After a nice stay in Sibley State Park I headed south to the Minnesota River Valley camping at Fort Ridgely State Park. This is a very scenic part of southern Minnesota, it has a wide valley with steep tree covered bluffs on both sides. The town of New Ulm on the Minnesota River was settled by Germans and has several celebrations each year to celebrate that heritage. High on the hill south of downtown New Ulm stands the 102 foot tall Hermann Monument which was dedicated in 1897, it has a viewing platform near the top providing great views. Near Mankato is Minneopa State Park which has two beautiful waterfalls and several buildings built by the WPA in the late 1930s, it was Minnesota's third state park, established in 1905. Fort Ridgely State Park, where I camped, became a state park in 1911 as a memorial to the old fort that was built in 1853, the fort was the site of a seige in the U.S.-Dakota Conflict in August 1862. The CCC built several buildings at the park in the 1930s, all of them are still standing. Fort Ridgely was one of the few state parks in southern Minnesota I had never visited, I was pleasantly surprised by it's beauty and the thickly wooded campground offered great birding with many Warbler species and a Pileated Woodpecker.
Minnesota River Lower Falls and Footbridge at Minneopa State Park near Mankato Upper Falls Minneopa State Park Building constructed by the WPA in 1939....Minneopa State Park New Ulm Hermann Monument In New Ulm's Hermann Heights Park is 102 foot tall Stairway to the Dome Brickwork inside the Monument's Dome Spire at Martin Luther College from the Monument Lion on the Monument overlooks New Ulm The Hermann Statue is 32 foot tall New Ulm and the heavily wooded bluffs along the Minnesota River The Shelter House/Beach House at Flandrau State Park on the south side of New Ulm was built by the WPA in 1938
The Schell Brewery is a New Ulm landmark that's celebrating it's 150th Anniversary in 2010
Black-eyed Susan in the Schell Brewery Gardens Begonias at the Schell Brewery My campsite at Fort Ridgely State Park was a great place for Birding Arched Footbridge at the Campground Water Tower and Maintenance Building....Fort Ridgely State Park The Commissary Building, restored in the 1930s by the Veterans Conservation Corps is the only remaining building of Old Fort Ridgely Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel on the lawn near the Commissary Building Scene along the highway in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley
Last week I took a short vacation to Minnesota, a place I've traveled to in August eighteen of the last twenty-one Summers. I camped in state parks with my first stop being Sibley where I spent two nights. Sibley State Park was established in 1919, it was named for Minnesota's first governor, Henry Sibley, who enjoyed spending time in the area. The Civilian Conservation Corps known as the CCC did extensive work in the park beginning in 1935, they constructed roads and trails and also built several stone and log "rustic style" buildings. The area of the park is on the Alexandria Moraine which runs in a fairly narrow band through west-central Minnesota and is characterized by lakes, high hills, and forest. It's a beautiful place to spend time in late August.
Lake Andrew...swimming beach and boat dock West end of Lake Andrew Bee on a Wild Aster The next three photos are of buildings erected by the CCC in the 1930s. Note the stone drinking fountain, there are many throughout the park. Water tower Beautiful workmanship which has stood the test of time. Ruby-throated Hummingbird near the Visitor Center A stand of Paper Birch near the Campground Interpretive Center Goldenrod A small lake behind the Interpretive Center Observation Deck on Mount Tom...highest point in the park White-tailed Deer along the trail A view from the top of the Mount Tom Observation Deck Lily Pads Water Lily bloom