MRC Map 5: Coon Rapids Dam
River mile: 868 - 866
Suburbia gives way to green space as you enter Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (east and west) (865 to 867.7), which extends along both sides of the river. Traveling upriver, this is the first dam on the Mississippi that does not have a lock. Paddlers can portage around the east side of the dam.
The park on the east side of the river has a good trail system. Both sides have a visitor center with exhibits. The pedestrian/bike bridge on top of the dam provides scenic views upriver and of the rapids downriver and connects the two parks.
The Mississippi River Regional Trail begins in the east Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and follows a scenic, well-marked route downriver for 11 miles to Minneapolis. On the west side the Mississippi River Trail follows West River Road.
Did You Know?
The river is so shallow at Lake Itasca that children can walk across the Mississippi. Between Governor Nicholls Wharf and Algiers Point in New Orleans, the Mississippi is more than 200 feet deep.