#FindYourPark: The Islands are Calling

 

Islands are perhaps one of the most fantastical elements of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. These undeveloped mounds of land and fingers jutting out in to the river are tranquil homes for various wildlife to inhabit. They can also host your wildest imaginations and offer a place for true solitude, as most are only accessible by boat. Don’t own one? Consider renting a kayak from Mississippi River Paddle Share and spend a morning or afternoon exploring these under utilized areas of the park.

#FindYourPark: Mississippi West Regional Park

This 273-acre park is the only place in the entire MNRRA that offers camping! Both Foster and Cloquet Island feature primitive campsites with picnic tables, fire pits and latrines. There is no charge for using the canoe campsites and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The catch? They’re accessible only by canoe.

One of the primitive campsites on Foster and Cloquet Islands.

One of the primitive campsites on Foster and Cloquet Islands.

The islands are located in a quiet, winding reach of river that’s lined with big trees and scattered homes. Remnants of the area’s original hardwood forest and prairie vegetation can also be seen along the river. In many ways, this stretch of river feels more like the Upper St. Croix, a national scenic riverway, than the semi-suburban Mississippi. (Source: Mississippi River Companion)

More campsite details

#FindYourPark: Kings Island (Mississippi River Community Park)

In 2015, The City completed the construction of the Mississippi River Trail across Kings Island making this property accessible and open to the public. The island is about 75 acres in size and was formerly an informal dumping area for debris, including tires, appliances, automobiles and trash.

The 18-acre community park is directly adjacent to the Mississippi River.  It incorporates the natural beauty of a wooded flood plain area with passive recreation, including a 1.7 mile paved trail through a beautiful natural prairie flower area. The playground structure is in the form of a boat, reminding users of the parks connection with the Mississippi River.

Kings Island is also the location of two duck blinds available on a first-come basis to hunters during waterfowl hunting season, and  is one of two locations within the city that hosts hunters during the City's designated archery deer hunting season. (Source)