Why Minnehaha Creek?
Minnehaha Creek is a beautiful natural wonder - right here in the middle of the Minneapolis metro area. It is full of wildlife, the water is clean and the views are fantastic. The creek is 22 miles long, from it's beginning at Gray's Bay Dam at Lake Minnetonka to the falls at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The Creek is a central part of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. "MCWD is the local unit of government responsible for managing and protecting the water resources of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed in parts of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and its western suburbs. The MCWD is responsible for 178 square miles that drain into the Minnehaha Creek and ultimately the Mississippi River. The watershed includes Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, and Minnehaha Falls. There are eight major creeks, 129 lakes, and thousands of wetlands within the MCWD. The MCWD also includes all or part of 27 cities and two townships in Hennepin and Carver counties." (1)
Each time you kayak on Minnehaha Creek you will have a different experience. Spring, summer and fall each have a unique perspective to offer. You can see the sky and water covered in the fluffy white rain from the cottonwood trees, see the creek's flowers in full summer bloom or enjoy the beauty of the changing colors of the tree canopy. Turtles, egrets, ducks, fish and deer are all frequent sightings. You will see quiet marshlands, golf courses, small lakes and gorgeous backyards in Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Edina. In Minneapolis you will kayak through the Minnehaha Parkway system.
When you select Kayak the Creek, you can choose between several different available 2-3 hour trips based on your preference for scenery and the current water flow. You won't be disappointed. Experience this hidden gem of a creek like only a few people do.
1.Excerpt from: https://www.minnehahacreek.org/about
Minnehaha Creek has a very interesting history. It was once lined with many mills, has an amazing engineering feat of a stone wall in Minneapolis that can only be seen in lower water months and a crazy story about filling the creek with aquifer water to impress dignitaries. Check out these links for more.
The Milling Days (Link)
Edina's Little Niagra (coming soon)
Limestone Wall and it's Restoration
Some pictures I've taken over the years:
Some quick facts about the limestone wall in parts of the Minneapolis portion of the creek, supplied by Katelyn Morken in 2020. (Katelyn is the Minneapolis Parks & Rec Archivist.)
Approximately 1250 linear feet of masonry retaining walls along Minnehaha Creek, originally installed by the Works Progress Administration (the American New Deal agency, that employed millions of job-seekers to carry out public works projects, including construction of public buildings and roads) in 1937.
In the spring at the south end of the park was rehabilitated
A rustic retaining wall was built along the bank and the running spring was diverted to a pipe extending up from an alcove in the wall
A small underpass was built to permit passage of the streams under the limestone pathway which extends along the wall
Retaining wall which extends from the ledge of the falls along the right of the gorge was rebuilt
Another retaining wall was constructed at picnic ground
2009: Blackstone Contractor’s was contracted by Aspen Construction in 2009 to perform the historic limestone masonry repair, including rebuilding and tuck-pointing different sections of limestone wall.