LightHotel Residency

Coldwater Spring is hosting the LightHotel for the month of July until the first week of August. Created by Alchemy Architects, the LightHotel, a re-purposed shipping container, is part of an ongoing effort to celebrate and create new ideas for efficient living. The structure will serve as a temporary ranger contact station for the National Park Service.

Ranger Station Hours:
Monday to Tuesday: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Wednesday to Friday: 3:00pm - 7:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Stop by the LightHotel this month to chat with park staff to learn more about Coldwater Spring and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. We are also running additional programs and collecting informal feedback on site experience at the LightHotel.


All events are free and open to the public. No registration required. Meet at the LightHotel located along the trail from the Coldwater Spring parking lot. Important Note: The Coldwater Spring parking lot is closed to the public except for handicap accessible parking spots. There is metered parking available along Minnehaha Park Drive South and free parking along E 54th Street. Contact and/or 651-291-8164 if you have any questions.

Saturday, July 7 @ 10am - 11:30am Fossil Tour of Coldwater Spring with Justin Tweet

Join paleontology expert, Justin Tweet, on a short walk around Coldwater Spring. Learn about the area’s geology and discover the fascinating and prolific fossils in the rocks. Long pants and good shoes recommended.

Wednesday, July 11 @ 6pm - 7:30pm History of Coldwater Walking Tour with Author Kate Havelin

Take an evening walk in the park with an award-winning guidebook author at Coldwater Spring. Coldwater is one of twenty parks in Kate Havelin’s new Explore Twin Cities Outdoors. From hot bears to NASA’s space exploration, Kate knows stories about Coldwater and spent several years working and volunteering with Mississippi Park Connection and the National Park Service. Please plan to arrive by 5:45pm so we can start the hike promptly at 6pm.

Saturday, July 14 @ 10am - 11:30am LightHotel: Living Luxe with Less

The LightHotel art project was a ‘springboard’ for Alchemy’s barnHouse and lightHouse designs. Geoffrey Warner, AIA will lead a discussion around the challenges (from permits to systems design) of delivering “small” dwellings that people are excited to live in.

Wednesday, July 25 @ 6pm - 7:30pm Insect Safari with Entomologist Jessica Miller

Explore Coldwater Spring and discover the oak savanna and prairie insect community with entomologist Jessica Miller. Jessica will identify species and help you learn who eats who in nature. We’ll bring the sweep nets!

Thursday, July 26 @ 6pm - 7:30pm LightHotel: How We Built It

Some of the designers and builders (Geoffrey Warner, AIA, Sam Brissett and Austin Young) of the LightHotel share their story of how an 8’X20’ steel shipping container was transformed into a sustainable, mobile hotel. A detailed tour will ‘walk’ the group through the LightHotel’s efficient, sustainable design. Learn more at

Saturday, August 4 @ 9pm - 10:30pm Moth Tour with Ranger Sharon Stiteler

Moths can be as tiny as your thumb nail or as big as your palms. The best way to find them is at night. Join Ranger Sharon as she tries to attract these nocturnal wonders and survey what species are using Coldwater Spring. If we are lucky, we might also hear some barred owls call during the program.