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.

COVID-19

Updates & FAQs

Our parks and trails are open! Please remember to practice social distancing while enjoying the outdoors. For the safety of our guests and employees, our buildings are closed. 

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.

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.

See all upcoming programs and events at Mississippi Gateway!

2020 Construction

Road and trail construction will take place at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park from spring 2020 to fall 2020. Certain areas of the park will be closed during this time. Learn more about the project and which areas of the park will be impacted.

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.

Kids follow an instructor into a prairie.

Summer Camps

Find adventure this summer at a Three Rivers summer camp! Choose from camps on art, campfire cooking, wildlife and more! See camps at Mississippi Gateway or view all Three Rivers summer camps.

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 47–49: Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter swans are now a common sight in the Twin Cities area, but they weren't always. In this month's episodes, learn all about North America's largest waterfowl, their history in Minnesota, and how scientists are working to better understand them.

The Three Rivers Blog

January 27, 2020

On Feb. 2, we'll celebrate Groundhog Day hoping for indications of an early or late spring, depending on your feelings about winter. But how much do you really know about these mammals that can supposedly predict our weather patterns? Read on to learn all about groundhogs and where you can see them in Three Rivers Parks.

January 22, 2020

The growing list of benefits from learning in outdoor environments suggests a need for looking at early childhood education through a new lens. Learn all about Nature School and the benefits of taking the preschool classroom outside, and how to incorporate more outdoor time in your preschooler's life.

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!

trails that connect

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