365 miles (587 KM) from its headwaters, where you can walk across, and 2665 (4289 KM) miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the pedestrian bridge at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park crosses the mighty Mississippi.
Coon Rapids Dam was built in 1913 for the production of hydropower, at which point the rapids of Coon Rapids disappeared. In 1966 the dam and powerhouse were closed, the land was donated to the public, and Coon Rapids Regional Park opened in 1978. Between 1995 and 1997, the dam was rebuilt using a complex system of inflatable rubber "balloons" and traditional steel gates which keep water levels close to 830 feet (253 M) above sea level.
Coon Rapids Dam Park is divided into two regional parks on both sides of the river. Anoka County Parks and Recreation manages and operates the east side of the river in the city of Coon Rapids, while Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Parks) manages and operates the west side of the river in the city of Brooklyn Park. Both cities are in the state of Minnesota in the United States. Both sides offer vistor centers, fishing, picnic areas, bird watching, and hiking, biking, horse riding and snowshoe trails with connections to a trail system that connects the park with other parks in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
On the March Equinox it was a sunny day, but very windy. The temperature was just above freezing. The wind was so strong that it was blowing my tripod over while in this picnic area next to the river. On the walkway, in the open, the wind was much worse, probably higher than reported. I have a panorama done a few days earlier on the bridge, over the river, at my BP.AroundPhoto site (listed as 3/21/2004). This panorama marks the launch of my BP.AroundPhoto site, containing panoramas from in and around the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota area. I hope to submit new panoramas on a near daily basis.