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Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

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The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a narrow corridor of land on either side of the Mississippi River extending from Dayton, MN on the north boundary through the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and downstream to Hastings, MN.



Email - MISS_info@nps.gov

Fax- 651-290-3214

Write to
111 East Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55101-1256

Headquarters - 651.290.4160


Operating Hours, Seasons
A unique type of park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a partnership park. Of the approximately 52,000 acres included within the boundaries, the Park Service owns only 45, all of which are islands. Programs are developed and delivered with partners throughout the corridor. Operation hours of these facilities vary from season to season.

Getting There
PLANE - The Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is the hub airport for Northwest Airlines but is also served by other airlines including SunCountry, Delta, Frontier and others.

CAR - Interstates 35 and 94 meet in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Locally, county and state highways as well as local streets all offer ways to get to the river for either a view from above or to a local park or visitor center.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - City buses provide transportation within the corridor. Service is especially convenient to activities located near near the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Weather & Climate
Hot in the summer, temperatures typically vary from highs in the nineties to lows in the fifties and sixties. If you plan on spending much time outside, prepare by bringing along mosquito repellent, sun screen, and a water bottle.

In winter, temperatures vary widely. Be prepared for temperatures as low as -20 F but more typically between 0 F and 30 F. Dressing for winter in Minnesota is best accomplished by layering your clothing. And be ready for snow; some of the best snowstorms in America happen in Minnesota.

Many visitor centers and trails are equipped for persons with vision, hearing and mobility problems. Call ahead for specific information.

The National Park Service has worked with Wilderness Inquiry to post information on accessibility for visitor destinations within the park boundaries. Check the website for specific information.

Getting Around
If you are visiting the entire 72 mile length of the park, automobile is the most convenient. But for short hops, it is fun to bike, hike, canoe, kayak, use public transportation.

During the winter months, many bicycle and walking trails are transformed to cross country ski trails. Many local parks and commercial facilities rent skis and snowshoes for use within the area.


Entrance Fee

Because the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area does not own land or operate a visitor center, there are no fees associated with the park itself. But, some visitor centers and parks do charge entry fees. Call ahead for specific information.


Open All Year Call for exact hours
Phone - 651.296.6126
Location - 345 Kellogg Blvd. West St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
Special Programs - Programs and exhibits change from time to time and feature such topics as life in the Minnesota Territory 1849-1858, experiences of a fur trader and the interaction of native cultures and European settlers.
Exhibits - Minnesota History Center features exhibits for adults and kids that focus on Minnesota's history, cultural diviersity and the mechanics of living in 'the good old days.'
Available Facilities - There is an extensive collection of publications and photographs chronicling Minnesota's history available to reseach and enthusiasts.

Open All Year Call for exact hours
Phone - 651.221.9426
Location - 120 Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102 651.221.9426
Exhibits - The National Park Service has collaborated with the museum to produce the Mississippi River Gallery. This special exhibit profiles the geologic, economic, social and environmental impact of the Mississippi River in and near the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area.
Available Facilities - This nationally respected museum houses the Omnitheater as well as ongoing exhibits, events and collections that focus on anthropology, paleontology, science and design in our daily lives, the human body gallery, and a host of other fascinating topics.

Phone - 651.452.1596
Location - 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Mendota, MN 55150
Exhibits - Tour of the home of Henry Hastings Sibley. Sibley came to the area in 1834 as the head of the American Fur Company Post and later as a territorial representative to the US Congress and the first governeor of the state. In 1839 Jean Baptiste Faribault built the house next to Sibley's. Faribault's house is also a part of the site.

Visitor Centers
Open All Year Call for exact hours
Phone - 763.757.4700
Location - 9750 Egert Blvd. Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Exhibits - The Anoka County side of the Coon Rapids Dam features a visitor center with indoor interpretive exhibits including the Mississippi River Kiosk. The park has both walking trails and a bicycle trail that has connections to trails honeycombing the metro area.
Available Facilities - In summer, the visitor center rents bicycles. In winter, rent skis and showshoes here. The visitor center also sells a limited selection of bait and fishing tackle.

Open All Year Call for exact hours
Phone - 612.424.8172
Location - 10360 W. River Rd. Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
Exhibits - Coon Rapids Dam is a park and informational center that offers many activities centered on the Dam and other natural information.

Open All Year Call ahead for exact hours
Phone - 612.725.2389
Location - 1 Post Rd. St. Paul, MN 55111
Special Programs - A part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources state park system, this park is located at the historic confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Fort Snelling State Park is the site of the Dakota Internment Camp where many of the tribe were held by the US Army during the Sioux Uprising of 1862. A memorial marks the site.
Exhibits - The visitor center has exhibits featuring biological communities in and near the Mississippi River, a demonstration of watershed mechanics, and and underground peak at the root systems of native plants.
Available Facilities - In summer, canoes can be rented from the visitor center. Because of its central location, Fort Snelling State Park is a hub for bicyclists and walkers from around the metropolitan area.

