. . . an ancient trail
Taken from Florence Roefer's 1976 book, A Profile of the Jeffers Petroglyphs Prairie

      Etched into the prairie sod are the deep ruts of a much used old trail that followed the Red Rock Ridge from New Ulm to the James and Big Sioux Rivers in southeastern South Dakota. A high landmark in the almost treeless sea of grass where a traveler could easily become lost, it afforded a view of the countryside in the event of a prairie fire or danger from enemies. There are numerous small streams and lakes along this trail which runs west to Lake Shetek, then southwest through Slayton and Pipestone in Minnesota and Dell Rapids and Sioux Falls in South Dakota.
      The Indians laid out the trail before the white man arrived on the scene. It is said that the Indians rode three abreast, and that is why in many areas where the ruts are still visible you find a three-point track. This three-point track was useful when drivers walked along beside their wagons.
      Alida Engen, who lives along this trail, recalls her mother telling about sitting on the roof of their sod house when she was a small girl, watching the covered wagons going west. The Pony Express and stage coaches are reported to have traveled this ridge.
      The deep ruts of this old trail are still visible between the parking lot and the north fence of this site.

      These ruts are on the northern edge of the long trail, which is no longer by the parking lot. The interpretive center has moved.

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