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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Minnehaha Creek Footbridge Crossing
Minnetonka, MN

Headwaters Park Boardwalk

• Structure ID: N/A.
• Location: River Mile 21.6.
• River Elevation: 926 Feet.
• Structure Type: Pedestrian Boardwalk.
• Construction: Wood Plank.
• Length: 900 Feet (Estimated).
• Width: 8 Feet.
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet.
• Date Built: 2006.
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 Boardwalk meanders for about 900 feet across and along the north side of Gray's Bay just downstream of the Headwaters Control Structure dam. The wooden boardwalk is supported by pipes that are sunk into the bottom of the lake. Much of the boardwalk construction was completed in the winter when the ground was frozen in order that it could safely support the construction equipment. The boardwalk features an observation deck that has great views of both Lake Minnetonka and the headwaters of the Minnehaha Creek.

The photo above is looking north from the Headwaters Control Structure observation deck on a bright sunny autumn morning.


Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is the south end of the Headwaters Park Boardwalk. The walkway carries the trail off of the Headwaters Control Structure dam embankment and over the water to the north shore of the bay. The photo below is looking north from near the south end of the walkway.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is the observation deck that is attached to the downstream side of the boardwalk. The photo below is the bridge structure as the boardwalk turns to the east.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is the bridge deck as the boardwalk makes its turn to the east. The photo below is a view looking back towards this curve. The dam embankment is behind the bridge in the distance, with Gray's Bay being behind the dam.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is a view of the bridge structure as the boardwalk curves back to the north near the north end of the bay. The photo below is the final straight segment leading to the north end of the bridge as it passes over a marshy area.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is a detail view of the bridge railing. It is difficult to imagine how many short pieces of rebar had to be cut and welded to make the railing for this bridge. The photo below is a sculpture that sits on a private lot at the north end of the boardwalk.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is a view looking south down the bridge deck at the north end of the boardwalk. The photo below is a view looking southwest that shows the entire bridge.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo above is a view of the bridge structure as it heads west between the two curves in its path. The photo below is a view of the bridge structure as it makes its curve from heading west to heading south.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk
Headwaters Park Boardwalk
The photo below is a view of the straight segments that parallel the dam embankment. Gray's Bay is in the background behind the dam. The photo below is a closer view of the beaver lodge that is built under the bridge. Note the fantastic reflections in the water.

Headwaters Park Boardwalk

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