After January 1st, the park stops clearing snow from the 3/4-mile Circle Trail to allow for snowshoeing during the winter season. The South Quarry Trail will still be plowed in order to allow easier access from the Three Maidens to the Visitor Center (approximately a 1/4-mile).
Snowshoes may be checked out for free any time the Visitor Center is open and must be returned before closing the same day. Adult and child sizes are available. Visitors may also bring their own snowshoes if they choose to. To protect park resources, including wildlife habitat, snowshoes must stay on the Circle Trail.
If you have never snowshoed before, park staff will gladly show you how to put on and use the snowshoes. Guided snowshoe hikes are dependant on staffing levels.
The Circle Trail, which begins and ends at the Visitor Center, is a paved walking trail that leads to several points of interest at Pipestone National Monument.
We suggest allotting 45 minutes to an hour for the entire walk. Features along the trail include the pipestone quarries, historical markers, Old Stone Face, Winnewissa Falls, and native tallgrass prairie. Trail guides are available for loan or purchase in the Visitor Center. Several benches are placed along the trail. While the trail is not American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant, it may be wheelchair accessible with some assistance (see Accessibility).
Weather in Minnesota is variable. Be prepared for seasonal conditions and rapidly-changing weather.
The Circle Trail is open year-round. Seasonal area closures for hazards such as snow and ice may be in effect.
The picnic area is located next to the Three Maidens along the entrance road to the Visitor Center. There are picnic tables, a restroom, and the Three Maidens feature (please do not climb on the rocks).
Last updated: January 21, 2020