Tour the Prairie
FROM BICYCLE TRAILS TO MOUNTAIN BIKING TO WATERFALLS & PARKS
Blue Mounds State Park
Blue Mounds State Park is full of natural surprises. Start with the Sioux Quartzite cliff, rising 100 feet from the plains. A bison herd grazes on the prairie. Prickly pear cactus blooms in June and July. A sea of prairie grasses and flowers sway in the wind. The park is also a favorite for birdwatchers who want to see nesting blue grosbeaks and other birds. Enjoy camping and hiking. Bison, elk, wolves and prairie chickens roamed this part of Minnesota over 150-200 years ago. Today, a herd of bison resides in the park. The park has a small population of coyotes and a stable deer population. Birdwatchers can catch glimpses of several western species as well as the birds of the tallgrass prairie. The park is named for the mile-long cliff of Sioux Quartzite. The cliff appeared blue to settlers going west in the 1860s and 1870s, and they named the landmark "the Blue Mound." In 1937, the state legislature established Mound Springs Recreation Reserve on the site. Later, in 1961, the name was changed to Blue Mounds State Park.