Featured Photo by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources/Gina Bonsignore
Plan a Summer Adventure with an Urban Twist along Minnesota’s Great River Road!
The Minnesota Great River Road winds through cities filled with scenic and historic features that make it an All-American Road. The Twin Cities area is one place with many scenic areas and historical places for river road travelers to explore. Summer is the perfect time to take it all in, so hit the road to these Minnesota Great River Road destinations!
Photo by John Anfinson
The 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is the only National Park dedicated to the Mississippi River. The NPS Visitor Center in the Science Museum of Minnesota is the perfect orienting point for your urban river adventure. Or you can check out the NPS Visitor Center at the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam for a unique in-river perspective.
No place anchors the Mississippi River’s significance in the Twin Cities like St. Anthony Falls. The Minneapolis riverfront in this area offers sightseeing, walking and biking trails, dining, live music, and theater amid historic buildings including the Washburn A Mill, now the home of Mill City Museum. The Stone Arch Bridge provides a bicycle and pedestrian connection for the east and west banks of the river and spectacular views.
Photo by the National Park Service
High above the Great River Road on Dayton’s Bluff, or “I-mni’-za-ska-dan,” in St. Paul lie burial mounds dating back nearly 2,000 years. Explore the parks that pass on these stories and experience expansive river views.
Photo by Minnesota Historical Society
Gorge Parks and Historical Places
The area known as the Gorge is only 8.5 miles long but here the Mississippi plunges 110 feet between high bluffs. The area’s parks include Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Gorge Regional Park, Hidden Falls Regional Park, Minnehaha Regional Park (home of Minnehaha Falls), Fort Snelling State Park, and Historic Fort Snelling. Places of historical significance include the Minnesota River confluence, or Bdote, which is central to Dakota creation stories, and Historic Fort Snelling which played a key role in the US Civil War, the US Dakota War of 1862 and the Dred Scott case.
Photo Courtesy Of Explore Minnesota
The Big River
The Big River begins below the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. This is the large floodplain river of Mark Twain and steamboats. Today the Big River is lined with parks, trails, marinas and excursion boats, along with towboats and barges. Parkways on either side above offer long views to the river below.
Plan your summer adventure today at www.mnmississippiriver.com.