In 1999, National Park Trust supported the acquisition of a 20-acre property on the Mississippi River in Dayton, Minnesota. Thanks to its undeveloped bluffs, the acquired land offered beautiful, scenic views of the Mississippi River. The Park Trust worked cooperatively with the City of Dayton to fund the purchase, supplying $30,000 to complete funding for the agreed-upon sale price. The land was within the National Park Service (NPS) boundary of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

The purchase allowed the preservation of the land and gave the public access to scenic views of the Mississippi River. Since the property was inside the park, it increased the green space available to the public. Keeping natural land along the park helped maintain water quality, native animal and plant health, and high-quality public access for recreational experiences.

The park encloses 72 protected miles of the Mississippi River and offers a variety of scenes and activities. Paddlers on the river can enjoy the natural shoreline, bluffs, and islands of the river, as well as the historical landscapes of urban Minneapolis and St. Paul. Fishing, boating, paddling, biking, hiking, sightseeing, auto touring, and birdwatching are activities visitors can participate in. The National Park Service and state park service also have visitor centers where visitors can learn more about the natural and human history of the river.

Project Details:

Project Years: 1998 – 1999

Parcel Size: 20 acres

Long Term Significance:

  • Acquisition allowed creation of a permanent park and scenic overlook of the Mississippi River.
  • Maintenance of green space along the river adds to the protection of natural plant and animal communities.

Value to the Public:

  • Visitors have a permanent scenic view of the river.
  • The community of Dayton has an added point of interest for residents and attracts visitors to their area.

Mississippi River outlined in green, project area within red circle
Map of Project Area (20 acres outlined in red)
Trumpeter swans that can be seen at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area