By Jim Umhoefer
Kandiyohi County. 15 miles north of Willmar on Highway 71.
From Mount Tom, in Sibley State Park, the view sweeps in a grand circle over miles of forest, farmland and lakes. Fragments of stone pipes found here suggest that, like most high places, Mount Tom held spiritual to the Dakota Indians.
French and Indian fur traders used Mount Tom as a lookout when they traveled the Red River Trail with fur-laden oxcarts. Each spring, they ventured into the prairie wilderness from Pembina, North Dakota, on their way to St. Paul to sell their furs.
This historic park has an informative interpretive center with regular programs, camping, hiking, skiing and bike trails, good fishing and picnic areas. Read more: