Indian Mounds Regional Park
About Indian Mounds Regional Park
Indian Mounds Regional Park is home to six Native American burial mounds high atop 450 million-year-old limestone and sandstone bluffs overlooking downtown Saint Paul. The mounds serve as a reminder of Minnesota's history for future generations. At least sixteen burial mounds originally existed on the bluff top. Nineteen more were located further down the bluff above Wakan Tipi, also known as Carver's Cave.
It is thought that the mounds were created approximately 1500-2,000 years ago by the Hopewellians and later added to by the Dakota. In the mid-1800s, several scientists with an interest in Minnesota's prehistory -- Edward Duffield Neill in 1856, and later the Minnesota Historical Society under the leadership of Colonel DA Robertson excavated the remaining mounds. T.H. Lewis, however, contributed most of the information on his later series of excavations.
Several types of burials were found in both Mounds Park and Dayton's Bluff. Most common were simple interments frequently accompanied by mussel shells and occasionally a projectile point. Small bundle burials were found in the upper parts of several mounds -- these were placed there by later peoples. Log tombs were found at the base of at least 3 mounds. A pit burial was found in one mound. In two of the Indian mounds were eight stone cists about 7 inches high made of thin limestone slabs set upright. Human bones were found in each cist and were accompanied by grave offerings, including shells, perforated bear teeth, copper ornaments, and a piece of hammered sheet copper, as well as the usual number of projectile points.
Among the more startling discoveries was a skull covered with red clay producing the image of the original face. Nothing similar to this "death mask" had ever been found by archaeologists in mounds or ancient graves. The mask was removed intact during that excavation. The log tombs, hammered sheet copper and the clay death mask belong to the Hopewellian period.
Master Plan Approved
Natural Resource Management Plan
Indian Mounds 1957 Handout
Indian Mounds Archeological Info
Please Respect The Mounds
Few citizens of Saint Paul realize this great treasure of the past they possess in Indian Mounds Park, remnants of one of mankind's earliest organized civilizations, a civilization that prospered while there were still pharaohs in Egypt and great dynasties in China. So please respect these burial mounds, sacred for over 2,000 years, to the first people of Minnesota. They are the graves of their ancestors, not observation decks or playgrounds.
PARK RESERVATION INFORMATION
Large Shelter seats approximately 80 people. Electricity is available at a 110 volts. Multiple crock pots, coffee pots, roasters and other electric items may cause overloads on the power source.
Small Shelter seats approximately 30 people. Electricity is available at a 110 volts. Multiple crock pots, coffee pots, roasters and other electric items may cause overloads on the power source.
Also available are the following: drinking fountains, 1 restroom building, paved trails, 1 tot lot, 1 ball field, 2 tennis courts, scenic overlook, burial mounds and barbecue grills which are located around the site.
**Please note that during the 2014 picnic season the playground at Mounds will be under construction.**
Note: The possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in this park.
Indian Mounds Map
Indian Mounds Park Photo Gallery
Picnic Reservation Rates
Picnic Shelter Calendars
Please call the Park Permit Office at 651-632-5111 for more information or to make a reservation. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Take the Indian Mounds Park Tree Trek!
Want to learn more
about the trees growing in Saint Paul? Explore the new Tree Trek at Mounds Park and learn about 30 different trees located along a relaxing
walk through the park. From blooming crabapples to magnificent bur and
white oaks the trail offers great trees, history, and views of Saint
Paul. The trek begins at the pavilion located at the intersection of
Mounds Boulevard and Earl Street.
The Tree Trek
was initially brought to the City of Saint Paul & The University of
Minnesota’s Urban Forestry Departments by Steve Trimble, a Dayton’s
Bluff resident. Steve saw an opportunity for recreation and education
within the park using its trees. His vision was to create a path through
the park that had stops at some of the trees. The trees would then have
a sign that would give some facts about the tree species. With the
combined efforts of The City and University’s staff the vision came to