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mississippi national river and recreation area

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Mississippi River North of Minneapolis

Mississippi River North of Minneapolis

The Mississippi River is generally calm in summer through this stretch of the river.

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one arm forks

one arm forks

This catalog page features a combination knife and fork that was designed for people who only had the use of a single arm.

The Windego Park Auditorium - Akin Riverside Park

The Windego Park Auditorium - Akin Riverside Park

The Windego Park Auditorium was the center of civic life in the city of Anoka.

Pine Bend Bluff

Pine Bend Bluff

The Mississippi River flows through floodplain forests in the southern part of the park. This photo was taken from the crest of the hills in the Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area found within the boun... More

Leopard Frog, Mississippi river

Leopard Frog, Mississippi river

Leopard frogs are susceptable, as many amphibians are, to contaminants in the water.

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Ava Arthur, Mississippi river

Ava Arthur, Mississippi river

Winner, Journey to the Falls category, Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy, 4th grade student

Akin Riverside Park - Picnic Area

Akin Riverside Park - Picnic Area

The picnic area at the Akin Riverside Park is a pleasant place to have a quiet meal and contemplate the history of the area.

Park Rangers Canoe the Mississippi River Backwaters

Park Rangers Canoe the Mississippi River Backwaters

Canoe day-paddles in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area are a popular activity.

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Tree Frogs, Mississippi river

Tree Frogs, Mississippi river

Several species of tree frogs are common in the park.

Bluff above the Mississippi River
David Carlson, Mississippi river

David Carlson, Mississippi river

Grand Prize Winner, Caring for the River category, The Blake School, 4th grade student

Netanya Sadoff, Mississippi river

Netanya Sadoff, Mississippi river

Winner: Caring for the River category, Pinewood Community School, 5th grade student

Emma Strowbridge, Mississippi river

Emma Strowbridge, Mississippi river

Winner, Mighty Mississippi category, Legacy Christian Academy, 5th grade student

Green Frog, Mississippi river

Green Frog, Mississippi river

Green frogs are common in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. They can be found along the river, but most often in quiet ponds and floodplain lakes.

The Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The Stone Arch Bridge was built by James J. Hill in 1883 across the Mississippi River. The bridge now carries foot and bicycle traffic.

Coldwater Spring Reservoir

Coldwater Spring Reservoir

The reservoir and spring house provided water to Fort Snelling.

Coldwater Spring, Mississippi river

Coldwater Spring, Mississippi river

The spring house at Coldwater Spring concentrates the water from several seeps into one location. The spring house provided water to the Upper Post, located just up the Mississippi River from this location.

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A Core Sample is Examined

A Core Sample is Examined

Research is an important component of preservation. What did the landscape look like prior to settlement? How has it changed? By taking core samples from the lake bottom, college students and their professors c... More

National parks: IMG_5072 - public domain image
Prairie Restoration Event

Prairie Restoration Event

Park Rangers assist volunteers in preparing native plants to plug into an existing prairie restoration.

Otter Research, Mississippi river

Otter Research, Mississippi river

Staff at the Mississippi National River conducts otter surveys to document the return of otters to the Mississippi River.

Railroad Bridge Crosses the Mississippi River

Railroad Bridge Crosses the Mississippi River

Railroads cross the Mississippi River at numerous locations in our highly industrialized corridor.

Lillian Klett, Mississippi river

Lillian Klett, Mississippi river

Winner: Caring for the River category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

Canoeing in Flowers

Canoeing in Flowers

Large lotus beds grow in the backwaters near Grey Cloud Island, but they can be found in other still waters in the park as well.

Hidden Falls, Mississippi river

Hidden Falls, Mississippi river

Cottonwood and silver maple trees are the two predominant trees that grow along the river. Eagles prefer to nest in cottonwoods along the Mississippi River in our area.

Upper Post Restoration

Upper Post Restoration

The Upper Post is a part of the military reservation established in the early 1800s in what is now the Twin Cities.

