Accessibility at the Park
Because the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is made up of many local, regional, state, and national entities, it is difficult to describe the accessibility of all facilities and trails, especially those managed by other units of government and private organizations. Museums, such as the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Mill City Museum, are up to modern accessibility standards. Trails that run through parks are sometimes of mixed surfaces and in various levels of repair. Some may be paved but do not meet grade requirements of modern accessibility standards or may not be in good condition and therefore unsuitable for mobility-impaired individuals.
National Park Service Facilities (NPS)
NPS facilities, including rented facilities, within this large park are accessible. This includes a hard-packed trail with gentle grades leads to the spring and spring house at Coldwater Spring. Other trails at this location are informal dirt paths, sometimes with steep slopes, which are rough and muddy after rains. Mississippi River islands managed by the National Park Service are in a wild state and, while open to the public unless otherwise posted, are not accessible.
The Mississippi River Visitor Center is accessible from the Science Museuem of Minnesota's parking ramp via elevators and to drop-off visitors at the front curb. The St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center is accessible via an elevator. The lock wall tour at St. Anthony is accessible for the mobility impaired via an alternative route whereupon they meet the main tour on the lock wall. The guided group does cross a grated walk which would not be accessible to those in wheelchairs. There is also a 4-6" gap in the grated walk across the top of the lock gates which may be difficult for the mobility-impaired to cross. We can, however, interpret the area from either the lock wall or the visitor center, which has a panoramic view of the area covered by the tour.