What to See and Do

Built in 1853 to keep peace as settler-colonists poured into the former Dakota lands, this fort withstood several attacks in the US-Dakota War of 1862 and became a training ground for Civil War recruits. The stone foundations of the other fort buildings remain, and interpretive markers tell the fort's story, while the restored commissary building houses interpretive exhibits.

Highlights

  • Reconstructed 1853 fort foundations
  • Commissary building restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps (a federal employment program during the Great Depression)
  • Accessible trails with interpretive marker

Explore the grounds

Take a self-guided tour of the stone foundations of eight fort buildings that outline the way the fort looked during years of the Civil War and US-Dakota War. Walk in the footsteps of the soldiers who stayed here. Interpretive markers share the history and significance of each building. Explore the adjacent Fort Ridgely Cemetery for more history.

Stop by the commissary building

Visit the restored commissary and learn about the historic site through interpretive exhibits.

The commissary also includes a museum store where you can purchase books about the history of Fort Ridgely, and other items and souvenirs.

Visit our calendar for upcoming programs and events.

Enjoy Fort Ridgely State Park

The historic site is located within Fort Ridgely State Park. In the summer, hike or ride the park’s trails on horseback, fish the stocked pond or trout stream, camp (drive-in and walk-in sites are available), or stay overnight in the renovated farmhouse. In the winter, ski, snowmobile, or stay overnight at the chalet.

Have a group?

Call 507-508-2848 or email ftridgely@mnhs.org to schedule.

Field trips

Call 507-508-2848 or use the field trip request form to schedule.

Members always save

Minnesota Historical Society members receive free general admission and a 10% discount on purchases in MNHS stores and in our online store. Become an MNHS member today!