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Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge is an iconic structure and historical landmark in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Spanning the Mississippi River, it was originally constructed as a railroad bridge in 1883 and has since become a symbol of the city’s rich industrial past. Today, it is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, providing stunning views of the river, Saint Anthony Falls, and the Minneapolis skyline.


The Stone Arch Bridge was built by railroad tycoon James J. Hill for his Great Northern Railway. Its purpose was to facilitate the movement of people and goods across the river without disrupting the power derived from Saint Anthony Falls, which was crucial for the local milling industry. The bridge is notable for its unique design and use of native granite and limestone.

After serving the railroad industry for nearly a century, the bridge was closed to railroad traffic in 1978. It was later renovated and reopened in 1994 as a pedestrian and bike trail. It is now an integral part of the Saint Anthony Falls Heritage Trail.


  • Location: Between the 3rd Avenue Bridge and the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, crossing the Mississippi River
  • Length: Approximately 2,100 feet (640 meters)
  • Width: 28 feet (8.5 meters)
  • Materials: Granite and limestone
  • Design: 23 arches with a gentle curve


The Stone Arch Bridge is accessible from both sides of the Mississippi River. It connects the Mill City Museum area on the west bank to Father Hennepin Bluff Park on the east bank.


While the Stone Arch Bridge itself does not have an official website, information about it and related events can often be found on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s website: Minneapolis Parks and Recreation.

Opening Hours

The Stone Arch Bridge is open to the public year-round, 24 hours a day. However, it’s best to visit during daylight hours to appreciate the views and ensure personal safety.

Things to Do

Visitors to the Stone Arch Bridge can enjoy a variety of activities:

  • Scenic Walks/Bike Rides: The bridge offers a safe, vehicle-free path for pedestrians and cyclists with breathtaking views of the river and cityscape.
  • Photography: It is a popular spot for photography, offering panoramic vistas of the skyline, historic mills, and the falls.
  • Historical Exploration: Interpretive signs along the bridge provide historical context about the area’s milling history and the bridge’s construction.
  • Events: The bridge and surrounding areas host various events throughout the year, including fireworks displays, festivals, and races.
  • Nearby Attractions: Visit the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, and the Minneapolis Riverfront district, all within walking distance.

Tips For Visiting

To make the most of your visit to the Stone Arch Bridge, consider the following tips:

  • Weather Preparedness: Minnesota weather can be unpredictable. Dress in layers and be prepared for changes in weather, especially if visiting in fall, winter, or spring.
  • Safety: While the bridge is considered safe, it’s always wise to stay aware of your surroundings, especially when visiting after dark.
  • Parking: Parking can be found in nearby paid lots and streets, but it can be limited during events or peak times.
  • Accessibility: The bridge is wheelchair accessible, with ramps leading up to the bridge on both sides of the river.
  • Pets: Pets are allowed on the bridge but must be kept on a leash.


The Stone Arch Bridge is more than just a method of crossing the Mississippi River; it is a living piece of Minneapolis history that offers residents and visitors alike a place to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy of the city. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll, cycling, delving into the area’s industrial heritage, or simply soaking in the urban landscape, the Stone Arch Bridge is a must-see destination that embodies the spirit of Minneapolis.

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