The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board welcomes you to Minnehaha Park. The park consists of two levels: The upper level is maintained as an open picnicking area. Many of the city's traditional festivals such as Svenskarnas Dag are held here. The lower level - Minnehaha Glen - is maintained in a natural state to preserve the natural and cultural history of the city. The combination and the contrast of the two provide you, the user, a variety of experience while in the park.Minnehaha Park Lower Glen Development
The lower glen offers interesting and simple lessons in geological, ecological and cultural histories of the area which are inscribed in plaques throughout the glen. Even from this point, the receding of the St. Anthony Falls, up the Mississippi can be read from geological formations.
After glaciation, the Mississippi River was formed with a fall (St. Anthony Falls) near Fort Snelling. During thousands of years this fall moved up the river towards its present location near the Third Avenue Bridge. Also after glaciation, the high land across from you was an island on the Mississippi with a channel on each side. As the St. Anthony Falls moved up the river it split to go around the island. Since the eastern channel was the shortest and had the softest underlying stone, the eastern fall passed the north end of the island before the western falls and robbed all of the water from the western channel. The abandoned western fall lies immediately to your left at the north end of the deer pen area.
Immediately to your right is the spot where Minnehaha Falls existed approximately five thousand years ago. It has receded 500 feet westward since its creation.
Since it is almost a mile to the confluence of the Minnehaha and the Mississippi with a total fall of 115 feet, we recommend a leisurely pace both going and returning.
A great deal of effort has been put forth to retain the natural beauty of the glen so please leave everything as you find it.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board - 1969