A day exploring Minnehaha Park is easy to do. This park has 167 acres of land in Minneapolis. You will find epic views of the Mississippi river, a natural wading pool, a 54 foot waterfall, a nostalgic playground for kiddos, and multiple pavilions perfect for gatherings. There are many historic sites, trails, and even one of our favorite restaurants, Sea Salt Eatery.
Minnehaha Park is known for the famous Minnehaha Falls, but it actually is much more than a waterfall in the middle of the city.
We typically find free street parking in the neighborhood next to the park. However, if you don’t mind paying to park, download the Park Mobile app to pay with ease in the multiple parking lots next to the park.
Eat at the Restaurant:
Explore the many Gardens:
Across the street from Sea Salt is the Longfellow house and Longfellow Gardens. The gardens are in full bloom the middle of June to September. As a result, you will see a variety of seasonal flowers.
The pergola garden is just south of Minnehaha Falls with another set of stairs leading to the waterfall. Most of the history in Minnehaha park resides near the pergola surrounded by wildflowers.
The Song of Hiawatha Garden is located north of the waterfall. It looks different in every season. Read the song, and rest on one of the many benches surrounding the spouting water fountain.
History in the park:
John H. Stevens House was the first authorized home built in Minneapolis, and has been preserved by the historical society. It was moved along with the statue of John H. Stevens from it’s original spot near St. Anthony Falls. It was relocated to Minnehaha park and now offers tours to visitors.
The Minnehaha Depot was once bustling on a busy railroad route. It was shut down and preserved by the historical society in 1964. As a result, now operates as a museum.
Explore the Hiking Trail:
Minnehaha Lower Glen Trail is an out and back hike. It begins when you take one of the many staircases that lead to the bottom of the waterfall. It follows the Minnehaha Creek to it’s end point, where it dumps in to the Mississippi River. This is our favorite way of exploring a day in Minnehaha Park.
Best shoes for this trail:
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Explore a day at the Natural Wading Pool:
The natural wading pool is directly down the trail from “the falls.” Kids and dogs regularly enjoy taking a dip in this large swimming hole to cool down. More importantly, remember to bring water shoes because it gets quite slippery on the rock in the river bed.
Best water shoes also good for hiking:
Explore the Ford Parkway Bridge:
When you make it to the Mississippi River from the Minnehaha Trail, instead of turning around to enjoy the same trail again, make your way to the Ford Parkway bridge. There are multiple paths and staircases leading you up to the top. As a result, enjoy a gorgeous view of the river.
Spend the Day Playing Disc Golf:
Once you make it to the top, enjoy the upper portion of the park with ample well kept sidewalks. You will see multiple pavilions, a 9 hole disc golf course with views on the Mississippi River on, and even the MN Veterans home.
Bonus Tip: Interested in seeing the HGTV 2019 Urban Oasis in Minneapolis? It is directly across the street of Dairy Queen and the Minnehaha waterfall at 4112 Nawadaha Blvd.
Get a similar planter to the one on the front porch:
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