"Rushing Falls" by NPS/N.Barber , public domain

Pipestone

National Monument - Minnesota

Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. The catlinite, or "pipestone", has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes, vitally important to traditional Plains Indian religious practices. The quarries are sacred to many of the tribes of North America, including the Dakota, Lakota, and other tribes of Native Americans, and were neutral territory where all Nations could quarry stone for ceremonial pipes. The Sioux tribes may have taken control of the quarries around 1700, but the Minnesota pipestone has been found inside North American burial mounds dating from long before that, and ancient Indian trails leading to the area suggest pipestone may have been quarried there for many centuries.

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Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/pipe/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipestone_National_Monument Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. The catlinite, or "pipestone", has been traditionally used to make ceremonial pipes, vitally important to traditional Plains Indian religious practices. The quarries are sacred to many of the tribes of North America, including the Dakota, Lakota, and other tribes of Native Americans, and were neutral territory where all Nations could quarry stone for ceremonial pipes. The Sioux tribes may have taken control of the quarries around 1700, but the Minnesota pipestone has been found inside North American burial mounds dating from long before that, and ancient Indian trails leading to the area suggest pipestone may have been quarried there for many centuries. For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe's smoke carries one's prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue here today. Plane: Commercial service - located at Sioux Falls, SD -Joe Foss Field airport. 50 miles from Pipestone National Monument. Rental cars are available at the airport. Non-Commercial service - located at Pipestone MN airport. Courtesy car or transit service available to Pipestone National Monument from the airport. Car: Pipestone National Monument is easily accessible from local highways. When you reach the city of Pipestone, road signs will lead you to Pipestone National Monument. Visitor Center Open daily from 8:30 - 4:30 central time. Admission is free and includes exhibits, a film, and park store. The park's 22-minute film is also available to watch on the website's homepage. The 3/4-mile paved trail is always open and free to walk. From I-90, take either US Hwy 75 or MN Hwy 23 north for ~30 miles to the town of Pipestone. The entrance road to the park is located off of Hiawatha Ave., which cuts through downtown. From I-29, take the exit for SD Hwy 34. This turns into MN Hwy 30 and brings you directly to Pipestone. Take a left of Hiawatha Ave., which brings you to the entrance road of the park. Sioux Quartzite Cliffs Pink wall of rock next to path and grass The outcroppings along the trail are a surprise to many visitors expecting a flat prairie Tallgrass Prairie Purple and yellow wildflowers in a field of tall grass The tallgrass prairie is an explosion of color spring through fall Snowshoeing the Circle Trail A couple outside in snowshoes smiling at the camera Snowshoeing is available for free after January 1st Pulling Pipestone A sheet of stone being taken off a thick slab of stone in a quarry pit It can take months or even years to reach the pipestone layer in a quarry pit. Jr. Ranger Camp Programs A woman standing next to a little girl helping her make a clay pot Kids have opportunities throughout the summer for hands-on activities Breaking Through A man in a quarry pit swings a hammer as a woman watches Quarriers must break through over 6 feet of quartzite to reach the pipestone layer Learning to Carve Pipestone A man watches over a woman as she saws a piece of stone Travis Erickson teaches new carver, Jessica Arkeketa, how to make a pipe Winnewissa Falls in Winter A waterfall partially surrounded by ice Winnewissa Falls is a favorite spot for visitors all year long Teaching the Next Generation A man works with tools in a quarry as kids watch Quarrier and carver Francis Eastman teaches Indigenous youth how to quarry Aaron Prim Breaking Through Quartzite A man in a quarry pit holding a sledge hammer Quarrier Aaron Prim working his way through 6 feet of quartzite to reach pipestone Sunrise over Pipestone Creek Sun reflecting off of water through a canopy of trees The 3/4-mile Circle Trail is open 7 days a week all year for visitors to enjoy Day Trips From Pipestone There are several sites with history and resources related to Pipestone National Monument that can be visited in a day. If visitors are staying around Pipestone, Minnesota for a day or two, here are a few