Ranger On Call

Ranger On Call program banner

Ranger On Call is an audio tour to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. There are at least two stations for each of the six tours currently available.

A map of each tour and the associated stations can be found on the Ranger On Call website. Stations are identified with signs throughout each tour. To access the station's audio tour call 1-877-727-1172, after a brief introduction, enter the two digit station ID (found on the sign) to hear the story for that location. Although being on site will certainly enrich the story experience, the audio tour number can be called from any station at anytime. The tours can also be done virtually by visiting the Ranger On Call website.

All tours can be walked or explored virtually, some tours can be done by bicycle. The biking tour signs are attached to Nice Ride Minnesota bicycle rental stations. The Nice Ride Minnesota bike rental stations are available early spring to late fall. If you would like to complete the tour during the off season of Nice Ride Minnesota, please check out the map of the tour you are interested in on the Ranger On Call website. Approximate location of call spots are identified as well as the station number to aid in the tour experience.

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Tour

wetland surrounded by prairie at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary tour is a walking tour. No bicycles may be ridden through the Bruce Vento site. Bicycle racks are available near the parking lot.

Just minutes from the heart of Saint Paul you can find towering bluffs, spring-fed wetlands, and a restored prairie. The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary offers an escape from the city concrete and offers folks the story of a changing Minnesota.

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: mostly flat
Total Distance: 0.95 miles
Total Walk Time: 35 minutes (approximately)
Total Number of Stops: 3 stops

Coldwater Spring Tour

Coldwater Spring house and reservoir

The Coldwater Spring tour is a walking tour. No bicycles may be ridden through the Coldwater Spring site. Bicycle racks are available near the parking lot.

For centuries, Coldwater Spring has played an important role in the lives of people living along the Mississippi River. Today, it’s a national park boasting restored oak savanna and prairie. Take a walk and learn about its important place in Minnesota history.

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: mostly flat
Total Distance: 0.8 miles
Total Walk Time: 30 minutes (approximately)
Total Number of Stops: 5 stops

Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront Tour

canoes and kayaks on the Mississippi River passing the Boom Island lighthouse

The downtown Minneapolis tour is a walking or bicycling tour. 

Home to the only waterfall on the Mississippi River, you’ll find the view of Saint Anthony Falls from the Stone Arch Bridge breathtaking. Explore this iconic spot nestled below the downtown skyline, and learn why Minneapolis used to be called the Mill City.

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: flat
Total Distance: 2.6 miles
Total Bike Time: 50 minutes
Total Walk Time: 1 hour & 30 minutes
Total Number of Stops: 4 stops

Downtown Saint Paul Riverfront Tour

view of downtown Saint Paul from the Mississippi River

The Downtown Saint Paul tour is a walking or bicycling tour.

The Mississippi River flows 2,320 miles—Harriet Island is a lovely place to learn about it. If you want to talk to a real park ranger, stop by the Mississippi River Visitor Center in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota—it’s free!

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: hilly
Total Distance: 4 miles
Total Bike Time: 50 minutes (approximately)
Total Walk Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (approximately)
Total Number of Stops: 5 stops

Fort Snelling Tour

confluence of the Minnesota River and Mississippi River

The Fort Snelling Tour is a walking or bicycling tour. 

Come explore our state’s proud and sometimes painful history on this tour. Some of the sites it will lead you past are: Historic Fort Snelling, Coldwater Spring, and the lovely Minnehaha Falls.

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: mostly flat
Total Distance: 5.5 miles
Total Bike Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (approximately)
Total Walk Time: 2 hour and 30 minutes (approximately)
Total Number of Stops: 4 stops

Hastings Riverfront Tour

confluence of the Saint Croix River and the Mississippi River, two bridges span the St. Croix River

The Fort Snelling Tour is a walking or bicycling tour. 

The history of Hastings is intimately entwined with the Mississippi River. Jaycee Park boasts excellent fishing, boating, and bird watching opportunities. See wildlife such as bald eagles and eregrine falcons while enjoying a walk on the scenic Hastings riverfront.

Trail Map and Station Stories
Trail Condition: mostly flat
Total Distance: 0.5 miles
Total Bike Time: 15 minutes (approximately)
Total Walk Time: 25 minutes (approximately)
Total Number of Stops: 2 stops