Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mississippi (MN) and St. Croix Rivers (MN/WI), August 3-6

Mississippi River, up from the Coon Rapids Dam.
My next visits were to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in Minnesota and the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border.
Coon Rapids Dam and
how it works

I started at the north end of the Mississippi park and traveled south toward the confluence of the St. Croix into the Mississippi.  By the time I saw the Mississippi, it was a good size river.  But, its headwaters were only about 150 miles north at Itasca State Park.  Although I didn't do it myself, I understand you can easily walk across the Mississippi River on a stone path where it begins at Itasca Lake.

Quiet path along the
Mississippi River
I drove the length of the Mississippi park on the Great River Road.  I think, in another trip, I'd like to travel the full length of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, over 2000 miles, on that road.  On this stretch of the road, however, I viewed the river from both rural overlooks, as well as from the bustling twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The evening I reached the confluence of the St. Croix into the Mississippi, I camped at the St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park where the sunset was beautiful.

Sunset from the road leading into
St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park
In the morning I headed north, up river, to take in more of the sights.  Both the St. Croix and the Namekago Rivers are part of this park, and both are known for wonderful places to canoe and kayak.  I didn't get on the water, but throughly enjoyed the gorgeous drive, little hikes, and wonderful overlooks.  After overnighting at Chengwatana State Forest's Snake River Campground, I traveled to the north end of the park before heading east again.

Sandrock Cliffs on the
St. Croix River
originally posted 9/13/10

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