Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota’s North Shore and Jeffers Petroglyphs, with 5,000 ancient rock carvings tucked into the prairie, will reopen to visitors July 15.
The sites, run by the Minnesota Historical Society, have been closed since Gov. Walz declared the first stay-at-home order in March. Both of the iconic places are popular stops on driving vacations in the state.
“MNHS feels it is safe to reopen Split Rock Lighthouse and Jeffers Petroglyphs because they offer predominantly outdoor experiences,” the society said in an announcement. MNHS sites with extensive outdoor trails, such as Birch Coulee Battlefield in Morton and Marine Mill in Marine on St. Croix are already open to the public.
Split Rock, in Two Harbors, will be open daily; the grounds and fog signal building will be accessible, but the lighthouse and keeper’s residence will remain closed. The store, usually in the visitor center, will be on the patio, in the open air. Walkways to the lighthouse will be marked as one-ways to limit visitor interactions. Find more information at mnhs.org/splitrock.
Jeffers Petroglyphs, where a trail through prairie grasses leads to a rock outcropping with Native American carvings, will be open Thursdays through Sundays. It is near Comfrey. More information: mnhs.org/jefferspetroglyphs.
At both sites, entries will be limited and visitors must purchase $8 tickets online, by phone or in the visitor centers. Entries at Split Rock will be timed. The visitor centers will be open only for ticket sales and restrooms. Tickets can be purchased up to one month in advance online or at 651-259-3015; half of available tickets will be sold in advance and half will be available on the day of purchase. Sales begin July 8 for the general public. MNHS members may buy tickets starting July 6.