There has been a park located at Gray's Bay Dam for many years. It once
featured a boat landing. However, it was often tricky to launch and land
boats only feet from the dam, and there was very little parking available.
As a result, the City of Minnetonka decided to rebuild the Minnehaha Creek
Headwaters Park in the mid-2000s. A shoreline stabilization project was
completed in 2004, which cleaned up the lakeshore and installed a sheet pile
wall along the dam embankment. The dam was upgraded in 2005 with the addition
of a large observation deck. Next, a regional trail bridge and catwalk was
built across the downstream side of the dam and bay in 2006. The rebuilt park
had its grand opening in 2007.
The Headwaters Park Footbridge is built as a single truss placed across the
downriver side of the Headwaters Control Structure dam. It rests on two
wing walls that contain the water that flows out of the dam. Since the
wing walls are set at an angle to the channel, the ends of the bridge are
built at an angle. The footbridge leads to a longer boardwalk that crosses
the bay just below the dam embankment and connects to the regional trail
The photo above is looking west towards the control structure and footbridge
from the south shore of the Minnehaha Creek located just downstream of the dam.
The photo above is a view looking north towards the dam site, with the
footbridge located on the right side of the dam. The photo below is a view
looking north across the Minnehaha Creek down the length of the bridge deck.
The photo above is a view of the downstream side of the footbridge as seen
from the southeast corner of the structure. The photo below is a similar
view from the northeast corner of the structure. Note that the dam gates are
fully closed on this late autumn morning.