Spirit Mound Historic Prairie

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie

31148 SD Hwy 19
Vermillion, SD 57069

Spirit Mound , (320),  stands along Highway 19 about six miles north of Vermillion.  Local tribes believed that 18-inch devils, armed with arrows, inhabited this prairie hill. The story sparked Lewis and Clark’s interest, and on Aug. 25, 1804, they set off on foot to investigate. The men hiked for four hours in the sweltering heat. At the top, the infamous devils were nowhere to be found. But the explorers did see an incredible sight: a herd of buffalo, nearly 800 of them, grazed in the distance.  

Over 300 acres of prairie are being restored to original prairie grasses and wildflowers, such as wild rose hips, evening primrose, sunflowers, silky aster and whorled milkweed. The prairie is home to Fritillary butterflies, birds and many other prairie animals.

Trail: 3/4 mile hiking trail to the summit. 

Stand where Lewis and Clark stood 200 years ago, by taking the three-quarter mile trail to the summit of Spirit Mound. The view is sure to spark your own adventurous spirit. Interpretive signs along the trail transform the hike into a memorable learning experience. Handicap access.