Color image of a Sioux quartzite cliff in Blue Mounds State Park, 2007.

Sioux quartzite cliff in Blue Mounds State Park

Sioux quartzite cliff in Blue Mounds State Park, 2007.

Color image of the Blue Mounds State Park, Upper Dam, ca. 1990s.

Upper Dam, Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park, Upper Dam, ca. 1990s.

Color image of a Bison herd, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Bison herd, Blue Mounds State Park

Bison herd, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Color image of the Mound hiking trail, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Mound hiking trail

Mound hiking trail, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Color image of a frozen prairie with distant bison herd, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Frozen prairie with distant bison herd

Frozen prairie with distant bison herd, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Color image of the Eagle Rock at sunset, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Eagle Rock at sunset

Eagle Rock at sunset, 2014. From the photograph collection of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Color image of adult bison and calves at Blue Mounds State Park, 2007. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Rigadoun.

Adult bison and calves at Blue Mounds State Park

Adult bison and calves at Blue Mounds State Park, 2007. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user Rigadoun.

Blue Mounds State Park

Blue Mounds State Park, named for a long, high Sioux quartzite cliff, is located in southwestern Minnesota on the Iowa and South Dakota borders. The cliff, one and one-half miles long and up to ninety feet high, appeared to be blue in color to the early Euro-American immigrants who saw it from a distance. A unique herd of bison, the largest North American mammal, makes its home in the park on 533 acres of native tall grass prairie, which escaped plowing due to poor soil quality.

Color image of a limestone seam under Stone Arch Bridge, 2016. Photograph by Paul Nelson.

Limestone seam under Stone Arch Bridge

Limestone seam under Stone Arch Bridge, 2016. Photograph by Paul Nelson.

Color image of a Platteville limestone seam in Fort Snelling State Park, 2016. Photograph by Paul Nelson.

Platteville limestone seam in Fort Snelling State Park

Platteville limestone seam in Fort Snelling State Park, 2016. Photograph by Paul Nelson.

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