Minnehaha Falls is an astonishing waterfall in Minnehaha Regional Park, standing 53-foot tall having a river overlook. The wilderness waterfall in an urban setting has drawn millions of tourists every year and served Minneapolis as a picturesque site among Native Americans.
Minneapolis or Twin Cities anchors technologically developed metropolitan areas blended with cultural aspects, ample water resources, and multifaceted ecosystem. The largest fall in Twin City, Minnehaha Falls, is a precious jewel that enhances the beauty of Minneapolis with its heart-warming, peaceful serenity. It is beautiful any season and has what you need to get your fix. Minnehaha Falls boasts in historic Fort Snelling that cemented Minnesota’s beginning and respite it offers from the wind of modernization. Apart from the bustle of the city, Minnehaha Falls is where nature is at the purest form that comforts people, nurtures their souls, and gives them peace of mind. This epitome of natural wonder can be easily accessed from Downtown Minneapolis and Mall of American by light rail.
Tourists enjoy indulging in the adventure along the creek at Minnehaha Falls. Minnehaha Falls and the gorge as part of Minnehaha Historic District is the key of Minnehaha Park System that attracts more than 85000 people yearly to admire the cascade of water tumbling toward the Mississippi River.
Minnehaha Regional Park is a 193-acre park that encompasses striking geographical features, historical significance as one of the oldest parks in the US. The centerpiece of the park, Minnehaha Falls, was purchased to make a state park in 1889. The park overlooks the Mississippi River and is situated at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha parkway featuring John H. Steven House, Princess Depot, Minnehaha Falls off-leash Dog Pak, and many more attractions.
Minnehaha falls got worldwide fame in 1853 after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned ‘The Song of Hiawatha,’ putting Minnehaha on the national map. By the mid-1800s, Minnehaha Falls attracted lots of tourists to hike into the fall areas on the footpaths running along the creek to Mississippi, and the stunning waterfall hasn’t looked back since.
Most people enjoy swooning over the weddings at Minnehaha Falls. Low flow in Autumn gives the Falls a nice wispy look. A band of rain adds to the beauty of this elegant fall. The best thing about visiting this noteworthy site is no charge to view it. Both free and paid parking is available.
Attractions and Activities to perform in Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.
Minnehaha Falls Pergola Garden
Minnehaha Falls Pergola Garden is gloriously decorated from grand expanses to hidden gems. Constructed originally in 1995, the Pergola garden features North American natives (that have adapted to the region’s climate) and their cultivars, woodland area, etc. Pergola Garden has a jaw-dropping vine-covered pergola with rows of flowers and tunnels under the structure. During spring, a part of garden ephemerals enjoys access to full sunlight, while the garden also features many native shade-loving perennials.
Located in Minnehaha Regional Park, the garden is a venue for many folks to get married. Its beauty, space, bloom, and butterflies add to the excitement of weddings for people in this park system. It is open from 7:30 am to 10 pm and can be accessed by bike, bus, car, or even walk.
Visit John Steven House
John Steven House was the first authorized house in Minneapolis, a museum that depicts the historical exhibits and the ‘birthplace of Minneapolis.’ A statue of Steven-the early settler in St. Anthony, has adorned the park since 1911.
Relaxing at the park
The water tumbling over Minnehaha Falls, the park’s unique and significant geographical features, will relax the panicked and fatigued souls. One can have a picnic in the park’s many glen and grades, enjoying quick straws and views of the fall.
To appreciate the height of the cascade, you can take a short walk down a staircase or choose 2.1 miles out and back trail to a scenic river valley. The hiking trail will give you time to familiarize yourself with the abandoned falls, grassy glen area, muddy terrains, black ash swamp, historical stone bridge and wall structures, sandy beachhead, and wildlife, etc. The natural trails and elevated boardwalks will offer sights of Minnehaha Creek, Mississippi river gorge, and Minnehaha Falls. The trail is mostly closed during the winter season.
Minnehaha Dog Park
A great venue for dogs to run and swim, Minnehaha Dog Park stretches across the Mississippi Riverfront and offers several trails on higher and dry ground. Minnehaha Park has seven off-lease recreation areas for dogs offering beautiful views and exercise for dogs and their humans alike.
