Saint Anthony Falls
Religious significance, economic power, great beauty.
Saint Anthony Falls is located northeast of downtown Minneapolis, the site of the only natural waterfall located on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls have actually been replaced by a concrete overflow spillway today, after a partial collapse in 1869, but they are still quite the sight to see!
This historic urban waterfall is known for its hydroelectric dam and lock system, as well as its history and economic influence on the state overall. In the 1800's the falls were used as a hydroelectric source for lumber and flour mills in the area. Overuse caused a collapse in 1869, forcing a rebuild of the system. The locks were put in place, a 49-foot expansion that has caused 10% of the Mississippi River's height change from here to St. Louis.
Today you can visit the Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam to get excellent panoramic views of the falls and surrounding mills district. Head to the Visitor Center to see exhibits and learn information about the falls and their place in the state's history. A ranger will lead you on a short walk to the lock walls for further information. You will also be able to see the iconic Minneapolis Stone Bridge and I-35W Saint Anthony's Falls Bridge during your visit.