Coldwater Spring Restoration

Winter scene at Coldwater Spring House

Trail Map (PDF; 128 KB)
Directions (5601 Minnehaha Park Drive South, Minneapolis)

Visit Coldwater Spring

Restoring an Urban National Park

Buildings from the former 'Bureau of Mines' site were demolished and the Coldwater Spring was re-opened to the public in 2012. The National Park Service, partners and volunteers have been working since to restore the prairie, oak savanna and wetlands surrounding the historic spring house and reservoir.

A large black and yellow butterfly feeds on lavender flowers.
A Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterfly feeds on blooming wild bergamot at Coldwater Spring

Monarch caterpillars chomp on the 4 milkweed species planted and seeded (Coldwater Spring Plant List (PDF; 155kb). Amphibians and reptiles, like tiger salamanders and snapping turtles, have been seen feasting on invertebrates in the newly restored wetlands. Eastern bluebirds stop over during spring and fall migration to fill up on insects and water. Ospreys dive-bomb fish living in the springhouse reservoir. Red fox and coyotes prey on small mammals that burrow in the restored prairie. Wildlife, insects, native fish and migrating birds are all signs of a healthier ecosystem at Coldwater Spring.

An aerial map showing progress of plantings at Coldwater Spring.
One field season restoring an urban National Park: Maps of plant removal and plantings at Coldwater Spring (PDF; 513 KB)

Field crews and volunteers are hard at work year-round removing invasive plants, like garlic mustard and buckthorn, and planting native species to restore key areas of habitat. Restoration maps (PDF 519 KB) give a closer look at the exciting areas of restoration at Coldwater Spring.

A crowd of people gather amidst trees.
Volunteers gather at Coldwater Spring for National Public Lands Day.

A Park in Progress

Volunteer commitment is vital to the long term success of Coldwater Spring's restoration goals. Find out how to donate your time and volunteer to help make Coldwater Spring a healthy and resilient natural resource.

Discover More at Coldwater Spring

Second Saturdays at Coldwater Spring (Event Calendar)

Ranger-led audio tour - Ranger on Call

Coldwater Spring on Facebook

Images and Multimedia

History of Coldwater Spring

Park Rules and Regulations

See the Superintendent's Compendium (PDF, 2.8 MB).

Attention: Park managers do not recommend drinking water from the spring, spring house or reservoir (Water Quality Report, PDF; 101 KB).

Last updated: October 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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

Phone:

(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.

Contact Us