Marker Image: 


Hennepin County

Where Found: 

Located in Minnehaha Park, accessible from Minnehaha Avenue or West River Road in Minneapolis or from Ford Parkway in St. Paul

Text On Markers: 


Near Fort Snelling, 10,000 years ago, melt water from the Wisconsin glacier was discharged through the Mississippi River and plunged over a ledge of Platteville limestone into a gorge cut chiefly in the white St. Peter sandstone. The undercutting action in the soft sandstone caused the limestone ledge to break off with a vertical face, thus maintaining the falls, while causing them to retreat upstream. When the falls in the main channel passed the upper end of the island—where the Soldiers Home now stands—the entire flow in the river was diverted to the main gorge and the falls in the west channel were abandoned. This unique and unusual geological feature, an abandoned waterfall, is located at the north end of the former west channel which lies 200 feet east of this tablet.

The cataract in the Mississippi has migrated to St. Anthony Falls and Minnehaha has retreated from the abandoned channel to its present location, where the undercutting action responsible for the migration is apparent.

Erected by the Geological Society of Minnesota in cooperation with the Board of Park Commissioners City of Minneapolis. 1953

Marker Number: 



Metro Region

Marker Location: 

MINNEHAHA FALLS Minneapolis 44° 54' 55.2996" N, 93° 12' 34.7004" W

Date Update: 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Information Needed: 

  • Marker Images

Condition of Marker: 

  • Good

Marker Made Of: 


Do it yourself Region: 

Metro Area


Done Bennyonbeacon@comcast.net