Lewis and Clark National Trail - Spirit Mound | Midwest Living

Lewis and Clark National Trail - Spirit Mound

State Hwy. 19 and 312th St.
Vermillion  South Dakota  57069
United States
(605) 987-2263
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    - Doug Clough
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Doug Clough
At Spirit Mound, along the Lewis and Clark Trail, visitors can hike to the top of the mound and learn more about the expedition.

Along the Lewis and Clark Trail, Spirit Mound awaits. Located just outside Vermillion, this grassy hill was an important part of local Native American tribes' lore. The Omaha, Oto and Yankton tribes told the Lewis and Clark expedition that they would find spirits with small bodies and big heads residing on the mound. Any human who dared approach would be killed. The explorers tested their luck, and lived to tell the tale. It's now an interesting reason for people to visit this small piece of prairie and hike to the top of the hill. Spirit Mound is out in the country, at a vague address listed as "5 miles north of Vermillion on Highway 19." We found a crossroads address that we thought was nearby and entered it into our navigation system, which turned out to be a terrible idea. Our advice? Just go five miles north on Hwy. 19 and follow the clear and ample signs. The just-under-1-mile trail is a combination of pea gravel and dirt and, while we made it with sandals, it would have been more comfortable with sneakers. Signs along the way explain the story of Spirit Mound, explore Lewis and Clark's expedition, and discuss area wildlife, then and now. Benches along the way allow visitors to rest. At the top of the mound, guests can stand where Lewis and Clark stood and view the wide stretch of prairie. It's an interesting stop for nature buffs and history buffs alike. Admission is free.

June 4, 2013

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