The Natural Beauty of Coon Rapids Minnesota
Whether it’s the middle of winter or the heart of summer, Coon Rapids, Minnesota is a paradise when it comes to exploring its nature. A beautiful oasis of America’s beauty, Coon Rapids is located just about twenty minutes outside of the famous Minneapolis-St. Paul city limits. It is ranked as the thirteenth largest city in Minnesota with a population of over 60,000 residents. Coon Rapids is most notably known for their forty miles of trails and nearly fifty parks, perfect for any outdoor adventure. The city is rich in history with two hundred years of traditions and customs still a big part of how the city runs today.
Coon Rapids was originally known as Anoka Township before changing its name to Coon Creek Rapids and now just simply Coon Rapids. Coon is believed to represent the word Raccoon, because the city, as well as the entire state of Minnesota, is known for a high population of the animal, and was a popular hunting spot back in the 1800’s. The Coon Rapids Dam was a huge source of economic stability as it was a great location for steamboats. This then led to Coon Rapids becoming a big industrial city with engineering and general labor jobs as its main careers. With those high-stress jobs, the trails and water ways in Coon Rapids became the go-to weekend spot for rest and overall relaxation.
Coon Rapids’ Rich History
Everywhere you look in Coon Rapids, there is a trace of the rich history dating back to themed-1800’s. Whether it is the site of the Old Town Hall, the original school house or the old trolley lines, the city shows many of the traditions that America was built on, which is hard to find these days with the constant new infrastructure.
The summer months of June through September bring the average high up to nearly 70 degrees daily, sometimes with daily highs in the 90’s. These being ideal temperatures for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, boating, golfing and even camping. Coon Rapids has an abundance of waterways, most significantly rivers and lakes that are great for venturing out onto and taking a scenic tour of the beautiful views.
The Coon Rapids Dam is “man-made” and construction was completed in 1914 along with a PowerStation that ran towards the mouth of the Mississippi River. The Dam is made of solid concrete and rock and in the 1960’s the PowerStation was rejuvenated to fit the growing needs of the area.
Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
The Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is one of the many beauties that make up the Three River Parks District in the area and has been giving guests breathtaking adventures since the 1970’s. Whether spending a day out with family and friends or a solo day trip, the Dam offers a breathtaking view along the above walking path. The Park is also one of the top places to fish in Coon Rapids as well. The region is known for their various forms of Trout, Bass and even Catfish, perfect for any fisherman looking for a successful day out on the water. While navigating through the trails, visitors can see some of the wildlife that calls Coon Rapids home such as River Otters, Hawks, Deer, Beaver, Turtles and much more. The Park is also a popular place to visit in the winter, seeing as it is a great place to for ski aficionados to do a little cross country skiing.
Although no longer an integral part of the community the Clay Hole is one of Coon Rapids’ most treasured possessions as it was originally the first ever brickyard and a big part of the tradition there. It was then turned into a swimming hole as it is still known today with people of all ages finding it a fun place to visit during the warmer months.
Bunker Hills Regional Park
Another beautiful gem within the Coon Rapids district is the Bunker Hills Regional Park. With over one thousand acres of natural Minnesota habitat, Bunker Hills has a lush green eighteen- hole golf course that is lined with gorgeous trees that also make for great shade on a hot summer day. Also, a great spot to camp, Bunker Hills allows visitors to take in the nature around them and is a great place to watch the sunrise. As with most parks and outdoor areas in the region, Bunker Hills is great for fishing and has launches to bring boats and there are several places to enjoy a picnic. The Bunker Beach Water park is also another spot that visitors check out to enjoy watersports and waterslides that will sure to please. Bunker Hills also has recreational activities in the winter as well, when visitors can go snowmobiling or cross-country skiing along the snow- capped trees along the trail.
The natural parks also host events throughout the year ranging from coffee socials to gardening expos and sometimes even guest speakers.
The Wildlife of Coon Rapids
Besides raccoons, deer are the next most popular type of wildlife that can be seen in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Deer are not only found on official wildlife preserves but also on resident’s property in the region as well. The deer are interested in the lush green grass and flowering trees and plants that the area is known for, making it a good place for them to live.
In terms of lush green grass, a Kentucky Bluegrass type of sod is recommended in this Minnesota region. These types of grass won’t be harmed with extremely cold temperatures, lack of sun or water. The greener the grass the better the overall ecosystem of Coon Rapids is and with the type of environment the area is, keeping wildlife and greenery healthy, is a big task.
While enjoying Coon Rapids you will see a few varieties of trees that are native to the area like Magnolias, Evergreen Trees and various types of Maples. As for flowers, Tulips, Sunflowers, Garden Roses, Iris and Chrysanthemums are the most popular types of flowers for the region. All of these varieties of trees and flowers mentioned above are hearty and can withstand the bitter cold weather and then the high temperatures of the summer months. Tulips in particular will thrive in an environment like Minnesota and will the official symbol of spring when they bloom.
Edible Garden Trends in Coon Rapids
Minnesota has also become very interested and a leader in sustainable gardens and planting edible gardens has become a popular new trend. Vegetables that grow quite well in Minnesota include, but aren’t limited to, beets, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, squash, zucchini and pumpkins. Farmer’s Markets and farm stands sell locally grown fruits and vegetables during their designated seasons, maybe even as a perfect addition for a picnic at one of the nearby parks.
The combination of history and natural beauty make Coon Rapids a one of a kind place. A true definition of American history just outside the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St.Paul, the city has a beautiful landscape and offers a one of a kind outdoor lifestyle experience all twelve months of the year. Coon Rapids’ overall natural beauty will have you sold as soon as you arrive.