Winchell Trail, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Winchell Trail

Mesabi Iron Range boulder with tribute to Newton Horace Winchell, on bluff above trail head. 2009.
Close-up of plaque, ca 1976.
Location of Site: Mississippi River Gorge between Franklin Avenue and 44th Street East
Neighborhood/s: Seward, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cooper, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Howe, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hiawatha, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Historic Function: Trail/path
Current Function: Trail/path

Seward, Cooper, Howe, Hiawatha Minneapolis Hennepin County

Winchell Trail, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.959375° N, 93.220513° WLatitude: 44°57′33.75″N
Longitude: 93°13′13.847″W

The Winchell Trail follows the Mississippi River Gorge along the river's western bluff between Franklin Avenue and 44th Street East, ending in Minnehaha Park. Named for geologist Newton Horace Winchell, it is believed that it originally was a Dakotah trail. The approximately 2.5 mile hiking path is unpaved except for a section between 38th and 44th Streets East, and is muddy after rains. Erosion is a problem. It was repaired by the city in 1912, and later renovated by WPA crews, adding limestone retaining walls to various sections. More recently, a great attempt has been made to clear the woods along the bluff of invasive, non-native plant species such as buckthorn.

The trail is located along the only true gorge on the Mississippi River, formed as Saint Anthony Falls retreated to the north. There are many unusual geologic formations in this area such as Hajduk Spring and Bridal Veil Falls. A bronze plaque on a boulder from the Mesabi Iron Range commemorates the scientific work and other contributions of Newton Horace Winchell. The boulder is near the beginning of the trail at the F. W. Cappelen Memorial (Franklin Avenue) Bridge.


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Related Links

Newton Horace Winchell

The Upper Mississippi's Buried Past

Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway

Mississippi River Gorge Regional Park


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