The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language and is interpreted to mean “water falling twice,” referring to the beautiful waterfalls of the Minneopa Creek. Walk the trail which encircles the falls, leading down a limestone stairway to the valley below. Ascend the opposite side and enjoy a panoramic view of the valley which reveals the underlying geology of this area. Visit Seppmann Mill, a wind driven grist mill fashioned in German style from native stone and lumber, or hike through oak savanna and native prairie grasslands overlooking the scenic Minnesota River Valley.
- Bison Herd
- Lake/River Access
Bison have been reintroduced to Minneopa State Park just outside of Mankato. This herd of 20 is unique, having high quality genetics descending from the type of bison Lewis and Clark gazed upon in the 1830s. The Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd is managed in partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Zoo to preserve genetically diverse bison for the enjoyment of all people. Visitors can drive through the enclosed 331 acres of the park to catch a glimpse at these beautiful giants. The bison like to roam, so sightings are not guaranteed.
Bison Drive Hours and Information
When The Bison Drive Road is open, hours are Thursday-Tuesday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. The Bison Drive Road is closed on Wednesdays for maintenance. Please be sure to exit the bison range before the posted closing times.
To ensure stable road conditions, seasonal closures may occur due to rapidly melting snow throughout the freeze/thaw cycle, which results in poor and unsafe road conditions. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will alert of such closures on the Minneopa State Park State webpage.
Bison Viewing Tips
- The bison are free to roam 331 acres, so they may be difficult to spot at times. Keep a watchful eye as you drive through the range and take advantage of the Seppmann Mill overlook to help spot them.
- Remain inside your vehicle at all times while within the bison range.
- Bison can be dangerous animals, especially when calves are present. Always give bison clearance of at least 75 feet.
- Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
- Respect the bison fence, do not climb or pull on fence wires.
- Bison get nervous around loud noises or lots of activity, keep your voices down and movements to a minimum to help keep the bison within easy viewing.
- Hiking is not allowed inside the range, but there are hiking trails all the way around the outside of the range.
For more information on The Minnesota Bison Conversation Herd Go>
For more information on the bison at Minneopa Go>