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 is popular here.
For more information about the Phase 2 road and trail construction project at the park, click here.
Interactive Map of Mississippi Gateway
Things To Do
One 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.
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.
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 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.
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 one 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.
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!
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.
September 11, 18 & 21 | Multiple Locations
Meet other kids who are interested in birds, and learn about raptors, woodpeckers and fall migration in Young Birders Club meet-ups this fall!
October 17-31 | Multiple Locations
Dress up in costume, walk on an enchanted trail, try geocaching and more at one of Three Rivers' Halloween programs!
The Future of Mississippi Gateway
Changes are coming to Mississippi Gateway Regional Park!
Starting in 2017, community members in Brooklyn Park helped Three Rivers Park District and the City of Brooklyn Park develop a new master plan for Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, formerly Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. We are excited to announce that the project is moving forward.
The plans will combine Mississippi Gateway Regional Park and the Environmental Nature Area in Brooklyn Park into a new park that will be a year-round connection for all people to celebrate the Mississippi River and the outdoors.
The master plan process identified new park features that will make the park a more inviting, welcoming and vibrant place for everyone to discover nature and the river. New paved trails and parking lots have already been completed and additional park features will be added over the next few years. These features include a new Mississippi Gateway Center, an elevated walkway, nature play areas, learning labs, improvements to trails, fishing, picnicking, archery and more.
Construction may begin as early as 2022. Want to know more? Visit this link to sign up for Mississippi Gateway Project Updates and Alerts.
Learn more about the master plan.
Watch a Video about Mississippi Gateway
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
The Three Rivers Blog
By: Erin Korsmo
Fishing is a great way to connect with nature, the outdoors, family and friends. If you are new to the sport, we have several locations in Three Rivers where you can test the waters — no boat required! Read on for a list of our favorite spots on land and what kind of fish you might catch while you’re there.
By: Ashley Smith
American robins, red-winged blackbirds, the call of wood frogs — signs of spring are upon us and we are taking note! Learn what it means to notice these changes of the season and how phenology helps local and global communities.
This year has presented unique challenges for educators around the world. Learn how one of our environmental educators adapted to teaching in the pandemic and what new strategies she used to benefit her students.
Trails That Connect
KARE 11's Hitting the Trails series highlights Three Rivers Parks.
The master plan was developed in partnership with the City of Brooklyn Park, combining Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area into one regional park facility.
See what Three Rivers' Extreme Fishing camp at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is all about.
See what CCX Media and Coon Rapids Dam campers had to say about the science-based summer camp!