Fees & Reservations
The Mississippi River Visitor Center, located in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, has free admission. Some partner parks within the boundaries of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, such as Historic Fort Snelling and Fort Snelling State Park, do charge entry fees. Others, such as Minnehaha Regional Park and Coon Rapids Dam East, may charge parking fees. Most public areas within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area are free to the public and except for special events, none require reservations.
Our Plan Your Visit page provides specific contact information for many local parks, visitor centers, and museums.
America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
While the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area does not collect admission fees, visitors can obtain America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Lands Pass cards at our visitor center for use at various U.S. fee areas. These include the Annual Pass ($80), Senior Pass ($10), Access Pass (free to those with disabilities), and the annual pass for active duty service men and women (free). Please note that the Mississippi River and Recreation Area can only accept payment by credit card.
The America the Beautiful pass series was created by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and authorized by Congress in 2004. Participating agencies include the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The pass series permits admission to fee areas managed by these agencies and replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passport series.
Find out more about the America the Beautiful passes by contacting your local agency, such as a national park, or go to the America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass website.
Did You Know?
At the headwaters of the Mississippi, the average surface speed of the water is 1.2 miles per hour. People typically walk 3 miles per hour.