Mississippi Gateway Regional Park

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park is one of the most unique parks in Three Rivers. The Mississippi River defines the boundary of this 160-acre park and there are many opportunities to see our nation’s greatest river up close. From the 12-foot-wide observation walkway on top of the dam, enjoy spectacular scenery, the roar of the water, and rainbows in the mist..

Follow the more than two miles of trails along the bank of the river and disappear into the beauty and quiet of nature. Look for signs of the abundant wildlife that live in or visit the park—mink, beaver, hawks, osprey, deer, turtles and river otters. In winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular activities here.

Interactive Map of Mississippi Gateway

Mississippi Gateway pdf map

things to do

Bike Trail

Biking

Bikers crossing the dam

1 mile of trail

There is one mile of paved trail in the park with an additional two miles of trails on the Anoka County side of the dam. Rush Creek Regional Trail connects the park to Elm Creek Park Reserve

The 12-ft wide walkway is a unique and popular bike path over the river.

Boat Launch

Boating

Girl paddling a kayak

A carry-in boat access to the Mississippi River is located behind the Visitor Center. Paddlers are advised to check Mississippi River conditions before launching.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

Man walking a dog on a paved trail

4.6 miles of trails

Walk your dog on the one mile paved trail, some turf trails, and on the adjoining Rush Creek Regional Trail. Dogs are allowed with a six-foot, non-retractable leash. Owners must pick-up after their dog.
 

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

Man and child fishing in the river

Mississippi River

A fishing deck is located on the west side of the dam. It is low enough to give anglers a good opportunity to ply the waters of the Mississippi River just below the gates of the dam. Spring flooding makes fishing unsafe along the shoreline and is discouraged. Water levels and current speed are variable at other times of the year. Fishing is not allowed from the Coon Rapids Dam walkway. Anglers must have a valid Minnesota fishing license.
 

Geocaching

Geocaching

GPS units on table

Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure. This activity involves placing or looking for a cache using global positioning system (GPS) equipment.

Hiking

Hiking

Paved trail in the woods

5.9 miles of trails

Two turf trails follow the river downstream from the dam and offer vistas of the islands and back channels. There is 1 mile of paved trail in the park including a walkway across the dam. Rush Creek Regional Trail connects the park to Elm Creek Park Reserve
 

Nature Education

Nature Education

Children looking at minnows in a jar

The Visitor Center, located on west side of the river, is nestled in the woods above the river floodplain. The activities and exhibits focus on the natural history of the Mississippi River. Inside the visitor center, guests can find hands-on exhibits, live animals, and year-round nature programming. Exploration backpacks are also available for checkout! 
 

Paddling

Paddling

A man in a red hat paddles a red kayak on the water.

A carry-in boat access is located below the visitor center. Paddlers are advised to check Mississippi River conditions before launching.

Paddle Share Program

The Mississippi River Paddle Share Program has partnered with Three Rivers to offer kayak rentals to experienced paddlers! Put-in stations are located in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park and River Park (in partnership with Brooklyn Park). Plan your trip, make online reservations, and see who else has partnered with this program. Learn more.

Picnic Area

Picnic Areas

Picnic table in shaded area

First-come, first-served picnic tables and grills are available for use throughout the park, with plenty of room for lawn games.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Group snowshoeing across field

1.5 miles of trails

Explore the nature trails along the Mississippi River with snowshoes available to rent at the Visitor Center. See pricing.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 22 | Three Rivers Park District
Find adventure this summer! Choose from camps on topics including nature, science, survival, history and more. Registration opens Jan. 22 at 8 AM.

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Enjoy nighttime adventures under the magic of a full moon. Experience the beauty of the parks at night and see which creatures come out to greet you.

Feb. 15 | Mississippi Gateway
Celebrate winter with snowshoeing, dog sledding, fat biking and more. Warm up with snacks around a campfire.

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.

Nature School is an outdoor-based preschool program for children ages 4-6. Led by Three Rivers at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, it provides the freedom to explore and play in nature, fostering a lifelong connection to the natural world! 

Watch a Video about Mississippi Gateway

Park Operations

Three Rivers Park District owns all of the land within Mississippi Gateway Regional Park plus the entire Coon Rapids Dam. Learn more about the operations of this area.

Give to Mississippi Gateway

Do you love Mississippi Gateway Regional Park? Support the park with a donation!

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 38–40: Life Under the Ice

Explore what happens in lakes in the winter, learn how invasive species impact life under the ice, and discover the history of ice harvesting.

The Three Rivers Blog

Our 7 Favorite Winter Activities

By: Ashley Smith Anders Hanson

December 23, 2019

We've compiled a list of our 7 favorite activities to help you embrace winter this season. Some of them might be things you've already done before, but a few of them might be new activities you want to try!

December 09, 2019

Winter solstice falls on December 21 and marks the shortest day of the year. Discover solstice stories told around the world and explore ancient celebrations honoring this magical time of year.

November 04, 2019

Minnesota is home to seven species of bats, but they don't all approach winter the same way. Read on to learn how bats survive our coldest months of the year.

trails that connect

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