Posted by: usset001 | April 20, 2009

Barges on the Minnesota River

Three loaded barges on the Minnesota River

Three loaded barges on the Minnesota River

Nearly every day of the week, I start my morning by walking my dogs in Fort Snelling State Park. The area where I walk is a stretch of land that borders the Minnesota River in the town of Mendota, about 1/2 mile west of where the Minnesota meets the Mississippi River (Mendota is the Native American word for “meeting of the waters”).

It is not uncommon to see barges on the river and this morning I caught the tug “Miss Kate” pushing three loaded barges upriver towards Savage. Loaded with what I am not sure – it looked like gravel or rock – I don’t think they would leave the barge covers open for salt or fertilizer.

The land on the far side of the barges (the north side of the river) is Pike Island, part of Fort Snelling State Park, and named for Zebulon Pike of Pike’s Peak fame. Pike Island is full of deer and the sight of a dozen deer roaming as a herd can get my dogs excited.

The Tugboat "Miss Kate" pushing barges up the Minnesota River

The Tugboat "Miss Kate" pushing barges up the Minnesota River

You can bet that Miss Kate will be returning with three barges, probably loaded with grain, later today or tomorrow.


  1. We had the opportunity to see the river on the other end, down at New Orleans/Houmas Louisiana in February. Not knowing the whole story, it appears that the levees and canals were perhaps not well thought out, especially given the power and destruction the hurricanes cause.
    It is an awesome shipping system, regardless.

  2. I live just downriver from where you walk, in Lilydale. I love to sit and watch the tugs and barges go by . . . “Miss Kate” comes up/down river often.

    I also love to watch the birds, at one point this winter I saw 5 eagles at once! I have been told that a pair nests in Fort Snelling State Park, they’re probably the ones I see year round.

    Fabulous area, isn’t it?


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