The St. Paul Skyline at Night

The St. Paul Skyline at Night

The Mississippi River runs beneath the night sky and lighted skyline of St. Paul, Minnesota. The northern limit of navigation occurred here prior to the construction of lock and dam system.

Coldwater Spring, Mississippi river
Phelemeena Lee, Mississippi river

Phelemeena Lee, Mississippi river

Grand Prize Winner: Big River Journey category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

Emma Miller, Mississippi river

Emma Miller, Mississippi river

Grand Prize Winner: Journey to the Falls category, Lake Harriet Community School, 6th grade student

Fox Snake, Mississippi river

Fox Snake, Mississippi river

This fox snake was captured during a BioBlitz at Crosby Farm Regional Park, within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Siciliy Garcia, Mississippi river
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Monarch Butterfly on Liatris

Monarch Butterfly on Liatris

Monarchs are a common sight along the Mississippi River in our area, but their population trend is declining.

Canoeing Provides an Alternative View of Industry along the River.

Canoeing Provides an Alternative View of Industry along the River.

Boating and canoeing provides a different and exciting perspective of both history and industry along this hard-working Mississippi River.

James Sanders, Mississippi river
Erika Harrison, Mississippi river
Samuel Canick, Mississippi river
Ana Davis, Mississippi river

Ana Davis, Mississippi river

Winner, Mighty Mississippi category, Hale School, 4th grade student

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The Placid River

The Placid River

The river in the northern part of the park is shallow in most places and quiet as much of the heavy traffic is further south closer to the Minneapolis/St.. Paul area.

Boom Island Regional Park

Boom Island Regional Park

Boom Island is a great place for picnics and other summertime activities.

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Sonny Czyscon, Mississippi river

Sonny Czyscon, Mississippi river

Winner: Mighty Mississippi category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

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Blandings Turtle, Mississippi river

Blandings Turtle, Mississippi river

Blanding's turtles are rare in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, as they are in the rest of Minnesota.

Lukas Asinger, Mississippi river
Anna Olivarez, Mississippi river

Anna Olivarez, Mississippi river

Winner, Journey to the Falls category, Whittier I.B. School,

Commerce in the Cooridor

Commerce in the Cooridor

The river forms the corridor of the park, but some parts of the corridor are heavily industrialized. River traffic in the form of barges and recreational craft intersect with railroads and other traffic in busy... More

Kayaking the Mississippi River

Kayaking the Mississippi River

Canoeing and kayaking are popular sports on the Mississippi River, but in certain stretches of this busy river paddlers need to be aware of barge traffic.

Dominic Guggenberger, Mississippi river

Dominic Guggenberger, Mississippi river

Winner: Big River Journey category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

D'Marco Anderson, Mississippi river

D'Marco Anderson, Mississippi river

Winner: Big River Journey category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

Boating along the River.

Boating along the River.

A paddleboat emerges from under the Stone Arch Bridge and in front of the Mill Ruins Park in downtown Minneapolis.

Bike-with-a-Ranger Program

Bike-with-a-Ranger Program

A park ranger (Dan Dressler) leads a bicycle convoy down a paved path along the Mississippi River. The Bike-with-a-Ranger program is a great way to learn about the Mississippi's natural and human history while... More

Pileated Woodpecker, Mississippi river

Pileated Woodpecker, Mississippi river

Pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Kathryn Kuebler, Mississippi river
Summer at Coldwater Spring

Summer at Coldwater Spring

Restoration continues at Coldwater Spring, but summer brings a riot of colorful flowers.

The Mississippi River and Island

The Mississippi River and Island

The Mississippi River in the northern part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is typically shallow and rocky.

Sophia Barjesteh, Mississippi river

Sophia Barjesteh, Mississippi river

Winner: Big River Journey category, Red Rock Elementary, 4th grade student

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The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River at Coon Rapids Regional Park.

