• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Photography Gallery

Photographs on this page are in the public domain and available for the public's use. Please provide the following photo credit: 2008 National Park Service. Find your own photographic opportunities using our recommendations.
 
Canoeing the Mississippi River. A large bridge and city skyline rises behind the canoes.

Mississippi River Canoeists
The Mississippi River through the Saint Paul/Minneapolis metro area is a rapidly growing destination for canoeists and boaters. Recreationists are close to the cities' amenities.

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Water spills over the watergates of a dam on the Mississippi River.

Coon Rapids Dam
The Mississippi River is used for recreation, hydroelectric power and shipping. This dam, once used for hydroelectric generation, is located in the northern reaches of the park but is now used for recreation.

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The Ford Parkway Bridge spans the Mississippi River.

The Ford Parkway Bridge
The Ford Bridge spans the Mississippi in Minneapolis.

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Canoes locking through a dam. Concrete walls loom on either side and the control building sits high above.

Canoes Locking through Lock and Dam #1
Locks raise and lower boats through dams on the Mississippi River. Locking through is free from the largest barges to the smallest canoes.

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A person uses binoculars to scan the river for birds. A large bridge spans the wooded shorelines in the background.

The Hastings Bridge
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area extends along 72 miles of the Mississippi River starting just below Hastings, MN and extending northward along the river.

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An old fort sits above the Mississippi River and wooded shorelines.

Historic Fort Snelling and River
Built in the early 1820s, Fort Snelling controlled trade and river traffic in this area of the frontier. During World War II, Fort Snelling served as a staging area for U.S. troops.

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Historic Fort Snelling nestled in the forest with the Saint Paul city skyline in background.

Historic Fort Snelling and Minneapolis Skyline
Historic Fort Snelling, built in the 1820s, became an important location for both trade and negotiations. Its presence played a significant role in the development of the area.

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People watching the lock on a dam. The broad Mississippi flows between wooded shorelines.

Visitors to Lock and Dam #2
The lock and dam system permitted additional shipping by maintaining a 9' channel. Competing demands on the upper Mississippi started a national debate on river use.

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Ruins of flour mills dot the shoreline of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

Mill City Museum Area
The area around St. Anthony Falls sprouted flour mills, which used wheat grown across North America. The businesses here changed the way food is produced and used.

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A person sits at the edge of a canal watching a Canada goose. Old mill district with ruins are in the background.

Mill Ruins Park
Another view of the flour mill ruins near St. Anthony Falls, which provided the power to run the mills. The tailrace in the foreground returned water back to the Mississippi River.

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A waterfall tumbles into a deep gorge.

Minnehaha Falls 1
Minnehaha Falls illustrates the erosive effects of water on the soft St. Peters Sandstone and Platteville limestone cap. The nearby St. Anthony Falls retreated upstream nine miles in the last 10,000 years on similar rock strata.

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A waterfall cascades over a rock ledge and into a deep gorge.

Minnehaha Falls 2
This waterfall inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1855 to pen the epic poem Song of Hiawatha, a reference to the Native Americans that called this area their home.

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White clouds on a blue sky float over the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River Views
The Mississippi River in the upper reaches of the park has gentle shores. From here it flows into the only gorge on the Mississippi River.

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The Mississippi River winds its way through a floodplain forest below the Twin Cities.

Pine Bend Bluff Science and Natural Area
The river in the southern part of the park flows through a broad floodplain populated by trees and vegetation capable of sustaining occasional flooding.

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Park Rangers assist people with planting native vegetation.

Planting Prairie
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Rangers work with local parks to restore native vegetation, such as prairie grasses and flowers.

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A park ranger checks seedlings inside a greenhouse.

Seed Starters
Park Rangers work with volunteers to start native seedlings. The seedlings will be plugged into native plant restorations within the park's corridor.

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A busy industrial area in Minneapolis flanks both sides of St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River.

St. Anthony Falls 1
St. Anthony Falls was once a dangerous rapids capped by a large waterfall. The power of the falls attracted Native Americans, settlers, industrialists, and tourists, all for different reasons.

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Two people look out over the St. Anthony Falls area, a busy industrial and business district.

St. Anthony Falls 2
The falling water of St. Anthony Falls powered both lumber and flour mills in the late 1800s. Both eventually gave way to other businesses, but they irrevocably changed the landscape.

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Large buildings beyond the famous Stone Arch Bridge that crosses the river at St. Anthony Falls.

St. Anthony Falls 3
The famous Stone Arch Bridge (foreground) once carried trains bound for eastern flour markets. Today, it is used by bicyclists and pedestrians.

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The Saint Paul skyline above the Mississippi River.  Barges are pushed by towboats on the river.

The Mississippi and Saint Paul Skyline
Saint Paul was originally the head of navigation on the Mississippi. After the lock and dams were built in this area, Minneapolis became accessible to shipping.

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Did You Know?

The mississippi river at night.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 50 cities rely on the Mississippi River for their daily water supply.