On our recent Midwest road trip we spent some time in Minneapolis where we, of course, had to take some time to explore one of the most famous waterfalls in the area. Minnehaha Falls is an easy hike and a gorgeous view. Located only 10 minutes from the Mall of America, this is a great place to add to your road trip adventures in the Twin Cities area.
Exploring Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Falls is a 53 foot falls that became a tourist destination after the publication of the epic poem The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1855. Longfellow never visited the falls in person, but he was inspired by the works of scholars of Native American culture and images of the falls.
You can view the Falls from an overlook, easily accessed by a paved sidewalk.
If you decide to go down to the base of the Falls, you can take the steps.
Minnehaha Park is on the banks of the Mississippi, surrounding Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi, and Minnehaha Falls. The falls have long been an important site to the native Dakota people. Minnehaha means “falling water” in Dakota, not “laughing water” as it is often translated.
Once at the base of the Falls, there are stone benches and places to relax and enjoy the views.
We love finding presidential connections when we are out on adventures. So this story fascinated us! There is a historical marker commemorating a June 1964 trip to the site by President Lyndon B. Johnson and several other members of his cabinet. You can even place your feet in President Johnson’s footprints. (so of course, we did!)
How to find Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Park is located at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, on the banks of the Mississippi, in Minneapolis. The park is just across the river from the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul.
4801 South Minnehaha Park Dr.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Things to Know
- Parking is limited to parking meters or designated parking lots, and a parking fee applies.
- The park has picnic tables, a playground, and an off-leash dog park
- There is a restaurant open at the park. Check for open times before you arrive.
- There are restrooms available in the pavilion.
Connect with Minnehaha Falls on Facebook
Have you ever visited Minnehaha Falls? What is your favorite memory of this beautiful park? I’d love to hear!