Trail: North Mississippi Regional Park

Description: North Mississippi Regional Park acts as a hub for trails outside of its boundaries. There are several trails that link the parking areas to the trails at the south. One trail extends to the north boundary and to a trail to the Coon Rapids Dam. The official description of the park is at the Minneapolis Parks site.

Getting there: Take I-94 north of Minneapolis to the 49th & 53rd Ave exit. Follow the exit to N Mississippi Drive (between 49th and 53rd) N Mississippi Drive is the entrance to the park. Click here for a map.

Length: There are 1-2 miles of trails in the park but much longer stretches after you leave it. The primary external trail is from the park up to the Coon Rapids Dam, where you can connect with the North Hennepin Trail Corridor. This trail (unknown if it has a name at this time) has varied conditions. It goes under I-694 to a few blocks of quiet residential streets till it becomes a wide sidewalk type trail (along West River Parkway) and then moves to the river side of the road and becomes a regular trail.

Difficulty: Easy for the most part. There are some small grades in the south end of the park and where the trail goes under I-694. There can be some debris and wetness due to the amount of trees covering the branches that are along the river bank to the south. There are also branches that are in open areas that can be used as alternates for that section.

Popularity/number of other users: This trail is relatively new and unknown.

Surface conditions: Excellent. The trail in the park was made around 2000 and the trail to the Coon Rapids Dam was made in 2003.

Scenery: The park section is excellent. A lot of old trees and the Mississippi River. There is also a very well done interpretive center in the park with information about the history and ecology of the area.

Nearby restaurants: None in the park but it is on the edge of the Camden Neighborhood. There is a restaurant on the trail just south of the Coon Rapids Dam, but it has not been reviewed. There are plenty of restaurants in the Brookdale area, a couple miles west on 694.

Water: There is water plus toilet facilities at both the main parking lot and in the interpretive center. There is also water and facilites at the Coon Rapids Dam.

Comments: The other trails that connect with this park require intermediate to advanced skating skills. The Shingle Creek exits the south west edge of the park and goes to Brookdale and the Palmer Lake Basin trail. Crossing the Mississippi at 42nd Avenue (the south edge of the park), brings you to a series of parks (and some street sections) that form a trail up to the Coon Rapids Dam. That trail is much more difficult than the one on the west side of the river. There are other bike trails (unreviewed at this time) that connect with the east end of the 42nd Avenue bridge.


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