Beaver Island Trail
The Beaver Island Trail is one of many projects undertaken by the City of St. Cloud to help people connect with the Mississippi River, both physically and visually. The Trail serves as the primary riverfront walkway along the west bank of the Mississippi. It is wheelchair accessible, prohibits motorized vehicles, and is designed for:
- Cross country skiing
- Inline skating
The Trail starts at Montrose Road near the St. Cloud Country Club, and proceeds along the river in a northerly direction for 5.1 miles. It slices through Beaver Island Park, skirts St. Cloud State University for about three miles, and then becomes a city sidewalk at 4th Street South for seven blocks where the river's steep banks prevent an adjacent pathway. At Division Street the asphalt trail renews, flanking Division for a long block, passing under the Granite City Crossing Bridge, following the contour of the river northwesterly, sneaking behind the River's Edge Convention Center and under Veterans Bridge, and finally ending near Cathedral High School. See the walking map (PDF) for further details.
While visiting the River's Edge Convention Center, be sure to take time to walk some of the Beaver Island Trail and enjoy the beautiful Mississippi River and its scenery. Also, be sure to stop and take a "selfie" at the selfie spot located directly behind the Convention Center. The selfie spot is designated by a large metal picture frame with an open center. The frame features pictures of life in St. Cloud and on the Mississippi River on either side of it; this unique artwork was created by local artists. What a fun way to remember your visit to St. Cloud!
- The Beaver Island Trail takes its name from a cluster of 20 islands located in a four-mile stretch in the Mississippi River south of St. Cloud State University. The islands were named by Zebulon Pike after seeing large beavers building dams on every island.
- The Mississippi River is the second longest river in North America, flowing 2,350 miles from its source at Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. When combined with the Missouri, which enters the Mississippi near St. Louis, it ranks fourth in the world in length (3,710 miles) behind the Nile (4,160 miles), Amazon (4,000 miles), and Yangtze (3,964 miles). Its flow rate is 6 cubic feet per second at Lake Itasca, about 11,000 cubic feet at St. Cloud, and 600,000 cubic feet at New Orleans. Its speed is 1.2 miles per hour at Lake Itasca and 3 miles per hour at New Orleans. Water leaving Lake Itasca takes about three months to reach the Gulf of Mexico.