Indian Mounds Regional Park, Saint Paul

#9 of 13 in Parks in Saint Paul
Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Indian Mounds Regional Park

Hours: Sunrise to 11:00 PM

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General Customer Service:

Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm

Ph: 651-266-6400

Park Security:

Office: 651-772-6181

Park Watch: 651-646-3535

Park Permits, Operations & Maintenance:

Mon-Fri: 7am-3:30pm

Ph: 651-632-5111

The Mounds of Saint Paul contain six burial mounds atop the bluff, a reminder of Minnesota's history for future generations. At least 16 burial mounds originally sat on the high bluff. Nineteen more were located further down the bluff above Carver's Cave (now at the end of Cherry Street). Most in Indian Mounds Park were destroyed. It is clear that these mounds were added to by many later cultures over the centuries.

However, it is generally thought to be that the Hopewell findings created the original mounds, some dating to the beginning of the Christian era, or over 2,000 years. 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 internments 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 8 stone cists about 7 inches high and 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 especially the clay death mask belong to the Hopewellian period.


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. - Kay Woitas


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.

Note: The possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in this park.

[Taken from the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Website]
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Indian Mounds Regional Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
47 reviews
  • A very peaceful place for reflection and meditation. Amazing view of the St. Paul Downtown Skyline. A Must Visit in St Paul  more »
  • Six prehistoric Native American mounds have been preserved here, remnants of some 40 or so that once were located on this ridge overlooking the river and downtown St. Paul. There is some educational....  more »
  • This is a gorgeous, linear park with a fantastic view, but getting there might be an uphill battle depending on which end you come from. Paths are in good shape and foliage too is generally well kept. Most of the tempting bits are fenced off (for good reason!), but it's a nice afternoon stroll with some beautiful houses to ogle on the other side of the street.
  • Mounds Park has a beautiful view of downtown St Paul, the Mississippi river and the surrounding areas. This park is the perfect place to enjoy with family and friends for a leisurely stroll as well as learning history about the area. It has a playground and picnic areas. The overlooks are amazing.

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