Visit Mankato

Visit Bison at Minneopa State Park

Posted: June 25, 2020

Bison have been reintroduced to Minneopa State Park just outside of Mankato. This herd of 20 is unique, having high quality genetics descending from the type of bison Lewis and Clark gazed upon in the 1830s. The Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd is managed in partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Zoo to preserve genetically diverse bison for the enjoyment of all people.Visitors can drive through the enclosed 331 acres of the park to catch a glimpse at these beautiful giants. The bison like to roam, so sightings are not guaranteed.

Bison Drive Hours and Information

When The Bison Drive Road is open, hours are Thursday-Tuesday 9:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. The Bison Drive Road is closed on Wednesdays for maintenance. Bison drive road gates will close at 3:30 p.m. sharp, so please exit the range before closing time.

Periodic Closure
To ensure stable road conditions, seasonal closures may occur due to rapidly melting snow throughout the freeze/thaw cycle, which results in poor and unsafe road conditions. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will alert of such closures on the Minneopa State Park State webpage.

Bison Viewing Tips

  • The bison are free to roam 331 acres, so they may be difficult to spot at times. Keep a watchful eye as you drive through the range and take advantage of the Seppmann Mill overlook to help spot them.
  • Remain inside your vehicle at all times while within the bison range.
  • Bison can be dangerous animals, especially when calves are present. Always give bison clearance of at least 75 feet.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Respect the bison fence, do not climb or pull on fence wires.
  • Bison get nervous around loud noises or lots of activity, keep your voices down and movements to a minimum to 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.

For more information on The Minnesota Bison Conversation Herd Go>

For more information on the bison at Minneopa Go>

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