MRC Map 18: Inver Grove Heights
River mile: 830 - 828
The large oil refinery (830.1 E) reminds us of the river's industrial importance, but much of this reach is wild. The double-decker Rock Island Swing Bridge (830.3), built in 1895, used to carry trains and cars across the river just upstream from the refinery. The bridge was closed in 1999, and all but the west approach was removed in 2009. The remaining section of the bridge is being converted into a recreational pier.
The many islands make for great backwater canoeing here. The channel along the east side of the river below Lions Levee Park (829.7 E) is very scenic. Watch for egrets, eagles, and evidence of beavers. Several protected marinas provide access to the main channel.
Riverside Park is being restored to native woodland and oak savanna and has nice walking trails.
The west Mississippi River Trail follows 70th Street East to Argenta Trail, passes through Eagan and Rosemount, and enters south Hastings on 160th Street East.
The east Mississippi River Trail passes through St. Paul Park on Summit Avenue before turning toward the river on Pullman Avenue.
Did You Know?
The Mississippi River is approximately three feet deep at its headwaters at Lake Itasca and has an average surface speed of 1.2 miles per hour.