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Pipestone National Monument is 1 mile north of Pipestone on US 75, then half a mile west. Within its 300 acres are pipestone quarries that yielded red stone used to fashion ceremonial pipes. According to one Native American legend, the quarry site was discovered by a woman who followed a white bison to a spot where its hooves turned the rocks red.
The visitor center shows a 20-minute orientation film and contains a museum with exhibits relating to the history of these ceremonial pipes. There's also a petroglyph display and exhibits about the area's human history.
From late April through October visitors can watch Native American artisans working with the stone as they recount the history of their craft and the quarries. The .75-mile Circle Trail winds through a tall grass prairie, with views of the quarries, stone profiles, geologic formations, Winnewissa Falls, Lake Hiawatha and Leaping Rock.
Pipestone pipes and other items can be purchased in the Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center adjoining the visitor center. Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Daily 8-5. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission (valid for 7 days) $7 per person; free (ages 0-15). Annual passes also are available. Phone (507) 825-5464.
GEM Description
According to Indian legend, a white bison turned the local stone red, the same stone used to fashion ceremonial pipes.
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Current Location: Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota