Fort Ridgely State Park

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Fort Ridgely State Park

Tour Historic Fort Ridgely and wander through the ruins of this once thriving outpost. Learn about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, a major event in Minnesota's early history. Visit the museum and the cemetery to learn more. For recreation, this park offers plenty. In the summer, hike or ride the trails on horseback, fish the stocked pond or trout stream, camp (drive-in and walk-in sites are available), or stay overnight in the renovated farmhouse. In the winter, ski, snowmobile, or stay overnight at the chalet.

Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.

Visitor Alert

Trail Update:

All hiking and horse trails have been cleared following our 8/16 storm. Some spots are still muddy, but passable.

The low water crossing just north of the main campground is closed due to a deep channel that has developed in the middle of the creek. Horses may temporarily use the campground foot bridge in order to cross the creek. We anticipate this water crossing to reopen on September 21.

Upcoming Events:

On September 30 the park will host a seed collection and a Fall Festival. On October 9 the park will feature a program on Minnesota's climate trends. Check out the DNR Events Calendar for more details.

Endurance Ride:

The park will be hosting a large endurance trail ride event on September 22-24. Trails will be very busy and the horse campground will be full. If you are interested in the endurance event, please contact Fort Ridgely Equestrian Center.

Road Construction:

In September MNDoT will be replacing culverts under Hwy 4 north and south of the park. Hwy 4 may be closed, with detours in place. The best way to approach the park is from the east on County Road 21.

Golf Course Update:

The golf course is currently closed. A golf course operations concession agreement between the DNR and the City of Fairfax was approved by both parties on May 24, 2017. Certain terms of the concession agreement are contingent upon legislative approvals and completion of the special session. These include the use of golf carts, waiving the state park permit requirement for golf patrons and alcohol sales. It is unknown at this time when the agreement may be finalized.

Amphitheater Update:

Due to safety concerns, the amphitheater stage is closed. No access is allowed.

(Updated 9/16/2017)

Park Notes

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!
Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Fort Ridgely Historic Site:

The historic site grounds are open for self-guided tours each day, and the museum is open Friday through Sunday from Memorial Day to MEA weekend. A Minnesota state park vehicle permit is required. Learn more.

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota state parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Fort Ridgely State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. at Fort Ridgely State Park.

Nature Guide:

All Seasons Nature Guide This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (2017, 6 pages, 828 KB)

Park Highlights

tree Camping

tree Historic Site

tree Horseback Riding

tree Scenic Rolling Hills

tree Forests and Prairies


Best time to contact the park:

Mid-May through MEA weekend: Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Winter: Regular office hours are not kept during the winter. Please call or email the park and leave a message.


72158 County Road 30
Fairfax, MN 55332

tel: 507-426-7840

fax: 507-426-7112


Getting There

Off State Highway 4, 6 miles south of Fairfax or 12 miles north of Sleepy Eye, then follow the signs to the park.