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.
Horse Campground and Trails:
The Creek is running very high. Low water crossings are impassable. The horse campground is open. Horse trails are open; however, there are still some areas with mud and erosion as well as slick trail conditions in some locations.
2016 Reservations changes
Attention campers using the main campground:
The shower/toilet building in the main campground is closed indefinitely. Rustic camping rates are in effect. Vault toilets are available in the campground.
The 2016 golf season will run through Labor Day, after which the golf course will close as we prepare to restore and re-purpose that area of the park. We will offer a pro-rated individual season pass for $75 and reinstate the 12-Round Punch Card for $100. The punch card will expire September 5, 2016 and no refunds will be given for unused punches. The 'play and stay' program for three nights of camping has been discontinued.
Attention hikers and horse riders:
The southern horse trail bridge crossing Fort Ridgely creek is now open to all traffic. Horse trails are open; however, there are still some areas with mud and erosion as well as slick trail conditions in some locations. The lower valley trail remains closed due to flood damage.
The northern horse trail bridge near the horse campground will be replaced during the fall of 2016. We anticipate the bridge will reopen in November.
Due to safety concerns, the amphitheater stage is closed. No access is allowed. We are working on repairs and anticipate the amphitheater will reopen in early 2017.
(Updated August 16, 2016)
Provide input on park management plan:
The DNR is amending the management plan for Fort Ridgley State Park. Complete an online questionnaire to share your ideas and comments about the future of Fort Ridgely State Park! Go to the project page to learn more.
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.
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 at Fort Ridgely State Park.
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
Off State Highway 4, 6 miles south of Fairfax or 12 miles north of Sleepy Eye, then follow the signs to the park.