Link to Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek
Minnehaha Falls is located in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The falls, Minnehaha Park’s main attraction, is situated on Minnehaha Creek near the point where the creek intersects with the Mississippi River. They have a drop of 53 feet, which empties into the Mississippi River. The name “Minnehaha Falls” was popularized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who never visited the falls but celebrated it in his epic poem titled The Song of Hiawatha. Minnehaha Falls attracts over 850,000 visitors annually and is the most photographed site in Minnesota. The falls are among the best city waterfalls in Minnesota and could even be termed the region’s premier attraction, boasting limestone cliffs and river overlooks, making it an ideal setting for recreation activities.
Minnehaha Falls’ history goes back to the early 1800s. It was bought in 1889 by the Minneapolis Park Board, making it the second state park in the United States. At that time, New York was the only city that owned a state park in the United States.
The summer after the purchase, the Park Board renovated the park, furnishing it with tables, seats, and lavatories, and paths and trails were improved. The Park Board also Okayed the construction of a pavilion in 1893 and approved financing for two bridges “of a rustic nature.”
Minnehaha Park Geology
Minnehaha Park is a historical and national site that tells the geological history of Minnesota. The only nearby falls, St. Anthony’s Falls was once just as prominent, but have since stopped attracting as many tourists as before. Although the more recent Cenozoic and Mesozoic eras in the Twin Cities have been swept away by four great ice ages, the Platteville Limestone is still standing at the upper falls.
The Sea Salt Eatery
The sea salt eatery is situated at 4801 Minnehaha Avenue South Minneapolis MN. It is a comfortable beer garden located next to Minnehaha Falls. Its menu consists mainly of beer and ice cream. If you want to take some refreshments while at the park, you can do so here.
The Longfellow House
The Longfellow House was built in the early twentieth century by Robert Fremont. It is the centerpiece of Minneapolis and is a replica of his favorite author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s home. It remains to be a key attraction in Minneapolis MN.
The Old Minnehaha Depot
You cannot afford to miss a visit to the Old Minnehaha Depot during your tour of Minnehaha Park. Constructed in the 1870s, the depot was so stunning that employees nicknamed it “the princess.” According to an account written in 1852, it catered to the trains making round trips from Minneapolis to St Paul MN to Milwaukee but is now a property of the City Parks Department.
The John Harrington Stevens House
Nicknamed the “Birthplace of Minneapolis,” the John Harrington Stevens House was built in 1849 near St Anthony Falls and moved to Minnehaha Park in 1896. It was the first wood-frame dwelling erected west of the Mississippi and it was in this location that the name “Minneapolis” was coined. This house provided ferry service across the Mississippi River and in it, important decisions about the city were made. Some things you will see here include:
- Photos of early pioneers and prominent Native Americans,
- The stools and tables where decisions concerning the city were made, and
- Elementary school exams dating back to 1872.
Minnehaha Park has a summer wading pool for children, playgrounds, and outdoor picnic sites. During winter, the waterfall freezes, creating a spectacular cascade of ice. However, in the rainy months of June and July, the waterfall flows at a forceful current
Minnehaha Park is open all year round, free of charge, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in undeveloped areas and 6 a.m. to midnight in developed areas. Free parking is available near the Longfellow Gardens.
To search for more information about the attractions within the park, visit the website of the Minnehaha Regional Park. You can also contact the park via phone for more information about seasonal hours.
Know Before You Go
Minnehaha Falls is one of the best state parks in the United States. The parks’ staff strives to preserve the natural landscape by using the existing trees, vegetation, and topography to ensure the park remains in its pristine condition. The cool air brought about by the crash of the water and the urban atmosphere makes it an ideal destination. During your tour of the park, whether you are walking or cycling, ensure that you take a hike for two miles on the trails and explore the various kinds of plants the falls have to offer. Contact them on social media to get schedules and updates.