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Contact: Glen Livermont, 507-825-5464
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 18, 2015
Media contacts: Glen Livermont, Superintendent, Pipestone National Monument, 507-825-5464; Alex Watson, DNR Parks and Trails Regional Naturalist, 507-359-6062
Public invited to First Day Hike at Pipestone National Monument on Jan. 1
Start the year off with a healthy and educational walk in the outdoors, plus help celebrate a special year for both the National Park and Minnesota State Park systems.In 2016, the National Park System celebrates their 100thanniversary and Minnesota State Parks celebrate their 125thanniversary.
On Jan. 1, park staff from both Pipestone National Monument and Blue Mounds State Park will guide visitors around the historic Circle Trail, Winnewissa Falls, quartzite cliffs, and the pipestone quarries near the town of Pipestone.
A quarrier will talk about the physically demanding process to remove pipestone and discuss the art of carving and shaping the rock.For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer.The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue at the site.
To participate in the First Day Hike, meet at the parking lot in front of the Pipestone National Monument visitor center at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1.No reservations are required.Wear shoes and clothing appropriate for walking on a winter morning.Be prepared for slippery and uneven walking conditions. Bring drinking water. The hike will last approximately an hour and a half. Bathrooms are available in the visitor center.There is no fee to participate.For more information on Pipestone National Monument, visit www.nps.gov/pipe/index.htm.
First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to get people outdoors, with over 400 hikes scheduled this year in all 50 states. First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year outdoors by taking a healthy hike at a state park or National Park site. For more information on First Day Hikes, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/firstdayhike.html.
Look for other co-led events by Blue Mounds State Park and Pipestone National Monument in 2016, and help celebrate National and State Parks.