Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center

Perched above the Mississippi River, on the west side of the River, the 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 longnose gar, see if you can spot the eel, and discover what the largest minnow is.

places at Coon Rapids Dam

More about Coon Rapids Dam 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.

Programs and Events

Upcoming programs and events at Coon Rapids Dam.

The Sumac Reservation Area at Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center offers a unique setting for your next meeting, retreat, family gathering or other event.

Groups

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

A group of people paddle a raft down the river

Volunteers

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

Sat., Aug. 12
Try fishing and archery, collect critters along the shore, create river-inspired art, and go on a short paddle during a Rafting Sampler (reservations recommended).

Lifelong memories are made at camp! Camps for kids ages 4–15 are available on topics including nature exploration, outdoor recreation, golf, fishing, farming, art and Minnesota history.

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. 

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