Skip to main content

First new riverfront park in more than a decade opens in North Minneapolis

The signature element is a 35-foot light beacon.

The signature piece of the new 26th Avenue North Overlook park is its riverfront beacon. Standing 35 feet tall and gently angled toward the waters of the Mississippi River, the beacon's light can display a host of dazzling colors projected into the air.

But the site carries additional significance. It transformed what had been "a run-down dead end with a tall fence," as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Al Bangoura put it, into the first new riverfront park space in North Minneapolis since 2007. 

“I’m proud of the work that went into this project, designed by Black professionals with contributions from Black youth artists in North Minneapolis," Bangoura continued. "It’s a product of our philosophy of integrating the community in the design of park projects and providing the community a stake in what is built in their neighborhoods."

Here's a photo gallery of the new site:

“When the park system was imagined 140 years ago, the upper riverfront was already occupied by industry," said Tom Evers, executive director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. "This is one stepping stone toward reversing past decisions that separated North Minneapolis, and specifically African American communities, from the Mississippi River."

The overlook juts out over the riverbank, and visitors can suspend themselves over it on the play netting that surrounds the beacon's base. The shoreline itself was stabilized, and native vegetation planted thanks to funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. And while the beacon will offer colorful light displays, it won't be turned on at night during spring and fall migration, to protect birds along the Mississippi Flyway.

The overlook also acts as something of a connection point. It represents the easternmost spot on recently completed, off-street bike and pedestrian trails that run along 26th Avenue North - essentially connecting the river with  Theodore Wirth Regional Park. Officials are also exploring the construction of a trail to connect the overlook with Ole Olson Park just to the south.

The new overlook is located at 26th Avenue North, where it meets the western banks of the Mississippi River. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation has a photo album of the new spot here.

Next Up

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.


Vikings must continue building out receiving corps in 2022

Justin Jefferson headlines a young, promising group, but more depth is still needed


Water Works_5-12-21_H15 copy 2

Long-awaited riverfront destination Water Works opens in Minneapolis

The new space is part of downtown Minneapolis' Mill Ruins Park.

St. Paul park photo

St. Paul tops Minneapolis, named as second best parks system in the country

Washington D.C. was named the country's best park system in the Trust for Public Land ranking.

Facebook - North Commons Water Park - P&R Board

Beat the heat: 15 outdoor water parks in the Twin Cities

Get the lowdown on admission rates, opening dates and more.

uss minneapolis bell

Minneapolis Parks to get historic bell, wheel back from Minnetonka HS

The bell and wheel were stolen years ago and were discovered last year at Minnetonka High School.