Kilen Woods State Park
By Jim Umhoefer
Kilen Woods State Park is attractive to families because of its day-use activities. Picnics are always popular in the green, shaded picnic area. Although this region is full of pioneer lore, it also has an even richer Native American heritage. Near Jeffers, north of Windom are the Jeffers Petroglyphs, a collection of ancient Indian rock carvings surrounded by native prairie. An interpretive center, administered by Minnesota Historical Society, focuses on the carvings and the prairie landscape.
Kilen Woods State Park is located 9 miles northeast of Lakefield in Minnesota’s Jackson County.
From the Sioux Trail, you can see how the creeks have cut U-shaped valleys into the prairie and savanna to reach the river. To the west and south of the park is the “Coteau des Prairies” (Slope of the Prairies) that influences the flow of water. Water on the eastern slope, like the Des Moines River, flows into the Mississippi River, while water on the western side flows into the Missouri River.