Tantalize your tastebud at Sea Salt Eatery
Dining at Sea Salt Eatery is a must as it savors delectable gourmet courses full of flavor with complimentary beverages. With the wide selection of free seafood from Calamari and crab to fried fish tacos and oyster sandwiches, the cozy beer garden will cater to your hunger, complementing the sound of falling water.
Minnehaha Falls Art Fair
For those who are craving art in day-to-day experience, Minnehaha Falls Art Fair will soak you in creativity with dozens of artists sharing and exhibiting their creations, bringing together live music and dance performances along with delicious beers and wines, amazing food, and many more.
Longfellow House and Gardens
Lying on the northwest side of Minnehaha Regional Park, Longfellow Gardens is graced with an arbor providing a stunning view of the downtown skyline. Using sound cultivation practices that promote healthy ‘living’ soil, the garden has varied perennials and annuals without the use of synthetic pesticides. Longfellow House belongs to Minneapolis philanthropist and entrepreneur named Robert F. Jones, which now provides information about the falls. The Longfellow Gardens cover an area of 13 acres, an oasis of green and quiet and providing a backdrop for special events such as weddings.
See life-sized Hiawatha Statue.
Based on the fictionized version of Hiawatha, Hiawatha Statue stands in Minnehaha Park depicting the mighty leader carrying his love Minnehaha. The Song of Hiawatha was an instant classic and had a significant cultural impact in the US. The sculpture of Hiawatha and Minnehaha is a regular attraction in the park, sitting as an unassuming symbol of the area’s original inhabitants and greeting visitors as they make their way to the fall.
Princess Depot is a free museum that was constructed in 1875. Officially called Minnehaha Depot, it stood on the first railroad line that connected Minneapolis to Chicago. Because of its delicate gingerbread canopy, the depot was referred to as ‘the Princess .’ It is reminiscent of the Victorian ear and now sits along the rail rock track southwest of the falls. The free museum can be visited on Sundays between 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
Disc Golf Course
Another recreational activity to do in Minnehaha Falls Park is to enjoy nine holes of disc golf-ranging from 57 to 83 yards in the northeast section of the park. The disc golf course near Wabun Picnic Shelter is a very chill course with some ice ace runs and features Par 3, concrete tees, and a flat layout.
Wabun Picnic Area and Pool
Wabun Picnic Area is an excellent choice for family visitors that has a popular wading pool featuring a cool spraying rock structure, zero-depth entry, and spray features that will let the kids practice swim skills on little deeper water while cooling off in summer. The park has seven picnic shelters for the public to rent for the power lunch or celebrate special events such as birthday parties.
Explore Minnehaha Fall surroundings by renting a ride from Wheel Fun Rentals. Take a leisurely ride by the waterfall or bike on several paved trails winding through the Minnehaha Park.
Minnehaha Falls in Summer
Minnehaha Falls is a favorite place for picnicking in summer when more attractions are open, including Wabun Wading pool, Sea Salt Eatery, etc. The warm, hot, and long days, dopamine from the sun makes summer an ideal season to hit the peak for the region.
Minnehaha Falls in Autumn
Minnehaha Falls offers different contrast of scenery during different seasons. Autumn is the vibrant time to chase glorious autumn foliage on this natural waterfall stunner. In fact, Minneapolis city as a whole comes alive with the vibrant yellow and cold color displays. The waterfall sets itself on a special aura, with splashes of colors framing the soft daylight that enhances the beauty of already beautiful Minnehaha Falls.
Minnehaha Falls in Winter
The striking urban waterfall shows its glory in the winter. A frozen wonderland in January and February creates a marvelous array of giant icicles and frosty formations. Bitter cold temperatures frozen over Minnehaha Falls into an ice cave feel grotto behind the waterfalls and turn from blue to distinct stripes of rainbow colors as light shines through. The beautiful ice cave formed by frozen Minnehaha Waterfall is winter magic that can be viewed from the sidewalk at the top near the stone wall. The beauty in that gorgeous ice freezing mid cascade is undeniable. The ice cave behind the frozen waterfall is a tranquil and peaceful place that changes into distinct stripes of rainbow colors varying according to the temperature.