Trip Planner USA  /  Minnesota  /  Saint Paul  /  Historic Sites  /  Historic Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling, Saint Paul

Categories: Historic Sites, Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
The history of this place is more than just the story of the fort itself. The junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers is a place of major social, cultural, and historical significance to all people inhabiting the region, a place whose history evokes both pride and pain. It is a place of cultural importance to many Dakota people as a historical gathering place, the site of the B'dote creation story, and as a place of Dakota internment and exile after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

This area was also the crossroads of two major river highways of the fur trade, one of the most lucrative businesses during the 19th century. After the War of 1812, the U.S. government established its strategic presence at the river junction with the arrival of military forces and an Indian agent, whose goals were to promote and protect the interests of the United States in the region's fur trade and to gain the friendship and cooperation of American Indian communities. The establishment of the fort and Indian Agency became a foothold of U.S. expansionism in the territory that would become Minnesota.

Fort Snelling also played an important role in the great conflict over slavery in the United States. During the 1820s and 1830s, it is estimated that between 15 and 30 enslaved people lived and worked at Fort Snelling at any given time, in spite of the fact that the Missouri Compromise (1820) made slavery illegal in the region. Dred and Harriet Scott, two enslaved African Americans, used their time held at Fort Snelling as part of their decade-long legal battle to gain freedom for themselves and their children.

Located on top of the bluff overlooking the river junction, Fort Snelling served the U.S. military for over 120 years, through conflicts at home and abroad, and thousands of Minnesotans received their first taste of military service within its walls. By the late 20th century its national cemetery became the site of the final resting place for more than 180,000 men and women who served in the armed forces. Today, the historic fort has been restored to its early 19th century appearance, and the site's living history program brings the past to life!
Plan to visit Historic Fort Snelling during your Saint Paul vacation using our convenient Saint Paul itinerary maker.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • Located on the east side of the airport this nine hole golf course is a 5 minute drive from the main terminal. In generally marginal condition, it can be walked in two hours or less. There are rather ...  read more »
  • One of the best spots in the Twin Cities to spend a summer's day. A crown jewel of the MN Historic Society. Their living history program is a model for historic sites. Learn about the history of the f...  read more »
  • Great place to get lost for a day. The tours are interactive and you learn so much. If you take the bikes you can go on the trails or if you prefer to walk, there are some great loops on Pike Island. ...  read more »
  • Cool park. It's really cool all year (even though you can't go inside the fort in the winter).
  • This Google posting is incorrect for Memorial Day. Historic Fort Snelling is generally closed on Mondays during the summer season, but is open on the Monday holidays of Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. Come and join us for some spectacular events and the best in "Living History" education about our state's and country's past. We know who we are and where we're going by knowing who we were and where we've been!
  • Fort Snelling is awesome. They have tons of reenactors and do different army demonstrations throughout the day. Great family spot if your looking for some where to take your kids this summer.
  • Much better than my last visit (which was also very enjoyable) they have been really working towards making this a first class historical sight!
  • HavenĀ“t gone but from the research it looks amazing ! #UNICORNHOTDOG#JUSTDOIT#YOLO
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m