Blue Mounds State Park is in Rock County near the town of Luverne.
Named for the linear escarpment of Precambrian Sioux Quartzite bedrock you can see protruding from the prairie polka-dotting the landscape.
The old quartzite quarries in the park were owned and operated by the Luverne Granite Company.
The stone was used to construct many local buildings, such as the Rock County Courthouse, the old city hall, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Hinkly House.
Blue Mound is an incredible place to hike, so much so it ended up on Explore Minnesota’s 10 Fall Hikes!
I was lucky enough to hike through the prairie to find all kinds of different wildflowers, quartzite outcrops, tipi structures that you can camp in, and hoards of bison.
I also spent time walking through the bur oak along the cliffs.
The cliffs are a mile and a half long and rise up to 90 feet.
Early settlers thought the cliffs looked blue in the distance, hence the name.
It is said that Plains Indians used the cliffs to force buffalo to jump, making them easier to kill (totally unsubstantiated but who doesn’t love good folklore).
Speaking of buffalo; Blue Mound is home to over 100 bison.
The herd is among the most genetically pure in the country.
They roam freely in fenced in areas as visitors are cautioned to stay distanced from.
The park is also home to coyote, deer, various birds, Topeka Shiner (an endangered minnow), the prickly pear cactus, and the lined snake.
This post was brought to you by Explore Minnesota, but opinions are all my own.