The Floodplain River

The Floodplain River

The lower stretch of the Mississippi River through the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul is often called the "floodplain river." Here the river widens and winds its way through backwaters and wooded islands p... More

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

A perched red-winged blackbird shows off his red and yellow wing patches. They are one of the first migratory birds to return to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in the spring. Males arrive fi... More

The Mississippi River in Autumn

The Mississippi River in Autumn

Many trails run along both sides of the Mississippi River within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Netanya Sadoff, Mississippi river

Netanya Sadoff, Mississippi river

Winner, Caring for the River category, Pinewood Community School, 5th grade student

Canada Geese Goslings

Canada Geese Goslings

Fuzzy, golden Canada geese goslings spar in the green grass of late spring.

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Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed susans are a common species in our prairie restorations, but can also be found in prairie remnants in many places along the river.

Winter Wonderland, Mississippi river

Winter Wonderland, Mississippi river

Winters can be harsh in Minnesota, but sunny days are welcome and beckon visitors to don their coats and boots for a hike along the snowy, forested landscapes of the Mississippi River.

Mallard Duck, Mississippi river

Mallard Duck, Mississippi river

Mallards are the most common duck in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge

Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge

Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge today serve as an outdoor classroom as well as an outstanding walk through history.

Minnehaha Falls, Mississippi river

Minnehaha Falls, Mississippi river

Minnehaha Falls is a favorite destination of visitors and locals alike.

A Path in the Autumn Forest

A Path in the Autumn Forest

The Winchell Trail is a foot path along the bluff which sometimes dips down below the bluff with informal trails that lead to the river. It is a great place to have a walk among the fall color.

Rebecca Hatfull, Mississippi river

Rebecca Hatfull, Mississippi river

Winner, Mighty Mississippi category, Red Rock Elementary, 4th grade student

Sahithi Polavarapu, Mississippi river
Winter at Coldwater

Winter at Coldwater

Coldwater Spring provides summer hiking and winter activities as well.

Floodplain Forest, Mississippi river

Floodplain Forest, Mississippi river

The character of the southern part of the park contains much floodplain forests dominated by cottonwood and silver maple trees. In some places, such as in this photo, vast stands of wood nettle carpet the forest's floor.

Green Frog, Mississippi river

Green Frog, Mississippi river

A green frog at the edge of the Coldwater Spring reservoir.

Sophia Ostergren, Mississippi river

Sophia Ostergren, Mississippi river

Winner: Journey to the Falls category, Lake Harriet Community School, 6th grade student

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Veterans Memorial Levee Park Hastings
Savanna at Coldwater Spring

Savanna at Coldwater Spring

Coldwater Spring is being restored to tallgrass prairie and savanna.

Violets and Storms

Violets and Storms

The Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area is located near the Spring Lake area. The Dunes consist of two natural sand benches located along the Mississippi River.

Kids Examine a Large Satellite Photograph of Our Park

Kids Examine a Large Satellite Photograph of Our Park

This large floor graphic of a satellite photograph stretches across the floor of our visitor center. A popular activity is for kids (and adults) to find their homes (or homes and businesses).

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Canoeist in Minneapolis

Canoeist in Minneapolis

Canoeists paddle below a busy bridge in the heart of Minneapolis. Despite being in a large, busy metropolis many of the banks are lined with trees and often one is unaware of the close proximity of a major city.

El Taw Bwell

El Taw Bwell

Winner, Mighty Mississippi category, Como Park Elementary, 5th grade student

Pine Bend Bluff SNA

Pine Bend Bluff SNA

Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area is located in the southern reaches of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

National parks: Research - public domain image

National parks: Research - public domain image

Two canoes fastened together with cross members support four people driving a core sampler into a lake bottom to search for clues as to past vegetative cover.

The Remains of the Meeker Dam

The Remains of the Meeker Dam

The Meeker Dam fell victim to the emerging technology of hydroelectric power. Shortly after Meeker was built Lock and Dam 1 was rebuilt downstream high enough to develop a power station there. Meeker was floode... More

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