Welcome to the Minneopa State Park virtual tour! In this journey you'll put yourself at the waterfalls on Minneopa Creek, see the historic Seppman Windmill, and find your next campsite. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.
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The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language and is interpreted to mean "water falling twice," referring to the two beautiful waterfalls of the Minneopa Creek. Visitors can walk a trail down to Minneopa Creek and take foot paths up to the basin of the lower falls.
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At a height of 10 feet, the Upper Waterfall is the smaller of the park's two falls. Visitors can picnic at tables in the surrounding area or enjoy the view from a nearby bench.
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Falling 39 feet off a cliff, the Lower Falls is the main attraction in Minneopa State Park. A limestone stairway leads down to the gorge surrounding the falls, where layers of Jordan sandstone have eroded over time.
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Stone Bridge View
The historic cement bridge from 1921 crosses the creek just downstream from the Upper Falls.
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Wood Bridge View
Down the trail from the waterfall overlook, stairs descend to a wooden bridge that crosses a quiet stretch of the Minneopa Creek. This is a perfect spot to listen for some of the many songbirds that call Minneopa State Park their home. Some of the birds that you can hear and view are rose-breasted grosbeaks, northern orioles, and yellow-shafted flickers.
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Picnic Area #1
Minneopa State Park has two picnic areas with ample space for large groups and an open-walled, accessible shelter.
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Picnic Area #2
Tall trees shade parts of the picnic area, and there are large open areas where visitors can play volleyball, horseshoes, and other games.
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A rustic, 12-foot by 16-foot log camper cabin is available year-round for visitors who want a "camping out" experience but may not have the necessary equipment for typical camping.
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Inside, the camper cabin has a table, benches, electricity, and a propane "fireplace." It can sleep up to five people on wooden bunk-bed frames with mattresses.
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Minneopa State Park has more than 60 campsites available for tent or RV camping. Each site has a fire pit and a picnic table. Campsites can be reserved up to a year in advance. Site B20 is shown.
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Realizing the need for a local source of flour, Louis Seppmann, a stone mason by trade, began construction of this wind mill in 1862. The 32-foot-high stone flour mill was completed in 1864, and on days with a favorable wind, Louis Seppmann could transform about 150 bushels of wheat a day into fairly good flour. In 1873, lightning struck the mill, knocking off two of the arms and sails. These were replaced and operation continued until 1880, when a tornado again tore off two arms. These were not replaced, but operation continued until 1890, when another storm finally damaged the structure beyond repair. By the time Minneopa State Park was established in 1905, only the foundation of the granary remained. In 1970, the granary was completely rebuilt to its original dimensions with new materials. A decade later, the door and windows were replaced, and the cap-like roof was reshingled.
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If you stood at the Valley Overlook 11,000 years ago, you would have been on the banks of the massive Glacial River Warren. The erosive force from the glacial meltwater excavated a valley 320 miles long, up to five miles wide, and 250 feet deep. Today, only a relatively small and placid Minnesota River meanders along the valley floor.