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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Islands Of Peace Regional Park
Mississippi River Regional Park
Fridley, MN

Islands Of Peace Regional Park

• Structure ID: N/A.
• Location: River Mile 860.8.
• River Elevation: 805 Feet.
• Highway: Pedestrian Bridge.
• Bridge Type: Steel Truss, Wood Deck.
• Length: 100 Feet (Estimated).
• Width: 10 Feet (Estimated).
• Navigation Channel Width: Non-Navigable.
• Height Above Water: 7 Feet (Estimated).
• Date Built: 2003 (Estimated).
The Islands Of Peace Regional Park is located on the east side of the Mississippi River in Fridley, Minnesota. To find the park, head north from Interstate highway I-694 on Country Highway 1, also known as East River Parkway, and turn left on Island Park Drive. The park is open to the public, and there is no admission or parking fees. It is easily accessible from the Northstar train via the Fridley station.

The park consists of three islands in the Mississippi River. Chase Island features a number of walking trails, benches, and a beach. This island is connected to the mainland via a pedestrian bridge. There is also a causeway with a culvert for maintenance vehicles. The remaining two islands, Gil Hodges Island, named after the famous baseball player, and Durnham Island, named after an 1870s owner, are accessible only via the water.

The park was founded by Edward T. Wilmes in 1971. He was a veteran who worked tirelessly to raise funds to establish the park. He took a lease on the islands, then established a park foundation in 1973 to own and operate the park. An accidental drowning at the park in the mid-1970s made it impossible for the foundation to obtain insurance. As a result, Anoka County took ownership of the park. Today, the Islands Of Peace Foundation maintains a library and visitor center while the Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department maintains the park.

The photo above is the sign at the head of the trail leading to Chase Island. The trail system is ADA accessible, however, be aware that the grade leading down to the bridge to Chase Island is long and has several switchbacks.


Islands Of Peace Regional Park
These two photos are looking down the length of the deck of the bridge leading to Chase Island. The photo above is looking west, with the island on the far end of the bridge. The photo below is looking east, with the east bank of the Mississippi River on the far end of the bridge. I have not determined the specific age of this bridge. It appears that a bridge has existed here since the 1970s, but it appears that this bridge may have been installed in the fall of 2003 when the park was refurbished.

Islands Of Peace Regional Park
Islands Of Peace Regional Park
The photo above is looking south down the center of the river channel between the mainland and Chase Island. While the bridge is in the center of the photo, it is a little hard to see given that this photo is looking directly into the bright mid-morning sun. The photo below is sneaking a peak between two trees at the downstream south face of the bridge.

Islands Of Peace Regional Park
Islands Of Peace Regional Park
These two photos are views of the downstream south face of the bridge as seen from the east bank of the Mississippi River. The bridge was half in a shadow, and half in the bright morning sun, so the east end is underexposed, and the west end is overexposed. The photo above is a close view of the far end of the span, while the photo below is a wider view of the entire bridge span.

Islands Of Peace Regional Park
Islands Of Peace Regional Park
The north end of the channel between the east riverbank and Chase Island is filled in by a causeway to allow maintenance vehicles onto the island. The photo above is a spot where high water is allowed to flow across the roadway. The photo below is a location where there are culverts allowing water to pass under the roadway. The culverts are well hidden in this view.

Islands Of Peace Regional Park
Islands Of Peace Regional Park
These two photos are the ends of the culverts. The photo above is the upstream intake, while the photo below is the downstream exit for the water flow.

Islands Of Peace Regional Park

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