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Minnesota River State Water Trail: Granite Falls to State Highway 4

map location of the Minnesota River within Minnesota


Southwestern MN:
Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Renville, Redwood, Nicollet, and Brown Counties

DNR Parks and Trails
Southern Regional Office
(320) 796-2161

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This segment of the river is gentle, seldom interrupted by rapids. This stretch is designated as a wild and scenic river.

The area is also rich in Minnesota history, and offers some of the most impressive landscapes in southwestern Minnesota.

Tell me more about this river's landscape, wildlife, and history.

There is a class I rapids at Patterson's Rapids near Renville County Park. About rapids classes.

Virtual Tour: Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next visit! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour


River level reports | Outfitters | Safety | Licenses & fees | Current conditions

In January 2013, Xcel Energy removed its 107 year old dam at Minnesota Falls on the Minnesota River, just downstream of Granite Falls. The dam was a safety hazard that had not produced hydropower for decades. Timelapse video of the removal.This link leads to an external site.

A series of riffles and rapids is expected to reappear upstream of the site, as the river rediscovers its natural course.

Photo of the Minnesota Falls prior to dam removal

Minnesota Falls prior to dam removal.

Photo of the Minnesota Falls after dam removal

Minnesota Falls after the dam was removed.

This section of the Minnesota River State Water Trail was incapable of being passed before the dam at Minnesota Falls was removed.

This section of the river became navigable again after the Minnesota Falls dam was removed.