Fort Snelling
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Visited 3.26.2019

Visit the Fort Snelling page here!

Fort Snelling sits where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet, at what was once the westernmost extent of civilization. Today, the massive double metropoli of Minneapolis/St. Paul surges all around the fort, and more importantly for at least the start of my visit to Fort Snelling, the seventeenth busiest airport in the United States, Minneapolis/Saint Paul International, exists directly the the fort's southwest.

As much as I would like to entrust my car's GPS system with my desired destinations without bothering to look at actual maps, I frequently find that the technology isn't quite as far along as I think we all might wish.
I therefore found myself directed to an entrance to Fort Snelling State Park that was not only closed due to flooding, but also at the wrong side of the park to even get to Fort Snelling (although I didn't learn that there was a better way in until later). Having driven 1,202.5 miles more or less specifically to get to Fort Snelling, I wasn't about to let some flooding, or even the fact that the park appeared to be closed, to stop me from at least hiking in and seeing what was what. More than once, a simple reconnaissance has turned a potential fruitless disappointment into a full-blown starfort visit!
Well, the whole story of what transpired shortly thereafter is available in the captions on the full-sized pictures on this page should you be interested, but suffice it to say, the security forces that police our nation's major airports do not take kindly to mysterious vehicles being left parked under flightpaths, even vehicles as unassuming as mine. I was the lucky beneficiary of a patdown and brief ride in an Airport Police vehicle, was returned to my vehicle and politely told not to do that again.

Fortunately, in this process I was able to get directions to the park entrance from which I actually could access Fort Snelling! Fort Snelling became a huge military base during the 20th century, and Fort Snelling State Park is pretty hitting the Tower Avenue entrance to the park is a big part of actually getting to the fort itself.
Because Fort Snelling had developed into such a huge base, Minneapolis was unable to encroach into its margins, and the fort itself is surrounded with woodland, which is criscrossed with paved nature trails. Again, flooding was an issue when I visited, so I wasn't able to partake of much of those trails, but I had full access to what I came to see, which was the masonry fort.

Fort Snelling was naturally closed for the season (one can expect to stroll into Gulf Coast starforts in March, but not many in the northeast slash northmidwest are open year 'round), but I managed to get around, in and under this historic edifice...without scaling any walls.
Though I wound up having a spectacularly productive visit to Fort Snelling, I was not able to get into its Visitors Center, and thus missed out on the sought-after gift shop experience.

Each of the pictures on this page is a thumbnail, the clicking-upon of which will bring you to its full-sized counterpart. Won't you join me?
Helpfully, there are several informational signs scattered around Fort Snelling. Links to images of these signs appear with the full-sized pic taken closest to where they were found, but if for some weird reason you want to leap straight to those signs, without the all-important context of their location, then by all means, who am I to deny you your desire.