ideas for day trips. A map with marked points of interest 2019 Connecting with our Homelands Awardees Hopa Mountain, in partnership with the National Park Service, is pleased to announce the 2019 awardees of the Connecting with our Homelands travel grants. Twenty-one Indigenous organizations, schools, and nonprofits have been awarded travel funds for trips to national park units across 12 states/territories within the United States. An elder and young student talk while sitting on a rock. Wildland Fire in Tallgrass Prairie: Midwestern United States Prairies depend on fire to maintain the ecosystem stability and diversity. One benefit of fire in this community is the elimination of invasive plants, thereby helping to shape and maintain the prairie. Bison grazing in recently burned area. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] hikers below rock face Early Explorers Before George Catlin European fur traders and explorers documented and visited the quarries over 100 years before George Catlin made them famous. Learn more about their accounts, adventures, and exploits. Romanticized drawing of a great plains explorer The Men of Nicollet Rock In 1838, Joseph Nicollet's expedition to map the region between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers came through the pipestone quarries. The expedition camped for several days at the quarries and six men carved their initials (still visible today) into one of the rocks near Winnewissa Falls. This article provides brief snapshots into the fascinating lives of these men. 3 portraits of men Digital Circle Trail Tour Cultural, historical, and natural points of interest on the Monument's 3/4-mile Circle Trail. Map of trail with features pointed out Little Fish on the Prairie: The Tale of the Topeka Shiner The only federally endangered species found at Pipestone National Monument is the Topeka shiner. This small plains fish could once be found throughout the Midwest, but now inhabits less than 20% of its historic range. A small fish among rocks Nicollet Rock Joseph Nicollet, a Frenchman by birth and the first to lead a mapmaking expedition undertaken by the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers, made the first extensive map of the Upper Mississippi drainage between 1836 and 1840. His group's expedition in 1838 was the first to map the area that contained the pipestone quarries today within Pipestone National Monument. Rock with initials carved into it The Bats of Pipestone National Monument Learn more about the bats of Pipestone National Monument, the threats they face, and how you can help them. Big brown bat on the side of a building The Power of the Pipe The sacred pipe is often misunderstood as simply a 'peace pipe.' Read more about why it's misunderstood, some of the roles it plays in Native American lives, and the incredible story of how Sitting Bull's pipe helped restore his reputation among his fellow warriors. Photograph of Sitting Bull holding his pipe Blood and Stone: The Many Stories of the Pipestone Quarries The recorded oral traditions that connect a multitude of tribal nations to the pipestone quarries. While they were often recorded by non-Native individuals, they provide a glimpse into the meaning of the quarries as space of great significance to many American Indian people. Exhibit Quarry Pipestone Indian Reservation An overview of the history of The Pipestone Indian Reservation, preserved at Pipestone National Monument. An image of a survey map of the Pipestone Indian Reservation The Gift of the Pipe Black Elk's story about the gift of the pipe by White Buffalo Calf Woman, as recorded and edited by Joseph Epes Brown. Black Elk and Elk Unktehi and the Flood as told by Lame Deer The Great Plains Indian tribes represent a rich and varied tapestry of unique customs, languages, and ideas. Each tribe is distinct, holding their own sets of beliefs and oral traditions. However, similar or parallel figures sometimes appear in the oral histories of multiple tribes. One such figure is that of a horned water monster or serpent. Drawings of 2 water monsters on a tipi The Medicine Wheel Answers to a few of the more basic questions visitors often ask about the medicine wheel. Photo of medicine wheel made of rocks on a hillside Volunteer Bird Monitoring at Pipestone National Monument Heartland Network staff and volunteers monitor birds within the park during the Spring-breeding season. Volunteers are key to the success of this monitoring effort as they are able to survey birds in years when the Heartland Network is not scheduled to do so. This allows Heartland staff to establish continuous records on bird population trends for the park. Northern Cardinal Bird Community Monitoring at Pipestone National Monument Scientists have recorded 92 bird species in the park over the last 9 years. Eighty of which are breeding species found