University of Minnesota
UMore Park

Vermillion Highlands: A Research, Recreation and Wildlife Management Area

Recreational Activities

Vermillion Highlands’ 2,822 acres provide ample opportunity for a number of recreational activities. Lone Rock Trail offers horse riders, hikers and cross country skiers a pleasant and scenic experience, including gently rolling terrain, wooded areas, agricultural land and two significant wetlands that flow into the Vermillion River.

Horseback RidingSeason schedule: Lone Rock Trail will be open for Equestrian riding from May 1 through October 31 each year. The Trail will be closed to equestrian use from November 1 through April 31 to allow for firearms deer hunting and cross-country skiing.
HikingSeason schedule: The Lone Rock Trail is open to hiking from December 15 through October 31.

Trail courtesy: Please protect our natural vegetation by staying on the trail. Dogs are allowed on the trail with hikers, but must be kept on a leash.
Cross-Country SkiingSeason schedule: Conditions permitting, the Lone Rock Trail is open to cross-country skiing from December 15 through March 31.
Note: Skiers are urged to use caution from mid-December to early-January as pheasant and late season goose hunting will be ongoing.

Trail conditions: The Lone Rock Trail is groomed in cooperation with Dakota County. For the most up-to-date information on trail conditions, visit the Dakota County Web site or call the Dakota County Trail Conditions line at 651-438-4636.

Trail courtesy:
  • Trails are one-way for skiers
  • Follow blue diamond markers
  • Please protect our natural vegetation and landscape features by staying on the trail

No fees are required to access Lone Rock Trail.

Operating Times
The Trail is open from sunrise to sunset with the exception of a 10:00 a.m. opening time during the months of May and October. This is to minimize disturbance to spring turkey hunters and fall archery deer hunters during prime hunting periods.

Primary access remains at the trailhead off of Station Trail. This access provides enough room for several truck/trailer rigs and trails for tying off horses. It also provides portable toilet facilities and an area to properly dispose of waste products. As exists, non-potable water will be available.

Secondary access:

  • Parking Lot off of Clayton Ave: This access will provide enough room for a couple of truck/trailer rigs. A new segment of trail will be maintained that connects to existing Lone Rock Trail. 
  • Parking Lot off of Blaine Ave at South end: This access will remain a more primitive site with trail access emanating from the existing parking facility.

Lone Rock Trail Map (pdf)

  • Farm Loop (1.9 miles)
  • Lone Rock Loop (4.6 miles)
  • Wetland Loop (3.6 miles)
  • Pine Loop (1.2 miles)

Directions to the trail head
The trail head, at the north end of the Farm Loop, has parking and restroom facilities. From the UMore Park Administrative Office on Co. Rd. 46, travel west one tenth of a mile to the first intersection, Station Trail Road. Turn south on Station Trail and continue. The trailhead is located just off Station Trail Road, south of 170th Street. See the UMore Park Map and Directions (pdf).

Call the UMore Park office at 612-301-1916 for additional information about recreational activities at Vermillion Highlands.

Note to Trail Users

Vermillion Highlands is open to various hunting activities during specific times of the year. Trail users are advised to wear blaze orange clothing during these seasons. Please visit the Wildlife Management page or call the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 651-322-4643 to learn more.