Trip Planner:   USA  /  Minnesota  /  Saint Paul  /  Historic Sites  /  Historic Fort Snelling
Historic Fort Snelling, Saint Paul
(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.
Source
Create a full Saint Paul itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Saint Paul

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Saint Paul by other users

35 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWEDEN July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM SERBIA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Saint Paul BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in United States BY A USER FROM LATVIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in United States BY A USER FROM VENEZUELA October, kids, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: September, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A great historical resource year round, it is especially fun and educational during special events when re-enactments add to the historical experience of being at an important Minnesota history icon. 
  • Having seen wooden forts in the movies, I was surprised to see this fort has stone walls !! It brings history to life, with the reenactors, providing a great atmosphere and a chance to step back in ti...  more »
  • My husband and I went on the CSI Tour on October 22nd it was fun we got to try to solve a murder mystery I kind of got it right we had a great time I would do it again and so would my husband I'd reco...  more »
Google
  • Much better than my last visit (which was also very enjoyable) they have been really working towards making this a first class historical sight!
  • Cool park. It's really cool all year (even though you can't go inside the fort in the winter).
  • I have taken my kids a couple of times, worth learn about the history of the area. People in costumes make it fun and easier to imagine what it was to live back then in the Fort.
  • 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.
  • Great place to visit on foot, bike, etc. History plus great recreation paths for miles! Enjoy.