As a national destination, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area offers an exploration of American industry and culture along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. The National Recreation Area is a 72 mile stretch of the Mississippi that runs through the major Minnesota cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Explore the St. Anthony Falls whose impressive water power used to fuel lumber and flour mills in the 18th and 19th centuries. Walk across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis that features 23 arches in native granite and limestone. Visit the two majors lock and dam systems in the recreation Area, which allow commercial barges to travel through the river. The adventurous visitor can canoe, kayak, fish, and cross-country ski in the St. Croix River Valley.
Visit the Mississippi River and discover the rich American history this iconic waterway has to offer.
Unfortunately, America's iconic river suffers from elevated mercury, excessive bacteria, and widespread pollution that threaten its health. The river is also plagued with invasive Asian carp which jump dramatically from the water, creating a potentially harmful situation for recreational visitors, affecting native fish populations, and threatening the area's important tourism industry.