Mississippi Gateway Visitor Center

Perched above the Mississippi River, on the west side of the River, the Mississippi Gateway 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, toads and more. Come nose to nose with a longnose gar, watch a map turtle swim, and view songbirds at the birdfeeders.

Interactive Map of Mississippi Gateway

Mississippi Gateway PDF Maps

Find a printable map of the park on the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park page

See all upcoming programs and events at Mississippi Gateway!

Becoming Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

From community input and a partnership between Three Rivers and Brooklyn Park, the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area are becoming one. 

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park will become a year-round connection for all people to celebrate the Mississippi River. 

Nearer to the Coon Rapids Dam and the new Mississippi Gateway Center, the park will focus on the river and active recreation. Moving away from the dam, the park will become more wild with field learning stations for nature exploration.

Three Rivers and Brooklyn Park will work together, and construction will occur as funds become available.

Learn more about the master plan.

More about Mississippi Gateway Visitor Center

Observation Walkway

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 animal signs.

Nature Exploration Area

The nature exploration area next to the visitor center is a natural space created to encourage free play in the outdoors. Kids and adults can explore the forest, build forts, and exercise their creativity.

Backpack Kits

Backpack kits are available, free of charge, for individuals and groups visiting the park. Topics are trees, birds, insects, and the Mississippi River. Kits may include binoculars, fun family activities, identification books, insect nets, etc.

Nature School is an outdoor-based preschool program led by Three Rivers at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park for children ages 4-6. It provides the freedom to explore and play in nature, fostering a lifelong connection to the natural world, and promoting the development of our next generation of environmental stewards! 


Looking for a special experience for your group? The professional naturalists at the Mississippi Gateway Visitor Center offer a wide variety of outdoor educational programsĀ for schools, scouts, community groups, senior centers, homeschools, and other groups. Learn more.

A group of people paddle a raft down the river


Three Rivers relies on the support of volunteers to maintain the high quality programs and operations in the parks.

Wild Birthday Parties are offered year-round and are appropriate for children age four and older. Nature-based topics range from pond insects to birds, and snowshoeing to live animals. 

Similar Areas

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

10360 West River Road
Brooklyn Park, MN 55444

Eastman Nature Center

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Dayton, MN 55369

Richardson Nature Center

8737 East Bush Lake Road
Bloomington, MN 55438