Visiting Pipestone National Monument

Pipestone National Monument is located in the far Southwest corner of Minnesota and is part of the United States National Parks system. The monument is about the size of a large park with a short walking trail lined with stone quarries, a waterfall, and a nice interpretation center.

Waterfall in Pipestone National Monument

The waterfall in Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota, during fall

The place is culturally important because  the type and quality of stone found there has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes for centuries by Native American tribes across the United States. In the interpretation center, you can witness authentic Native ceremonial pipes being made by hand and learn more about the long history of these quarries.

Pipestone Native Eagle Peace Pipe

A traditional ceremonial Eagle pipe from Pipestone National Monument

Stone quarries are scattered across the trails that criss-cross the grounds of the monument. Some historical quarries here have been used for centuries by the tribes that occupied the area and some are active quarries still in use to this day. At times during the year, you can witness ceremonial demonstrations on how the pipestone is quarried.

The trails in the park run directly through authentic Minnesota prairie and rock formations like a stone tunnel,

Rock tunnel in Pipestone National Monument

 

and a stone face.

Stone face rock feature in Pipestone

 

Finally the trails end with a nice stretch along a rocky stream hidden below the tall strands of prairie grass.

Rocky stream in Pipestone National Monument

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