Father Hennepin Bluffs Park

Flowers frame a gazebo in the background at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park.


The park consists of 5.5 acres and sits on a wooded bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It is adjacent to Pillsbury Park and connected to the many parks on both sides of the river through an extensive trail system.


In 1680 Father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan priest, led a French expedition down the Illinois River to its mouth, where they turned up the Mississippi River. They soon met a Dakota war party. Together they headed upriver to what is now St. Paul and then traveled overland to the Dakota villages on Mille Lacs Lake.
In July of that same year, however, Hennepin traveling south on the Mississippi River came upon the falls known to the Dakota as “Owahmenah” (falling water). He named the falls after his patron Saint Anthony of Padua, or St. Anthony. The park is the traditional location of an ancient portage route around the St. Anthony Falls, so Hennepin may have first observed the waterfall from this park that now bears his name.


Picnicking, walking and biking paths, scenic views to St. Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River.
Biking, Hiking & Walks, Picnicking

Hours, Directions, and Contact Information

Nearby Sites

Pillsbury Park, Stone Arch Bridge, St. Anthony Historic District, Mill Ruins Park, Nicollet Island Park, St. Anthony Falls, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

Last updated: February 28, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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


This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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