Minidoka National Historic Site is continuing the process of development. Visitors to the historic site can now explore the story of the incarceration of Japanese Americans at Minidoka War Relocation Center during World War II by walking the 1.6 mile interpretive trail. Twenty three outdoor exhibit panels tell the story of the people, the historic structures, and the cultural landscape preserved at the site.
Historic images, quotations by former incarcerees, audio units, and diagrams help visitors understand the complex story of the forced removal and relocation of almost 13,000 people from western Washington, Oregon, and Alaska to Idaho.
Interpretive exhibit panels tell varied stories: the fear and prejudice facing people of Japanese ancestry before and after Pearl Harbor; the relocation of Japanese Americans from their homes to assembly centers and finally to Minidoka; the uncertainty among those incarcerated as to their future; the creation of the seventh largest city in Idaho; everyday life in the camp; loyalty and sacrifice; and the transformation of sagebrush desert into productive agricultural land.
Construction of the interpretive trail began in the spring of 2011. Local contractors graded the trail, laid the surface, and installed the benches. As portions of the trail were constructed park staff and volunteers installed the interpretive panels. Ten benches were installed along the trail to give visitors a chance to rest and reflect upon the history of the site.
The trail was completed in 2012. The trail utilizes portions of the historic pathways which winds through sections of the administrative and residential area.
Three trailhead signs provide visitors with a map and information about sections of the camp. Directional signs point walkers to specific buildings and landscapes.