4801 S Minnehaha Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417
7:30 am-10 pm
6 am-midnight in developed areas
6 am-10 pm in undeveloped areas
Plan Your Route
Features & Amenities
- Pay Parking Lot
Good to Know
Garden located across from the Princess Depot.
Peak Display Time: June through September
Experience the Beauty of Nature
Our 12 gardens offer inviting spaces to explore, relax, and learn about the environment.
The Pergola was originally constructed in 1995 and serves as a connecting feature between the Minnehaha Depot, Stevens House and Minnehaha Falls. The Garden features North American natives and their cultivars, including: trees, shrubs, and a wide variety of both woodland and prairie plants.
Using native plant material is a wonderful way to preserve the natural ecosystem and plant community. Native plant communities have evolved and adapted to the climate of the region, and are able to tolerate the conditions unique to the area. Due to the tough nature of native plants, one is able to conserve on water, chemicals, and fossil fuel usage.
Native plants promote genetic diversity, provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators, create sustainable landscapes, and subtly enhance a natural surrounding with a wide variety of foliage textures, flowers, and fruits.
The woodland area is always in the process of change. In the spring, before the trees have leafed out, the spring ephemerals have access to full sunlight and are able to flower and reproduce before going dormant for the rest of the season. During spring and summer, this part of the Garden is shaded and feature many native shade-loving perennials. Look for:
- False Solomon Seal
- Wild Columbine
- Wild Ginger
The sunny portion of the Garden is home to many prairie plants; they are visually pleasing to the eye in color and texture combinations that provide year-round interest. Look for:
- Prairie Dropseed
Rentals & Permits
Annual Patron Parking Permit: Enjoy parking privileges in specially designated spaces at some of our most popular regional parks. View parking permit details.
With plans for a highway through Minnehaha Park moving forward, the park board developed a master plan to renovate the park. In 1995, a new garden, the Pergola Garden, featuring native wildflowers and grasses, was created overlooking the falls from the South. The Pergola serves as a connecting feature between the Stevens House, the Minnehaha Depot, and Minnehaha Falls.
The John H. Stevens House, built in 1849 near St. Anthony Falls, has the distinction of being the first wood frame dwelling built west of the Mississippi. It was in this house that the name ”Minneapolis” was suggested and the government structure for Hennepin County established.
The Colonel John Stevens stature by artist Johannes Sophus Gelert is located near the Stevens House. Colonel John H. Stevens (1820-1900) was reportedly the first European settler of Minneapolis and served in the Minnesota Legislature. Both his house and the statue were relocated to Minnehaha Park.
The Minnehaha Depot is located west of the Pergola Garden. Historically, the Depot was a busy stop on a major railroad route; it traveled between downtown Minneapolis, Fort Snelling and downtown St. Paul. During the early 1900’s, the Depot handled as many as thirty-nine round trips per day.
In 1964, the Milwaukee Road transferred title of the Depot to the Minnesota Historical Society. The Minnesota Transportation Museum has assisted in the restoration of the building and currently operates the Depot as a museum.
In the area surrounding the Pergola Garden there are several art pieces of great historical significance: The portrait mask of Taoyateduta, the statue of Gunner Wennerberg, and the statue of Minnehaha and Hiawatha.
Taoyateduta (Little Crow)
The portrait mask is located north of the Pergola Garden, just overlooking the Falls. The bronze mask was created by Ed Archie NoiseCat in honor of Taoyateduta, also known as Little Crow. Little Crow was a leader before and during the Dakota conflict. While picking berries in July of 1863, he was shot and killed by a farmer. Portrait masks are traditionally created to honor a respected person, and celebrate that person’s life. This portrait mask is a striking reminder of Native American History.
Located between the Stevens House and the Pergola is the statue of Gunner Wennerberg. Wennerberg (1817-1901) was a famous Swedish poet, composer, educator, and statesman. Minnesotans of Swedish decent still celebrate Wennerberg’s contributions during the annual Svenskarnas Dag in late June.
Minnehaha and Hiawatha
Looking just upstream from the Falls one can see the sculpture of Minnehaha and Hiawatha as depicted in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Song of Hiawatha.
Sculptor Jacob Fjelde created a plaster cast of Minnehaha and Hiawatha that was exhibited at the World’s Fair in 1893. In 1902, the Minneapolis Journal suggested that the statue be cast in bronze. The sculpture was paid for in part by pennies collected from Minnesota school children.
Restoration of the creek in the lower glen began in 2008: the creek banks were stabilized and retaining walls and footings installed by WPA crews during the Great Depression were replaced. Work in the lower glen was completed in 2010 with the restoration of native vegetation.