|Grasslands near the banks of Plum Creek.|
Laura Ingalls Wilder fans can walk in the steps of the famous author and her family when they visit their home site in Walnut Grove, Minn. The site is located on a plot of land owned by a family, who generously allows visitors to check out places described in the story for a small fee.
One of the features included at the Ingalls' Dugout Site north of Walnut Grove includes two walking trails.
According to a note from The Gordons:
Signs located throughout the walking path give a map of the area and other information. Each trail takes about 20 minutes to walk. While walking around the area be respectful of the wildlife, which includes a variety of native flora and fauna.
In Laura's time, tallgrass prairie covered this land as far as the eye could see. Over the past 100 years the banks of the creek have been grazed and some areas planted with corn, soybeans and some wheat. However a few original grasses and flowers undoubtedly remain in unplowed areas. Periodic spring burns have allowed the native grasses such as big bluestem to regain a foothold, especially on the table lands.
Check out the beautiful wildflowers.
We believe that the visitors to Laura's childhood home would like to see it as it was then. It is our intention to restore prairie grasses over time on the farm. In 1999 and 2000 the Minnesota DNR assisted with the planting of additional native grasses near the creek. In 2002 an additional 20 acres have been planted to enhance your experience and to protect the Minnesota watershed from farm run-off. Two hiking paths through the prairie start from the dugout site across the creek.
|Sign showing a map of the paths.|
In addition to taking a walk across Laura's prairie, you are also in close proximity to the impression of the dugout, Plum Creek and other sites mentioned in On the Banks of Plum Creek. Unfortunately, though the area looks much the way it would have in Laura's time thanks to preservation, the dugout itself collapsed many years ago.
The farm is also a short drive from the museum in town, the church housing the bell Pa helped purchase and Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway.
The Ingalls Dugout Site is located off the highway north of Walnut Grove. Cost is $5 per car or $30 per tour bus. It is open daily until dusk.
Little House Guidebook by William Anderson and Leslie A. Kelley
Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Walnut Grove, Minn.
|Here I am channeling my inner LIW and running across the prairie.|
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