Perched above the Mississippi River, the West Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center offers an exceptional array of exhibits and material interpreting the River habitat. A highlight of the Visitor Center is the large aquaria containing river fish, turtles and other local reptiles and amphibians. Come nose to nose with a longnosed gar, see if you can spot the eel, and discover what the largest minnow is. Find out more about the river using interactive media that explores topics such as river biology, freshwater mussels, and osprey.
Our Nature Exploration Area is right next to the Visitors Center. The exploration area is a fenced, natural space created to encourage free play in the outdoors. Kids and adults can dig in the sand "river", crawl through the "ant" tunnel, build forts, search for the "fairy" door, and exercise their creativity.
For great vistas follow the path to the observation walkway on top of the Dam, watch the Ospreys high in their tower nest, search for special rocks along the river, fish, hug a 250-year old oak tree, hunt for frogs in the wetlands, or search for signs of the park’s abundant animals.
Please be aware that the walkway across the Coon Rapids Dam is currently closed for construction.
In addition to providing fun and educational programs for school and other groups, Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center is also host to summer camps and birthday parties.
We rely on the support of volunteers to maintain the high quality programs and operations at our nature centers. If you're interested in becoming an important part of our team of volunteers, please contact us.