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Harriet Island/Lilydale Regional Park

Acres: 636

Located in: St. Paul
Operated by: County
Themes: Regional Park

Shelter Picnic Tables Running Water
Kitchen Play Equipment Scenic
Natural Historical Bike Path
Trails Softball/Baseball Football/Soccer
Concessions Boat Ramp Restrooms

Harriet Island, situated on the Mississippi River, across from downtown St. Paul, was one of the first recreational sites in St. Paul. Up until l950, the park was a true island, separated from the mainland by a channel of water varying in width from 100 to 200 feet. This channel was subsequently filled. The park is named after pioneer school teacher Harriet Bishop. The park facilities provide picnicking, river watching, a 300 capacity pavilion, two harbors, ball fields, and an innovative playground named after Harriet Bishop. The playground offers a paddleboat-shaped climbing area, a track ride, swings, slides and a water table. Much of the equipment is located within the shell of a replica of Harriet Bishop's first school house. River boats cruises are available at Harriet Island.

Lilydale, formerly a residential community, extends to the west of Harriet Island and is now an undeveloped floodplain area, 2 1/2 miles in length and 1/2 miles in width. Within its boundaries are found a l00 acre lake and connected pond and approximately l00 acres each of marsh and wooded areas that provide habitat for a variety of water fowl, mammals and vegetation. A boat launch has just recently been constructed on the Mississippi River, and a trail system is planned. Lilydale is also the site of the former Twin City Brick Co. which mined the bluff for clay for almost l00 years. The mining operations exposed extensive fossil beds, and the area has become well known among paleontologists.

Cherokee Park is situated on the bluffs overlooking Lilydale, Harriet Island and the Mississippi River. Its existing passive character and panoramic views of the river valley lend itself well to picnicking which is the primary activity in the park.

Navy Island is directly under the Wabasha Street bridge and is 3 1/2 acres. It was originally called Raspberry Island, and became known as Navy Island when it was used by the naval reserve through the early l970's. It consists mostly of an open grassy area, with an historical building occupied by the Minnesota Boat Club. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Links to Park Sub Units:
Harriet Island Unit

Lilydale Unit

Cherokee Heights Unit

Navy Island Unit

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