Inspiration Peak

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Inspiration Peak
View from top of Inspiration Peak.jpg
View from Inspiration Peak, showing prairie vegetation (foreground) at top
Highest point
Elevation 1750 feet (533 m)
Coordinates 46°8′10″N 95°34′25.5″W / 46.13611°N 95.573750°W / 46.13611; -95.573750
Location northwest of Alexandria
Parent range Leaf Hills Moraines
Start of path to summit through oak mixed forest

Inspiration Peak is the highest peak of the Leaf Hills Moraines and of Otter Tail County in the U.S. State of Minnesota. It is 22 miles (36 km) northwest of Alexandria. The peak rises about 400 feet (122 m) above the surrounding plains, to an elevation of about 1750 feet (533 m) above sea level.[1] It is the central feature of Inspiration Peak State Wayside Park, a small park maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which manages it from nearby Lake Carlos State Park. The wayside has a paved parking lot and a picnic area. The hike to the top is a short but strenuous walk up a well-worn trail from the parking lot.[1]

The conical-shaped hill is a kame formed atop the Alexandria Moraine, a terminal moraine left by the Wadena and Des Moines lobes of the Wisconsonian glaciation. It is on the boundary between the deciduous forest to the east and prairie to the west. In fact both biomes are present on the hill; its foot is covered with a predominantly oak forest, while its open upper reaches have prairie species such as pasqueflower, blazing star, asters, and goldenrod.[1]

Author Sinclair Lewis, a native of nearby Sauk Centre, Minnesota, said of Inspiration Peak, "there's to be seen a glorious 20-mile circle of some 50 lakes scattered among fields and pastures, like sequins fallen on an old Paisley shawl."[2]


  1. ^ a b c Sansome, Constance Jefferson (1983). Minnesota Underfoot: A Field Guide to the State's Outstanding Geologic Features. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press. p. 139. ISBN 0-89658-036-9. 
  2. ^ "Inspiration Peak". Otter Tail County, MN. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-09.