Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waterways of the Twin Cities

The name Minnesota can be roughly translated as "sky-tinted water".  It actually has more than 15,000 lakes. No surprise, then, that the two biggest cities of the state has about 1,000 bodies of water in its' metropolitan area. Minneapolis is a word which combines "minne", an American Indian word for water, with "polis", Greek for city. The Mississippi River runs through both of the cities, and the water power of St.Anthony Falls made Minneapolis the flour mill capital of the world from 1880-1930. Today the headquarters of Cargill and General Mills are still in Minneapolis. Anthony Falls has changed a lot over the years. It has receded and its' height has decreased. Erosion, the presence of the flour and lumber mills,  as well the erection of locks and dams on the upper Mississippi has affected the physical nature of the falls.
Yesterday, before touring the capitol building, we drove over to Minnehaha Park located in Minneapolis. At one time the Minnehaha Creek flowed directly into the Mississippi River. Its' falls have receded 500 feet over time. The park is part of the Grand Rounds scenic byway, 50 miles of public land located in Minneapolis. It was designated as a National Scenic Byway in 1998, the first byway in the states located entirely within an urban area. Minnehaha Falls is pictured below.The glen surrounding it is quite picturesque.
Our last stop yesterday was at the St. Paul waterfront where we strolled around Harriet Island. We certainly have not even put a dent into all the sight seeing possibilities in the twin city area! Just along all the water ways of the cities there is a lot to see and do.

No comments:

Post a Comment