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Minnehaha Park

Minnehaha Park is a beloved urban oasis located within the city limits of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Renowned for its picturesque waterfalls, lush scenery, and rich history, the park spans across 193 acres and offers a tranquil retreat for residents and tourists alike. The park’s centerpiece, Minnehaha Falls, has captivated visitors for over a century and continues to be a highlight of the Twin Cities’ natural attractions.


Minnehaha Park’s history is deeply intertwined with the cultural fabric of Minnesota. The name “Minnehaha” is derived from the Dakota language, meaning “waterfall.” The area was popularized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “The Song of Hiawatha,” even though the poet never visited the site.

The park was officially established in 1889 and quickly became a popular destination, accessible by streetcar. Throughout the years, Minnehaha Park has seen many changes but has always remained a cherished spot for both recreation and contemplation, often regarded as a symbol of Minnesota’s natural beauty.


  • Location: Southeast Minneapolis, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers
  • Size: Approximately 193 acres
  • Visitors: Estimated 850,000 annually
  • Features: Minnehaha Falls, limestone bluffs, river overlooks, historical sites, gardens, and a wading pool
  • Facilities: Picnic areas, bike rentals, a seafood restaurant, and outdoor performance spaces


Minnehaha Park is situated at 4801 South Minnehaha Park Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417. Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, the park is easily accessible from downtown Minneapolis and is a popular starting point for biking and hiking along the river’s scenic pathways.


For more information about events, park history, and amenities, visitors can access the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s official website.

Opening Hours

The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, specific facilities within the park, such as the seafood restaurant and bike rental, may have different operating hours.

Things to Do

Minnehaha Park offers a myriad of activities catering to all ages:

  • Admire Minnehaha Falls: View the 53-foot waterfall, which is stunning in all seasons.
  • Explore Trails: Walk or bike on trails that wind through the park’s verdant landscape and along the river.
  • Visit Historical Sites: Learn about the park’s history at sites like the John H. Stevens House and the Longfellow House Hospitality Center.
  • Enjoy Picnics: Utilize the picnic areas with available grills for a lovely outdoor meal.
  • Gardens: Stroll through the Pergola Garden and other beautifully maintained gardens.
  • Attend Events: Check the park’s calendar for live music, outdoor films, and other community events.
  • Recreation: Play at the wading pool, volleyball courts, and disc golf course.

Tips For Visiting

Maximize your experience at Minnehaha Park with these visitor tips:

  • Footwear: Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking or hiking on uneven terrain.
  • Weather Prep: Dress appropriately for the weather, as much of the park’s enjoyment is found outdoors.
  • Parking: Arrive early to find parking, as the lots can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Photography: Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beauty of the falls and surrounding nature.
  • Water Activities: Inquire about current conditions if planning to explore the creek or wade near the falls.
  • Accessibility: The park is accessible, but some trails may be challenging for those with mobility issues.
  • Pets: Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after.


Minnehaha Park is a gem within the urban setting of Minneapolis, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational activities, and cultural significance. Whether you’re there to witness the majestic Minnehaha Falls, immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding landscapes, or delve into the rich local history, the park promises a memorable and enriching experience for all who visit. It remains a testament to the city’s dedication to preserving natural spaces where community, culture, and nature can coexist and flourish.

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