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Mississippi River Visitor Center

Science Museum of Minnesota
120 Kellogg Blvd West, Saint Paul, MN 55102

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Just inside the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Mississippi River Visitor Center provides a gateway to national park adventures along the Mississippi River. Operated by the National Park Service and staffed by friendly rangers and volunteers, the Mississippi River Visitor Center is the perfect starting point to discover your river!

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Virtual Canoe Paddle

Meet the Albert Gustaveson! This canoe was one of the first Wilderness Inquiry Voyageur canoes made by former WI staff member, Al Gustaveson. Thanks to Wilderness Inquiry's generous donation, it is now a permanent exhibit of the Mississippi River Visitor Center, and allows visitors to explore several stretches of Mississippi National River and Recreation Area from the Science Museum lobby.

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Postcard from the Park

Send your friends a funny postcard from the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Simply enter the photo booth, select your backdrop and props, and email or upload your postcard. With loads of backgrounds and fun props to pick from, you'll be sure to delight them with your photos!

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Barge Tie-Off

Experience what it would be like to work on a barge, and even learn the lingo! This exhibit allows you to try your hand at knot-tying with a very heavy rope and two real timberheads and a kevel bolted to the floor. Try it out on your own or let a ranger show you the ropes!

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Fly Like An Eagle

Experience a motion-detection video game that gives visitors an aerial view of the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul and an opportunity to experience the river from a birds eye. Spread your wings and fly over the mighty Mississippi to look for fish to bring to your darling eaglets! Alongside this fun, interactive game you'll find more information about the bald eagles of Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

1 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

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The St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center is open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September. Call 952-303-2706 for more information or 651-293-0200 during the off season or when this visitor center is closed. Schedule changes may occur due to maintenance and severe weather.

The National Park Service began operating the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Visitor Center in spring of 2016 to provide tours and interpretation to the public after the closure of the lock in 2015. The observation deck at the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Visitor Center provide spectacular views of the falls, the iconic Stone Arch Bridge, and the surrounding milling district of downtown Minneapolis. The visitor center features exhibits that provide information about the falls, locks and dams, and their place in our state's history. Come down to get to know the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, see panoramic views of St. Anthony Falls, take a guided tour out onto the lock wall, and learn how the falls changed the course of history of the area and the nation.

National Park Service rangers are available to answer questions, give tours, issue national park passes, and officiate junior rangers.

  • Admission is free.

  • The visitor center is open from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Free ranger-lead tours of the lock are available at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM on days the visitor center is open. Tours are limited to 20 participants on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not available.

  • The lock will be open to public viewing from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. No tours are scheduled during this time.

  • This season the St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and lock will be open during “sunset hours” on select dates. Stay tuned to our event page for more details to come.

    • June 28, 29

    • July 26, 27

    • Aug 30, 31

View of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam from the Stone Arch Bridge.

View of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam from the Stone Arch Bridge.

National Park Service ranger at Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam.

National Park Service ranger at Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam.