Fort Ridgely State Park

Snapshot virtual tour

Welcome to the Fort Ridgely State Park virtual tour! In this journey you'll meander along trails on foot or by horseback and check out important sites in Minnesota history. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.

Photo of the monument listing the names of those who defended Fort Ridgely in 1862.


Fort Defenders Monument

This monument lists the names of those who helped defend Fort Ridgely during the two attacks in 1862. The monument was erected in 1895, sixteen years before the park was established.

Photo of the historic fort site, foundations of ruins and buildings.


Historic Fort Site

Fort Ridgley was the site of two battles in August of 1862. Defense of this site was deemed critical in preventing the Dakota from advancing all the way to Fort Snelling. The original buildings were demolished by local farmers for their own uses after the fort was abandoned.

Photo of the stone picnic shelter and picnic area.


Picnic Area

The picnic shelter at the main day-use area of the park was built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Casual visitors and groups enjoy the shelter, and the amphitheater has also housed a number of weddings. The interior has a fireplace and a separate room often used for serving food. A playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball court and ball field are nearby.

Photo of the shady amphitheater and seating area.



Built in 1927, the amphitheater is the oldest structure in the park. Events of all kinds are held here, ranging from weddings and church memorial services to plays and musical entertainment. The private cemetery was first developed in the mid-1800's and remains in use today.

Photo of creekside campsite number 37.



This is campsite number 37, one of our most popular sites. It is a non-electrical site located on the creek bank. The entire campground includes 22 semi-modern sites and 15 with electricity. There are also nine rustic sites, three walk-in sites, and a group camp.

Photo of a bridge spanning Fort Ridgely Creek.


Fort Ridgely Creek

Fort Ridgely Creek bisects the park north to south. It is stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout in early April.

Photo of the campground restroom and shower building.


Campground Shower Building

One of seven buildings in the park constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This building serves as the bathrooms and showers for the campground.

Photo of the three-room farmhouse located near the Fair Ridge Trail.


Horse Camp Farm House

Located near the equestrian campground, the farmhouse offers convenient access to the Fair Ridge Trail. The three room farmhouse sleeps six and has a dorm-sized refrigerator, microwave and window air conditioner. A fire ring with a grill is located just outside the building, next to a picnic table.

Photo of the farm house deck and dining area.


Farm House Interior

Interior view of the three room farmhouse. The farmhouse may be reserved from April 1st to October 31st.

Photo of the farm house bedroom.


Farm House Bedroom

A view of the bedroom in the farmhouse. Guests bring bedding and linens from home. The farmhouse has air conditioning but no heat source.

Photo of a scenic overlook of the Minnesota River from the observation platform.


Valley Overlook

This scenic overlook gives visitors a panoramic view of the Minnesota River Valley and a majority of the park below.

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