Ingalls Dugout Site
1.5 miles north of Walnut Grove on Redwood County Highway 5, Walnut Grove, MN. www.walnutgrove.org/dugout.htm
$4 per car. Free parking; Stroller-accessible although the path is steep and sandy. No restrooms.
Our Saturday adventure was on the theme of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so we headed to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. On the way into Walnut Grove, we stopped at the historic marker along the road, and then turned into the dugout site just south of the marker.
To visit the dugout, you drive onto a farm place and deposit your admission in the self-service box, then wind your way down the road to a large parking area. When you leave your car, you follow the path through the wildflowers and over the bridge crossing Plum Creek, then up the path to the top of the bank where a sign details the site of the Ingalls’ dugout. Although the dugout has long since caved in, the depression is evident and one can imagine Laura playing down by the creek or up above on the prairie. A page from Laura’s book detailing the dugout is displayed to help you see it in your mind.
Although the museum in Walnut Grove has much more about Laura and her family, there’s just something about being right there by Plum Creek that’s hard to explain. If you’re going to the museum in Walnut Grove, be sure to make the short drive to the dugout site as well.