University of Minnesota
UMore Park

Vermillion Highlands: A Research, Recreation and Wildlife Management Area

Vermillion Highlands

Vermillion Highlands is a 2,822-acre research, recreation, and wildlife management area adjacent and to the south of UMore Park. The property is jointly managed by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with Dakota County and Empire Township.

In May 2006, the Governor of Minnesota signed into law legislation that set aside the 2,822 acres to be a natural area in perpetuity. As part of the legislation, at the State's option, all or part of the property will be deeded by the University to the state in 2032, in conjunction with the state's support for the University's new Gopher football stadium on the Minneapolis campus. The legislation also provided for the University's rights to use the land for permitted University uses in perpetuity.

Concept Master Planning

The University of Minnesota has appointed two new representatives to serve on the Vermillion Highlands Join Steering Committee. Read the news release.

The Vermillion Highlands Steering Committee is responsible for broad direction setting and ensuring inter-organizational cooperation. View the Steering Committee roster.

The joint management Steering Committee completed the concept master plan for Vermillion Highlands in spring 2010. View the final report and illustrations.

Research, Recreation and Hunting

Dates for the fall and winter hunting season have been updated. See the wildlife management page for more information on schedules and permits.

The Lone Rock Trail in the Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area will be open for equestrian use from May 1 through October 31. Daily and Annual Trail Use Passes are no longer necessary. View details on new Lone Rock Trail access points. 

Learn more about recreation opportunities at Vermillion Highlands.