Enjoying the Historic Stone Arch Bridge with Children

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This past weekend, Minneapolis hosted the historic Stone Arch Bridge Festival. The festival celebrate the bridge that spans over that Mississippi River with the picture perfect view of St. Anthony Falls. With 23 Stone Arches, this bridge was once used as a railway from 1883 to 1978.  Refurbishing and redesigning the bridge began in 1980.

Historic Stone Arch Bridge

We traveled to the historic Stone Arch Bridge–a National Historic Engineering Landmark built by James. J. Hill–one warm  afternoon without Tori who was with a friend (LD).  Instead we went with Kyla’s friend AJ.

Historic Stone Arch Bridge

It’s a fun and free excursion to do when the weather is beautiful: in the summer and in the winter.  It is a part of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage trail connecting foot traffic from Mills Ruin Park on the west bank to Father Hennepin Bluffs Park on the east bank.  It’s the perfect place to amble.  Take two steps and stop to climb up to see over the fence.  Take another two steps. Stop and look over the fence.  Take two more steps; stop to look.  At this rate you aren’t even at the river!   You may feel the urge to hurry them along, but it’s not necessary.  What better way to enjoy the river and weather than to amble across the Stone Arch Bridge?

Historic Stone Arch Bridge


Historic Stone Arch Bridge


Historic Stone Arch Bridge

It’s a great place to enjoy the weather with hundreds of other walkers, cyclists, and dog lovers. You will see walkers wearing babies and pushing empty strollers.  You will see children in wagons.  You will see matching bike riders and will hear bells.  You may run into a musician or two.

But don’t, let me repeat, DON’T give the children only a penny (because that’s all you have) to put into the musicians’ collections.  Or they will do the following:

  1. Tell the musician that they gave him a penny.
  2. Explain to the musician that if he had 100 pennies, he would have like a dollar
  3. And enthusiastically convince the musician that every little bit helps.
It is far better for everyone’s sake to give him nothing at all  than to give him a penny and a lecture.


Historic Stone Arch Bridge
“Mom! I just can’t see the falls!  Oh, AJ!  There you are!”


  1. Gorgeous view of the river
  2. The bridge is about a 1/2 mile long which is a perfect length to enjoy the scenery, but not too long for little feet.
  3. There is a small pay parking lot that is very inexpensive.  $1 for the first hour.  We were able to enjoy the bridge for an hour and be back before our time expired. (Maybe we should have paid before we left on our walk, but we didn’t get a ticket and eventually, I did pay)
  4. Dancing to the accordion player.
  1. Being short means you are easily pushed around.  Poor Jack got knocked down by a man who was 6’4″.
  2. There were a lot of people on the bridge.  A lot of people.  If you go during the evening, sometimes it’s a little less busy, but then again, maybe not.
Historic Stone Arch Bridge
Even though the festival is past and we will have to wait for next year, this bridge is part of the Twin Cities history.  While it’s beautiful, it’s also a blast for everyone to enjoy!
More Ideas for Exploring the Historic Stone Arch Bridge:

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About the author

Gianna Kordatzky

I am married to the craziest, most awesome man I know. We have four kids–Ranging in ages from 5-10. You can learn more about my life as a mother and wife at www.giannaraekordatzky.blogspot.com .

I love to throw parties and be with friends. I love to read my Bible and grow closer to God. I love to eat and exercise. I have learned to love coffee.
And I could really use a nap.

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