A few weeks after a somewhat confusing river bottom mountain biking trip #2 son and I explored a portion of the urban bike/walk trail upstream of Meeker island on the east bank…
We entered from here, an unofficial but currently unmarked entrance on East River Parkway, north of St Anthony Ave by Shriners Hospital
The park below is best known locally as a male hookup spot — going back to 1930s if not earlier. Over the past 7 years it's become more popular with families, runners and cyclists.
It’s the downriver (south) end of East River Flats Park, and, confusingly, it’s in Minneapolis (obnoxious city, it spills way into the St Paul side of the Miss).
If you continue downstream you cross into Saint Paul’s Desnoyer Parks neighborhood. We found old river trails that include lost CCC park trails and walked on into the new Meeker Island Park dog park.
There’s a bit on history of the first lock and dam there, confusingly there’s no island now. I assume construction ate it.
The best guide to this somewhat mysterious area is the Mississippi River Field Guide, follow it downstream looking at “left descending bank".
Thanks to great responses from the Facebook Page of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area I’ve found additional resources that help with general Mississippi river exploration …
- Mississippi River Trail - Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) - links all fixed up and page refreshed.
- Mississippi River Companion - Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) - this one is my favorite. Download 4.2MB of PDF maps that cover the area, including the “urban river”:
- Page 28: Brooklyn Center and Fridley, Manomin County Park, Dunham Island, Islands of Peace Regional Park, I-694
- Page 29: Fridley, Columbia Heights and Minneapolis, Anoka County Riverfront Regional Park, North Mississippi Regional Park
- Page 30: Minneapolis, Camden Bridge, Marshall Terrace Park
- Page 31: Minneapolis and St. Paul, St. Anthony Falls, Nicollet Island, historic Milling District, numerous riverside parks
- Mississippi River Trail Bikeway Home - MnDOT: more for road bikes, but nice complement