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The Indian Mounds Trail runs through the regional park located atop the Mississippi's eastern bluffs, with a fabulous view of Downtown St. Paul & the Mississippi River. This is one of the few places to observe multiple forms of transportation: trains, planes at the St. Paul Downtown Airport (Holman Field), shipping with tugboats and barges, cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, running and walking all at the same time. It is a popular location for taking pictures of sunsets and the city lights any time of year.
There are six remaining, of 19, Hopewell culture burial mounds that lend the park its name. The mounds, which are fenced off, date back to over 1500 years ago. They are considered sacred and restricted from climbing. A landscape study in 2019 led to the discovery of more culturally significant areas of the park, and that, combined with the deterioration of the pedestrian trail along the bluffs, led to the removal and relocation of parts of the park’s trails. In 2020, improvements began on the shared use trail along Mounds Boulevard, with spurs leading to designated overlooks where trail users could still catch the scenic views the park is so popular for.
The park is also home to a 110-foot-high steel tower ‘airway’ beacon, a memento of a bygone era of aviation and one of the few of this style still in operation. The beacon was built in 1929 by the St. Paul Structural Company and was restored in 1995. The rotating beacon has a 24-inch mirror with one kilowatt lamp that completes one rotation every ten seconds.
Park amenities include parking, restrooms, a children's playground, large picnic areas, pavilions, and tennis courts and public art. For the nature enthusiasts, eagles, deer, turkeys, raccoons and foxes are often seen just a mile from downtown. You can download a map from the St. Paul website for the “Tree Trek” a mile-long walking route, parts of which are along the main shared use path, where users can explore and learn about 28 different trees species.
The Indian Mounds Regional Trail offers connections to other popular trails. At its east end, at the intersection of Warner & N. Fish Hatchery Roads is where Sam Morgan Regional Trail & Fish Hatchery Trail meet. The trail takes you to the newly complete Johnson Parkway Trail which is part of the St. Paul Grand Round. On the west end the trail joins Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, Bruce Vento Regional Trail.
Park within Indian Mounds Regional Park is located along Mounds Boulevard. There is a parking lot just east of the Earl St & Mounds Blvd intersection on the bluff side of the Boulevard, near the pavilion. West parking can be found at the overlook between Cherry and Plum Streets.
There is unimproved parking at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary at the west end of the trail, under Kellogg Boulevard.
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