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