Camp Ripley is a 53,000-acre (210 km2) military and civilian training facility operated by the Minnesota National Guard located near the city of Little Falls in the central part of the state. The location of the camp was selected in 1929 by Ellard A. Walsh, Adjutant General of the State of Minnesota. The site's winter warfare training course is the primary facility used by the National Guard for winter combat exercises. Camp Ripley also hosts the training academy for the Minnesota State Patrol and is a popular site for athletes training to compete in winter biathlons. Most Minnesota Guard soldiers train at Camp Ripley during two-week annual training periods.
The camp is a state game refuge with resources managed cooperatively by the Department of Military Affairs and Department of Natural Resources. It also houses the Minnesota Military Museum, a museum that is open for the public and military personnel. Also on the grounds is the site of Fort Ripley, a military post established in 1848—the second ever built in Minnesota—to keep the peace among the Dakota, Ojibwe, and Ho-Chunk people.