The Mississippi River Gorge in the Twin Cities area is the only true gorge along the entire Mississippi River. The gorge was formed as St. Anthony Falls migrated slowly upriver, eroding a steep channel as water broke up the limestone cap that covers the area cut away from the soft sandstone underneath.
Comprised of hardwood forests on steep fragile bluffs and flat bottom-lands, the landscape of the gorge has a semi-wild character loved and appreciated by local residents. The gorge provides habitat for at least 150 species of migratory birds.
River Gorge Bluff Stabilization and Winchell Trail Repair
Efforts to stabilize the eroding bluff and repair the deteriorated Winchell Trail began in Sept. 2007. Work is focused in three areas along West River Parkway: just south of 24th St., at 25th St., and north of 42nd St.
Watch for pedestrian and bike trail closures and re-routes. The Mississippi River Gorge bluff stabilization is being funded by the Mississippi Watershed Management Association.
Built in the 1930s, the Winchell Trail threads its way below the bluff in the Mississippi River Gorge from Franklin Ave south to 44th St.
Historical Profile: More information about this and other parks is included in Parks, Lakes, Trails and So Much More, a richly detailed account of the histories of Minneapolis’ renown recreational system.
(See West River Parkway and East River Parkway sections.)
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