Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Water Trail

The 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River and 4-mile stretch of the Minnesota River in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area provides a unique outdoor experience that is as diverse as the historic, cultural and natural locations it flows through.

photo: Type: Water Trail, National Water Trails System
Length: 76.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Agency: National Park Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area offers 76 miles of river trail. 72 miles on Mississippi; 4 miles on Minnesota River. The trail begins above river mile 879 near the confluence of the Crow River extends through Minneapolis and St. Paul t
States: Minnesota
Counties: Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington
Latitude: 44.979955   Longitude: -93.251

Many access points from Metro Minneapolis St. Paul. See maps at www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/missrivercomp.htm , www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/interactive_map , and http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/safety/boatwater/metro_river_guide.pdf The river is accessible by boat at Dayton Access/river mile (RM)879 [45.2453deg N; -93.5212deg W], Mississippi Point Park/RM871 [45.1844;-93.3880], portage at East Coon Rapids dam/RM866.3 [45.1470;-93.3107], River Park/RM863 [45.1049;-93.2809], Anoka Riverfront Regional Park/RM860.3 [45.0678;-93.2809], North Mississippi Park/RM857.8 [45.0309;-93.2839], Boom Island/RM854.8 [44.9931;-93.2706], Lock and Dam/RM854.1 [44.9843;-93.2636], Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam RM853.9 [44.9816;-93.2590], Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam RM 853.4 [44.9788;-93.2496], East River Flats Park RM852.4 [44.9708;-93.2353], Lock and Dam RM847.6 [44.9163;-93.2031], Hidden Falls Regional Park/RM 846.5 [44.9042;-93.1905], Lilydale Regional Park/RM842.2 [44.9174;-93.1281], Harriet Island Regional Park/RM 839.7 [44.968;-93.0979], City of South St. Paul/RM832.5 [44.819,-93.0177], Lion's Levee Park/RM829.8 [44.8455;-93.0073], Lock and Dam/RM815.3 [44.7606;-92.8698], Lake Rebecca Park, Hastings/RM 814.1 [44.7490;-92.8593]. On the Minnesota River: Fort Snelling State Park/RM 3.2 [44.8700;-93.1931]and RM1.5 [44.8849;-93.1750].

Description

The confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers is the birthplace of the state of Minnesota. The Mississippi flows through the heart of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and attracted both native tribes and settlers for commerce and raw, natural beauty. St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis is the only significant waterfall on the entire river.

From Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River is the fourth longest river in the world reaching 2,350 miles in length. In Minnesota, the river flows through valleys, bluffs, prairies and woodlands in a variety of flow rates and widths.

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Water Trail corridor is rich in cultural values. Archeological sites, historic structures and landscapes, shorelines, wetlands, steep slopes, and other sensitive resources. The corridor passes through the eastern deciduous forest and the tall grass prairie biomes. Historically, land in the corridor was covered mainly by oak, woodlands, and brush. Other vegetation types included floodplain forest, upland prairie, and maple basswood forest.

Whether you are biking or walking along the river's shores, fishing in a floodplain lake, or boating its waters, the Mississippi River Companion www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/missrivercomp.htm is a resource for finding public water accesses , trails, and recreational opportunities along one of the world's great rivers. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has prepared several maps and web resources in response to the demand of the boating public for detailed guides to Minnesota's great rivers. The river guide http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/safety/boatwater/metro_river_guide.pdfcovers the most popular portions of the Mississippi, St. Croix and Minnesota rivers.

Three printed Mississippi River maps and one Minnesota River map cover the stretches of these rivers being proposed for designation. These printed maps can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/az.html. Minnesota DNR has also prepared a digital interactive map that allows boaters to customize and print their own maps at home: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/interactive_map/index.html

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Water, moving
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Year Designated: 2012

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Mississippi River Guide
Website: Water Trail Interactive Map
Website: Mississippi RIver Companion
Website: National Water Trails System

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Erik Wrede
DNR Water Trails Coordinator
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road N
St. Paul , MN 55155 -4002
(800) 296-5484
erik.wrede@state.mn.us

Trail Management:
Paul Labovitz
Superintendent
National Park Service
111 Kellogg Blvd. East
Suite 105
St. Paul , MN 55101
(651) 290-3030
paul_labovitz@nps.gov

 

Photos

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

 

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

A fun day on the river. The best way to experience the Mississippi River is on it!. Photo by Ann Rexine.

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