Down a few flights of wooden stairs on the eastern side of the Stone Arch Bridge lies a beautiful, unpolished gem of Mississippi riverfront. The lower trail of Father Hennepin Bluff Park is unlike any other park in the city. Dirt paths and unmaintained bridges crisscross an area of small, overgrown islands surrounded by a hydropower plant and a University of Minnesota research lab. There are no signs, and no picnic tables. In a city with a model park system — have you heard we’re number-one in the nation? — it’s easy to wonder, “Uh, should I even be down here?” Answer: Yeah, you should. Most downtown riverfront has been more or less scrubbed clean of the city’s gritty industrial past. The unfinished lower trail is still raw, and it’s beautiful.
Minnehaha Park and Falls