Chimney Rock SNA


Area and County

    Dakota County
    Metro Area

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76 acres


 Printable Map with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

The Minnesota DNR Web page for this site suggests parking on the west shoulder of the road. There is also a small widening of the shoulder, effectively a parking area, on the east side of the road.

N44 38.278, W92 53.621

Hiking Trails

No maintained trails


No hunting

Ecological Classification Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Paleozoic Plateau


Rochester Plateau

Land Type Association(s)

HamptonTill Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern)

Dry Sand - Gravel Prairie (Southern)

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland

Natural Features

Chimney Rock, a 30 tall, 10 wide tower of sandstone.

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


This SNA was designated in February, 2012, on land purchased by the Minnesota DNR in 2011.

Twenty-seven acres of this SNA are currently planted in corn. As funds become available, these acres will be converted to prairie. The 5½ acres of cropland at the south end of the SNA was expected to be converted to prairie in 2014 or 2015.

A short, well-worn footpath leads from the road near the parking area, around the chimney rock, to a large rock outcropping. In 2012, when this site was designated an SNA, the area around the landmark was littered with empty beer cans and cigarette butts. That, plus numerous carvings in the soft rock, suggest that this was a locally favorite party site. The garbage has since been removed and that kind of usage has diminished significantly since the SNA designation. However, this remains a popular site. The site steward estimates that it gets about ten visits per week in the summer.



Site Steward

Tom Kiefer (adjacent property owner)

Kevin Smith






Visitor Photos
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Parking on the West side of County Hwy 89 (Joan Avenue)

  Chimney Rock SNA    

Parking on the East side of County Hwy 89 (Joan Avenue)

  Chimney Rock SNA   Chimney Rock SNA

Wood Routed Sign

  Chimney Rock SNA   Chimney Rock SNA

Chimney Rock

  Chimney Rock SNA   Chimney Rock SNA
  Chimney Rock SNA   Chimney Rock SNA

Rock Outcrop

  Chimney Rock SNA   Chimney Rock SNA
  Chimney Rock SNA    



  Chimney Rock SNA
Jackie LaVaque
  Chimney Rock SNA  

Located just south of Hastings, Minnesota. A tall sandstone column, in the middle of a forest, at the edge of vast corn fields.

  Chimney Rock SNA
Mikes Orchids
  Chimney Rock SNA  

Chimney Rock is a sandstone spire in Dakota County. There used to be three of them in various places in the county, but this is the only one that remains. It is home to four rare species and the plant community around it is similar to that of central Wisconsin with acidic sandy soils.




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Visitor Observations
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One tracked bird species has been seen here:



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

eBird Field Checklist


American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

American Goldfinch

Black-capped Chickadee

Blue Jay

Chipping Sparrow

White-breasted Nuthatch

Wild Turkey

Fungi and Lichens

Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

False Tinder Fungus (Phellinus igniarius)

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea)

Oat Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae)

False Tinder Fungus

Insects and Arachnids

American lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

chokecherry finger gall mite (Eriophyes emarginatae)

eastern tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma americanum)

question mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

spongy oak apple gall wasp (Amphibolips confluenta)

American lady

question mark - Summer Form


American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

coyote (Canis latrans)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer


Four plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:



narrow-leaved pinweed (Lechea tenuifolia)



kitten-tails (Veronica bullii)

woolly beachheather (Hudsonia tomentosa)


Special concern

Canada frostweed (Crocanthemum canadense)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern) UPs13c

Dry Sand - Gravel Prairie (Southern) UPs13b

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland FDs37b



American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

balsam fir (Abies balsamea var. balsamea)

bastard toadflax (Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata)

bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)

birdfoot violet (Viola pedata)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

bluntleaf sandwort (Moehringia lateriflora)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

catnip (Nepeta cataria)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hairy rockcress (Arabis pycnocarpa var. pycnocarpa)

Howell’s pussy-toes (Antennaria howellii)

inland serviceberry (Amelanchier interior)

interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium)

lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)

lyre-leaved rock cress (Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. lyrata)

Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax)

prickly rose (Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata)

rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

shining bedstraw (Galium concinnum)

slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)

smooth Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

smooth yellow violet (Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula)

spring cress (Cardamine bulbosa)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white oak (Quercus alba)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild mint (Mentha arvensis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)


Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir)

Acer ginnala (Amur maple)

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Amelanchier interior (inland serviceberry)

Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia (wood anemone)

Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax (Parlin’s pussytoes)

Antennaria howellii (Howell’s pussy-toes)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. lyrata (lyre-leaved rock cress)

Arabis pycnocarpa var. pycnocarpa (hairy rockcress)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Cardamine bulbosa (spring cress)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Comandra umbellata ssp. umbellata (bastard toadflax)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canadian honewort)

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium concinnum (shining bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)

Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)

Lonicera tatarica (Tartarian honeysuckle)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Mentha arvensis (wild mint)

Moehringia lateriflora (bluntleaf sandwort)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Nepeta cataria (catnip)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum (smooth Solomon’s seal)

Populus grandidentata (bigtooth aspen)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

Quercus alba (white oak)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Ribes missouriense (Missouri gooseberry)

Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi (prickly rose)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium (little bluestem)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola pedata (birdfoot violet)

Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula (smooth yellow violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

American bladdernut

birdfoot violet

black cherry




common false Solomon’s seal

common mullein

Dutchman’s Breeches

early meadow rue

garlic mustard


large-flowered bellwort

lyre-leaved rock cress

northern prickly ash

prickly rose

red baneberry

red elderberry

rue anemone

wild columbine

wild geranium

wild mint

wood anemone






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