Medicine Wheel Park
A unique and scenic landmark on VCSU’s campus, Medicine Wheel Park began in 1992 as a class project by Professor Joe Stickler and his students. Since then, it has evolved into one of North Dakota’s major tourist attractions, encompassing 30 acres, and providing an educational and recreational destination for visitors of all ages.
The Medicine Wheel’s large circle measures 213 feet around. The 28 spokes radiating from its center represent the number of days in the lunar cycle. Six spokes extending well beyond the Wheel are aligned to the horizon positions of sunrises and sunsets on the first days of the four seasons. The design of this rock sculpture was inspired by the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming and reflects the magnificence of the Earth’s journey around the Sun and the grand cycle of the seasons.
Other Features of Medicine Wheel Park
Be sure to explore the other attractions in Medicine Wheel Park — you’ll experience a unique mix of nature, science, and history.
- Native American Burial Grounds: There are twelve burial mounds within the borders of the Park. These mounds are the same type of cemeteries used by Plains Woodlands Indians from 500 to 2,000 years ago.
- Walking Tour of the Solar System: A model of the solar system stretches from the Sun (the center of the Medicine Wheel) to one third of a mile away, with boulders representing the planets. These boulders are placed in proportion to the planets’ average distances from the Sun on a scale where one foot equals three million miles.
- Meridian Calendar: The meridian calendar uses the length of a shadow cast by a utility pole to mark the beginning of each season at local apparent noon.
- North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT): The NCT is a 4,600-mile trail running west to east across seven northern states, linking North Dakota to New York. A segment of this trail winds through Medicine Wheel Park for visitors to walk along.