Project Activity

In 2010, the National Park Service acquired responsibility for Coldwater Spring. The site is open to the public.

See below for the most recent updates on the restoration progress. Read more about the phases of the entire construction project.


11/12/2013: CenterPoint Energy gas pipeline relocation
CenterPoint Energy plans to relocate a gas pipeline that travels through the property of Coldwater Spring. The project is set to begin November 18th, 2013 and should take roughly 5 weeks. The Fort Snelling State Trail (west of Coldwater Spring) will be closed from November 18th - December 6th. There will be no construction activity on NPS property. The existing pipeline running through NPS property will be capped and abandoned in place.

For more information:

9/1/2012: Coldwater Spring is OPEN!
Construction activities have ended and Coldwater Spring is now open to the public. Let the restoration to a tallgrass prairie oak savanna begin!

7/3/2012: Flowing Creek

The reservoir level has been raised and there is now a creek flowing from the spring to the river!

6/15/2012: Demolition Update & Tour
By February 2012, all twelve buildings were gone. The historic springhouse and reservoir will remain at Coldwater. Throughout spring and summer 2012, construction crews continue to restore Coldwater. In June, crews removed the culvert that hid Coldwater Creek. Crews will build a bridge next to the reservoir, so visitors will be able to see creek water flowing from the reservoir. In time, visitors will be able to walk along Coldwater Creek Trail from the reservoir down to the river.

1/5/2012: Demolition Update & Tour
Only one building remains on the Coldwater Unit, and it could be gone within a week. Most of the trees slated for removal have been cut, and the ore bin near Coldwater Creek has been extracted. The public is invited to tour the site with National Park Service rangers this Saturday from 2:30 to 3:30. Registration is not required. Parking will not be available on-site due to construction activity; however on-street, metered parking is available. (Directions)

12/16/2011: Building Demolition Underway
Transforming the former Bureau of Mines property to an open space/park is well underway. Buildings 5 and 7, both warehouses, on the southern end of the property have been demolished. Building 11 on the hill above Coldwater Spring and reservoir has been torn down. Building 4, former pilot plant, next to the reservoir, has had its transite wall panels removed. The metal super-structure is partially removed, with the remainder coming down next week. Demolition on Building 2, the crusher building, also near the reservoir has begun. Complete demolition will likely take several days.

11/3/2011: Ranger led Tours During Closure
The public is invited to National Park Service ranger led tours of the site on the following Saturdays from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Initial dates are: November 12 and 19, December 3 and 17, January 7 and 21, February 4 and 18, March 3, 17, and 31. Registering for the event is not required. Parking will not be available on-site due to construction activity; however on-street, metered parking is available. (Directions)

10/26/2011: Coldwater Site to be Closed During Construction
Beginning November 1, 2011 the Coldwater Unit (former Bureau of Mines) will be closed to public access. The general contractor, USA Environmental Management, Inc., will begin preparations for demolition of the buildings and restoration of the site.

10/5/2011: Coldwater Spring Water Quality Testing (MN Department of Health, 2005) (PDF, 191kb)
Based on previous water quality tests (MN Department of Health, 2005) and the nature of an open unprotected water source, the National Park Service recommends not drinking water from Coldwater Spring.

9/22/2011: Coldwater Renderings Released (PDF, 2.2mb)
These generalized sketches show what the site could begin to look like as it is converted to an open space, park-like setting. The first phase of construction, consisting of demolition of the buildings and parking lots, daylighting the creek and interim landscape restoration will begin in mid to late November, 2011.

8/18/2011: Willow Tree at Camp Coldwater Removed

After great consideration, the National Park Service has decided to remove the willow tree, located at Camp Coldwater.


Last updated: October 15, 2018

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Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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