Map 6: Where Rivers Meet
Here the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers converge in a series of backwater channels, islands, and floodplain forests. The confluence of these two great rivers is of special importance to the Dakota and home to a number of secluded parks, historic sites, and trails. Lose yourself in the history and nature tucked away between the Twin Cities.
The trails in this regionduck into areas ofseemingly untouched nature despite their proximity to the airport and a number of highways. Some trails, like the Mendota Trail and trails in Hidden Falls Regional Park, bring you right to the river’s sandy edge. Others, like the Big Rivers Regional Trail, one of the ten most scenic rail-trails in the country, follow the bluffs and looks down on the river. There are over 20 miles of interconnected trails in this area.
There’s a lot to do in this segment, from touring Fort Snelling State Park or the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, to visiting the 19th-century buildings and living history at Historic Fort Snelling or Sibley House Historic Site. You can also enjoy the trails on Pike Island or the seclusion of Hidden Falls.
View and print the Where the Rivers Meet map (PDF) and associated trail notes.
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.