Golfers can enjoy natural scenery, local history and a challenging game as the golf course open for the season, April 14, at Fort Ridgely State Park, south of Fairfax, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“The layout features long fairways heavily lined by trees, rolling hills and large greens,” said Arlyn Boddy, course manager. “It’s a scenic course, but that’s just one of the many reasons people should play it.”
The 2,739-yard, par-35 course lies within the park, on the north bluff of the Minnesota River Valley. The course uses the natural features of the park in its design. It is a walk-only course and no tee time reservations are required. Weekday rates are $9 for nine holes or $14 for all-day unlimited play. Weekend and holiday rates are $13 for nine holes or $18 per day. Punch cards and season passes are available. Pull carts and golf clubs are available to rent.
The state park is named after a military post, built on the site in 1853 as a U.S. military garrison on Minnesota’s frontier. The post provided protection for the newly settled lands of the area and played a prominent role in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. A historic site managed by the Minnesota Historical Society, tells the story of the fort’s past with signage, exhibits and an interpretive center.
The park is six miles south of Fairfax or 12 miles north of Sleepy Eye, off of Highway 4. A Minnesota state parks vehicle permit ($5/one-day or $25/year-round) is required for entrance. Permits can be purchased at the park office.