Hours for the bison range road at Minneopa State Park will change for the winter due to decreasing daylight hours. Starting Nov. 1, the range road will be open Thursday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The road will be closed on Wednesdays for regular maintenance.
Hiking trails around the bison range provide additional bison-viewing opportunities. Trails are open daily year-round during regular park hours.
There is no charge to view the bison, but a vehicle permit ($7 daily or $35 year-round) is required to enter the park.
Minneopa’s bison herd has been a popular attraction for the park since it arrived in September 2015.
The bison are part of the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd, managed through a formal agreement between the DNR and Minnesota Zoo. The partners are working together to preserve American plains bison. The plan is to grow the herd at several locations including Blue Mounds State Park, Minneopa State Park and the Minnesota Zoo. The goal is a 500-animal herd at multiple locations.
Bison viewing tips:
- Bison may be difficult to spot at times. Visitors should drive slowly and keep a watchful eye as they go through the range.
- Remain inside vehicle while driving through the bison range.
- Bison should be given clearance of at least 75 feet from people and vehicles at all times.
- Dogs can make bison nervous, so pets must be kept on a leash while in the park and hiking around the bison range.
- Bison get nervous around loud noises or lots of activity, so keeping voices down and movements to a minimum may help keep the bison within easy viewing.
- Hiking is not allowed inside the range, but there are hiking trails all the way around the outside of the range that can provide views of the bison.
For information on the Minneopa State Park bison herd, see www.mndnr.gov/minneopa-bison.
Resources on bison can be found at www.mndnr.gov/bison.
For more information on Minneopa State Park, call 507-389-5464 or visit www.mndnr.gov/minneopa.