Open All Year 9:00-10:00pm// Winter: 9:00-9:00pm
Phone - 651.333.5336
Location - 1 Portland Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55401
Closures - The observation deck and visitor center are closed until further notice.
Exhibits - The St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Furthest upstream of the 29 locks between Lake Itasca and St. Louis. Also the deepest (49 feet) the lock has an enclosed observation deck, exhibits and a working Lock and Dam. Watch barges and boats 'lock through' and learn how the river's natural hydraulics make it all possible.

Wilderness Information Centers
Open All Year Call for exact hours
Phone - 612.854.5900
Location - 3815 East 80th St. Bloomington, MN 55425
Exhibits - The Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge located on the southwest boundary of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area corridor. Straddling the Minnesota River, the refuge maintains an interpretive center, living examples of native prairie, bicycle and walking trails.
Available Facilities - There are several units comprising the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge from Shakopee to Minneapolis. Each is a unique environment maintained for the public enjoyment.

Detailed Map

Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates

Campgrounds Nearby
List of Nearby Campgrounds

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area.
 Campgrounds Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Northernaire Motel, Saint Paul, 2 miles away
J Robinson Intensive Camps, Minneapolis, 10 miles away
Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Circle Pines, 10 miles away
Lowry Grove, Minneapolis, 10 miles away
Lebanon Hills Regional County Park, Saint Paul, 12 miles away
Lake Elmo Park Reserve Primitive, Lake Elmo, 12 miles away
Lake Elmo Park Reserve Equestrian, Lake Elmo, 12 miles away
 Marinas Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
St Paul Yacht Club, Saint Paul , 2 miles away
Watergate Marina, Saint Paul , 7 miles away
River Heights Marina, Inver Grove Heights , 7 miles away
Kings Cove, Hastings , 19 miles away
Boomsite Marina, Stillwater , 19 miles away
 Hotels Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Hyatt Place St Paul Downtown, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
Embassy Suites By Hilton St Paul Downtown, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
DoubleTree By Hilton St Paul Downtown, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
InterContinental SAINT PAUL RIVERFRONT, Saint Paul , 2 miles away
The Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul , 2 miles away
Holiday Inn ST. PAUL DOWNTOWN, Saint Paul , 2 miles away
Hampton Inn And Suites By Hilton Downtown St Paul MN, Saint Paul , 2 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Buck Hill, Minnesota , 19 miles away, 309 foot drop, 11 lifts, 13 runs
Hyland, Minnesota , 21 miles away, 175 foot drop, 6 lifts, 14 runs
Afton Alps, Minnesota , 21 miles away, 350 foot drop, 18 lifts, 41 runs
Welch Village, Minnesota , 31 miles away, 360 foot drop, 10 lifts, 60 runs
Wild Mountain, Minnesota , 36 miles away, 300 foot drop, 8 lifts, 25 runs
Trollhaugen, Wisconsin , 37 miles away, 260 foot drop, 9 lifts, 22 runs
Mount Kato, Minnesota , 78 miles away, 240 foot drop, 8 lifts, 19 runs
Powder Ridge, Minnesota , 87 miles away, 290 foot drop, 7 lifts, 15 runs
 Whitewater Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Whitewater Outfitter - Edina Travel Leaders, Hennepin County , 18 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Vermilion River, Dakota County , 20 miles away, Class II-III+ - 0.5 miles long (Falls to Old Mill in Hastings)
Apple River, St.Croix County , 30 miles away, Class I-II - 2 miles long (Somerset)
 Public Lands Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Saint Croix National Scenic River, Saint Croix Falls - WI , 38 miles away
Afton State Park, Minnesota , 21 miles away
Kinnickinnic State Park, Wisconsin , 24 miles away
William O'Brien State Park, Minnesota , 25 miles away
Willow River State Park, Wisconsin , 28 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area:
Fort Snelling Golf Course, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
Inver Grove Heights City Inver Wood Golf Course, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
Highland National, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
Three M Golf, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
Maple Hills Golf Course, Saint Paul , 1 miles away
 Lakes Near Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
Gervais Lake, Ramsey County , 3 miles away
Savage Lake, Ramsey County , 3 miles away
Birch Lake, Ramsey County , 6 miles away
Tanners Lake, Washington County , 7 miles away
Amelia Lake, Anoka County , 8 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.