Minnehaha Creek / Falls, Minneapolis
Minnehaha Park is a local favorite as it's connected to the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway's pedestrian and bike trails and has a nice seafood cafe open in the warmer months (see Sea Salt Eatery tip under Restaurants). It also has picnic grounds, a wading pool, play areas, bike and surrey rentals and one gorgeous waterfall with walking trails both above and below it.
Special bonus: it's on the Hiawatha light rail route with a transit station just across the street on Hiawatha Ave. If you're staying downtown or near the airport, you can hop the train and escape to some green space! Nearby paved paths along West River Parkway and S. Mississippi River Blvd. are excellent for blading, biking and walking, and Winchell Trail (access at 44th Street, north of the park on West River Parkway) takes you through the woods on paved/ unpaved paths into the Mississippi River Gorge. See "Mississippi River Gorge Ramble" tip after this one.
Reference attached links for park map/info, Light Rail schedule and bike rentals.
They had a $99 round trip deal from Atlanta to Minneapolis so my girl and I went for the weekend---We took a taxi around just to get the lay of the land, so to speak, and he stopped to show us the Falls in their frozen state....Very cool! (get it?)
As Spring came alive this weekend we decided to visit the Minnehaha Falls. Located right beside Fort Snelling this falls is 'only' 10,000 years old (a rather recent activity in the glacial evolution of America) but the beauty is enhanced by the icicles around the falls. March end sees the thawing of ice and the 53 ft high falls makes for a rather picteresque getaway. the monorail connects you to the falls and the surrounding park area is great for a nice outdoor jaunt. The falls is just before the creek's confluence with the Missisippi river. The name of the falls translated actually means the laughing water and truly somewhere in there one can spot a grin! The ice though made it look like a phantom grin :)
Today, the falls are located near the entrance of Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The park is divided into two main portions, an upper section above the falls which is kept trimmed and maintained like many other city parks, and the lower section which is largely left in a natural state which is largely popular for free climbing due to the steep terrain. Minnehaha Park is a popular site for cultural festivities and weddings.
Minnehaha Falls is a 53 foot high water fall. Before and after the falls flows the Minnehaha Creek which runs several miles though urban Minneapolis, Lake Nakomis and Lake Hiawatha into the Mississippi River. Located in the large Minneahaha Park the falls are the centerpiece. Next to the falls is the pavillion which can be rented for special occasions and also has the Sea Salt seafood restaurant with outside dining.
You can hike down to the where the bottom of the falls and hike along the lower Minnehaha Creek to the Mississippi. There is no fee except for parking in the pay lots. But if you are willing to walk a few blocks and have a little patience you can find free parking along Minnehaha Ave. or the other side streets near bye.
The falls and park are open from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. year round. Best viewing is in the warmer months but winter viewing can be spectacular, especially when the falls are shrouded in sheets of ice.
This magnificent 53-foot waterfall was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, A Song of Hiawatha, which he penned in 1853. Longfellow, who lived in Massachusetts, only saw the falls in photographs. For the city of Minneapolis it is a wilderness treasure in the middle of an urban area, a natural feature few other cities can match.
Minnehaha Falls is the main attraction of Minnehaha Park and has been a magnet for both locals and tourists city for almost 200 years. Minnehaha comes from the Dakota Indian language, " Mni" meaning water and "haha" being falls. "Minnehaha" is also sometimes translated as "laughing waters."
A popular hiking loop begins at the falls and follows the course of Minnehaha Creek through fields, woods, marsh and a deep ravine.
This is where I spent many an afternoon in highschool avoiding class. Its really quite impressive especially when you've seen it in both the summer and winter, and realize how much water here is actually frozen. This picture is from february of this year.
One of the area's most popular parks, Minnehaha is full of great spots for picnics, hiking trails and views of the falls. There are also many concerts given here in the summer time.
You'll also find some interesting sculptures with Native American themes near the waterfalls. The falls themselves are impressive falling 53 feet over limestone cliffs. I also like coming here in the wintertime when the water freezes and is interesting to see.
These falls are a 53 foot falls inside Minneapolis on a small river close to the Mississippi. In March, we saw an ice sculpture.
We found the falls difficult to find. The park is obvious (it is called the Minnehaha State Park), but actually finding the falls was difficult as it was not marked.
I 'borrowed' a picture off the net. When I develop my spring picture, I will replace it with my own.
Minnehaha falls is a drop of about 50 feet by Minnehaha creek, which courses it's way through the city and serves as the connecting link between many of the lakes in Minneapolis. It is possible to follow a walking/bike path from the Falls (in the southeast corner of Minneapolis) to Cedar Lake, just west of downtown. It's best to view the falls during the spring/early summer, when snowmelt cases the creek to swell and the falls to be at their fullest.
It's a hike - albiet a short one. If I remember correctly this approx. 50 feet falls provided the inspiration (or setting) for Longfellows - "Song of Hiawatha." As wrong as I may be, it's just plain beautifuly set in lush green. Even if you are from the West U.S. and have seen such greats as Yosemite this is still a must see if you have more than a couple of days in the Twin Cities.
The 53 ft high falls are where Minnehaha Creek, which starts at Lake Minnetonka, flows to the Mississippi River. The surrounding area, including the gorge cut by the receding falls, is a state park. The falls are a great (and free!) place to go year round. In the summer, you can hike to the bottom where it is green and lush and there are hiking trails that surround the area. In winter, the falls are usually frozen in a dramatic cascade. The stairs down are officially closed in winter, but the adventurous...