If you have ever explored the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in Downtown St Paul, you might have been disappointed with what you found. Admittedly, it was not the ‘sanctuary’ I envisioned when I dragged my wife and toddler out there for a nature walk. But if you weren’t deterred by the sludgy walking paths past the rail yard and grimy bodies of water, you might have discovered the significant Dakota site of Wakan Tipi, or what native St Paulites might know as Carver’s Cave.
The cave has been lost many times over the years as the entrance was blocked by falling limestone. But was always rediscovered by locals, often looking for a secluded place to party, and even a gorilla folk festival. The city ultimately bought the land and blocked the entrance to the cave to protect historically significant area for the Dakota peoples.
While I’m glad Wakan Tipi is no longer a place for revellers, how incredible would it be to explore and learn more about this piece of Minnesota history.
If you like this story and want to learn more, you can join one of our walking tours of St Paul or Minneapolis, which run every day.
@oneminutetours In the early 20th century an entrepreneur lit up the cliffs with an electric marquee that could be seen from downtown #StPaul and charged admission for entry. #minnesota #twincities #caveexploring ♬ original sound – One Minute Tours