2.2.3 Unique Features and Scenic Areas

The subwatershed contains numerous regional recreational facilities.  The National Park Service oversees the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area, which includes the Mississippi River gorge area within the subwatershed, including Minnehaha Falls.  The Falls area includes a number of structures constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), including retaining walls along the creek.  The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) operates a popular park and trail system around the Chain of Lakes and along Minnehaha Creek east of Lake Harriet.  The North and South branches of the Three Rivers Park District’s Southwest LRT Regional Trail connects the Chain of Lakes with the western subwatershed.    

Camp Coldwater Spring, a site with significance to Native American communities and the location of the first white settlement in Minnesota, is located in the extreme southeast part of the subwatershed.  The Minnesota Historic Features database notes over 1300 historic features in this subwatershed, most residences or commercial buildings.  Three Historic Districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Minnehaha District in the vicinity of Minnehaha Falls; the Nokomis Knolls District, a residential district at the southwest corner of Lake Nokomis; and the Country Club District in Edina, an area of over 500 historic residences, commercial buildings, and other properties, including the Minnehaha Grange.  More detail regarding Camp Coldwater Spring and other locations significant to the watershed’s early history can be found in the Water Resources Management Plan.