Completed in 1883, the stone arch bridge is composed of 23 arches. It was built by railway magnate James J. Hill. It connected the East and West banks of the Mississippi River. References state that 60 trains crossed it every day at its peak. Its use declined as air travel became popular, stopping completely in 1978. The railroad sold the bridge to the county in 1989.
Today the bridge is a popular tourist attraction for tourists and locals alike. Minneapolis’ skyline views from the bridge are just amazing. When we visited on October 2nd, 2022, it was busy with pedestrians and bicyclists. We parked roadside at nearby Gold Medal Park. We wandered a bit among the interesting outdoor statues then made our way to the bridge passing by Guthrie Theatre, Mill City Museum, and Mill Ruins Park. There is a parking area just before the bridge, but it looked rather full. I was glad to see a bride and groom on a horse carriage emerging from the bridge as I got close. We enjoyed walking over and under the bridge, reading the historical signs along the way. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
I would definitely make sure to stop by this bridge when visiting Minneapolis especially in June during the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. I wished we had time to go back in the evening to photograph the skyline at night.
Other Minnesota blog posts:
- Caribou Falls, MN
- Stone Arch Bridge, MN
- Minnesota State Capitol, MN
- The Cathedral of Saint Paul, MN
- Two Harbors, MN
- Split Rock Lighthouse, MN
- Silver Creek Tunnel, MN