future source of funding), and only informed the state after the fact in a letter. [4]:23, Location of Minneopa State Park in Minnesota, Minneopa State Park WPA/Rustic Style Historic Resources. It was established in 1905 to preserve Minneopa Falls, a large waterfall for southern Minnesota, and was expanded in the 1960s to include the lower reaches of Minneopa Creek and a large tract of prairie. The park has since expanded to include Minnesota River frontage, the historic Seppman stone windmill, and a herd of American plains bison. Wonderful state park. The agent at the train depot, J.B. Hodge, made great efforts to promote Minneopa Falls. Previous time I was at the park the herd was near the fence and was exciting to see. "[5]:5 Although Minneopa Falls is often referred to as the highest waterfall in southern Minnesota, Minnemishinona Falls in a nearby Nicollet County park is slightly higher at 42 feet (13 m), but is not as scenic or well-known. [4]:54, Minneopa Creek drains a small watershed in Blue Earth County and a small part of eastern Brown County. A short walk takes visitors to the waterfall viewing area. [16] 1862 also saw local stonemason Louis Seppmann begin construction on his stone windmill, on a hill a mile to the northwest. [4]:33 Just north of the falls parking lot is an old 2-acre (0.81 ha) orchard of black walnut. Park History. [6]:5[7] The name is a shortening of Minneinneopa, which is translated from the Dakota language as "water falling twice. [4]:26 Atop everything is a thick blanket of till deposited by glaciers. [19] It was the final parting of the James-Younger Gang after ten years of banditry together. U.S. National Register of Historic Places, South Bend Township, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, "Are bison the key to bringing back Minnesota prairies? [9] Lower Minneopa Falls can be called the region's largest, as it is 25 feet (7.6 m) wide, while Minnemishinona spans only 10 feet (3 m). The park is home to many interesting attractions, including a herd of bison. There are two sides to Minneopa. The key species are sugar maple, basswood, elm, and northern red oak, with some hackberry and ironwood. [6] Locals continued to take a strong, almost proprietary interest in the park. There appeared to be at least a few hundred people in the park. The first of them, Isaac Lyons, used the creek to power a sawmill. [6]:26 Development stagnated during the Great Depression, until federal funds provided Works Progress Administration crews. She and the chief hid for a few days in a cave at the foot of lower Minneopa Falls, until his warriors returned from a hunt and were able to attack her husband's band. [5]:5 Group excursions as large as 5,000 people came from Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Winona, along with closer towns. He convinced the railroad company to advertise the destination and to offer four trains daily from Mankato in summer at a discount rate. Weathering from the constant spray of the falls helps keep the gorge walls nearly vertical. It is best known for the double waterfall that thunders during high water. [2] Minneopa is Minnesota's third oldest state park, after Itasca and Interstate. Today: 08:00 AM - 10:00 PM Closed Now. Is one of my top State parks in Minnesota interesting old flour windmill Building to walk visit! 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