4801 South Minnehaha Park Dr. Minneapolis, MN 55417
Phone: 612 230-6400 Fax: 612 230-6500 Hours
Overlooking the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks, attracting over 850,000 thousand visitors annually.
Located at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, the 193-acre park features a 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs and river overlooks. The park contains oak, elm, silver maple, basswood, hackberry and cottonwood trees, as well as native and prairie woodland wild flowers.
Visitors take advantage of abundant activities in the summer, including concerts, picnics, walking, biking, and viewing the Falls. It's also become a popular site for weddings. Walking the lower trails in autumn reveals beautifully changing leaves.
In addition to its natural beauty, Minnehaha Park is home to several sculptures.
Hiawatha and Minnehaha is a life-size bronze sculpture by Jakob Fjelde (also of Ole Bull and Minerva fame) that depicts the characters from the poem “Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It bears the inscription:
Over wide and rushing rivers In his arms he bore the maiden.
On exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the sculpture was purchased with pennies donated by school children in Minnesota – an effort organized by Mrs. L.P. Hunt of Mankato – and dedicated in 1912. The sculpture, which rests on a small island in the creek, can be viewed from the water’s edge a short way above the falls.
The Chief Little Crow Mask by Ed Archie Noisecat is located near Minnehaha Falls. Viewers can see the sky through the eyes of Taoyeteduta or Little Crow. The chief was killed in the year following the 1862 Dakota conflict. The area is considered sacred to Native Americans.
The Gunnar Wennerberg statue (1915) by artist Carl Johan Eldh, located at 50th Street and Hiawatha Avenue, depicts Gunnar Wennerberg (1817-1901), a Swedish poet, scholar, composer and politician. The statue portrays him in late nineteenth attire of knee-length coat, buckle shoes and cravat.
Historical Profile of Minnehaha Park
Minnehaha Falls and the land surrounding it became one of the first state parks in the United States
when it was purchased by the state of Minnesota in 1889. More information about Minnehaha and other parks is included in Parks, Lakes, Trails and So Much More, a richly detailed account of the histories of Minneapolis’ renowned recreational system.
Pictured: Taoyateduta – Little Crow Mask By Ed Archie Noisecat (left), Hiawatha and Minnehaha (center), Minnehaha Falls (right)