in the park. The Bobolink, Common Grackle, and Clay-colored Sparrow were the most common. Six species recorded were considered species of concern for the region. Bobolink at Pipestone National Monument. Prairie Plant Community Monitoring at Pipestone National Monument There are three prairie types at Pipestone National Monument, including a rare type called Sioux quartzite prairie. We monitor the park prairies to understand how they might be changing over time and to evaluate the effectiveness of park management efforts—like prescribed fire—in maintaining healthy prairies. Yellow and purple petaled flowers in a field of green plants. Fish Communities at Pipestone National Monument An important part of tallgrass prairies is stream health. Many fish are sensitive and serve as indicators of stream health. Creek at Pipestone National Monument Aquatic Invertebrate Community Monitoring at Pipestone National Monument Aquatic invertebrates, the insect larvae, worms, crayfish and other invertebrates living in a creek tell managers much about stream health. Pipestone Creek National Park Getaway: Pipestone National Monument Pipestone National Monument protects both a resource and the rights of American Indians to extract that same resource. For 3,000 years, Indigenous people from across the continent have travelled here to quarry a soft, red stone (pipestone) to carve into pipes used in prayer and ceremonies. Pipes from this site have been traded for centuries from New York to Montana and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Cultural demonstrator working with a child on an art project Inkpaduta at the Pipestone Quarries A snapshot of the life of Inkpaduta, the Dakota leader involved in the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857 who later participated in the Battle of the Little Big Horn against Custer. Photo of a man superimposed over prairie grass and a sign Quarrying and Grit: What it Takes Quarrying pipestone is a difficult task that requires strenuous physical effort, the right tools, and an abundance of patience. Learn more about what it takes to get to the pipestone layer. A man removing a large boulder from a quarry wall Quarrying: The Unbroken Legacy The physical quarrying of pipestone is often an unappreciated part of the tradition surrounding pipemaking and pipestone crafts. The tools and methods used today are not far removed from those of the distant past. Learn more about the legacy that lives on today at Pipestone National Monument. A man and woman quarrying together Quarry History Learn more about the history of the quarries and how they became a national monument. American Indians quarrying pipestone Pipestone National Monument Cultural Landscape The quarrying of catlinite, or pipestone, remains an important cultural tradition for many individuals and Native American tribal nations. After extraction, the pipestone is carved into pipes for ceremonial use and smaller pieces are often carved into other objects. The Pipestone National Monument landscape preserves the history of quarrying, the CCC-ID, and land rights, and continues to protect access to the landscape and its resources for quarrying and ceremonies. A group of people stand in the grass at the edge of an open rocky quarry Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains The Precambrian The Precambrian was the "Age of Early Life." During the Precambrian, continents formed and our modern atmosphere developed, while early life evolved and flourished. Soft-bodied creatures like worms and jellyfish lived in the world's oceans, but the land remained barren. Common Precambrian fossils include stromatolites and similar structures, which are traces of mats of algae-like microorganisms, and microfossils of other microorganisms. fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Proterozoic Eon—2.5 Billion to 541 MYA The Proterozoic Eon is the most recent division of the Precambrian. It is also the longest geologic eon, beginning 2.5 billion years ago and ending 541 million years ago fossil stromatolites in a cliff face Special Use Permits Activities and events such as weddings, gatherings of more than 25 people, handing out literature, and more require a permit. Find out how to apply for one here! man photographing bride and groom outdoors Commercial Filming & Photography Find out about the permit requirements for commercial filming and photography in Pipestone National Monument. Silhouette of a man taking a photo at sunset with a camera on a tripod Mission 66 at Pipestone National Monument The story behind Mission 66 at Pipestone National Monument. The visitor center, built in 1958, was one of the first to be completed under Mission 66 and an example of the program's success. Black and white photo of a line of people cutting a ribbon in front of a building

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