GOLD MEDAL PARK: WHO SAYS DOWNTOWN IS JUST CHAOS?
Visit Minneapolis’ Gold Medal Park and Stone Arch Bridge for a day of fun and relaxation
Image by Meet Minneapolis
By Kerry Roberson
Gold Medal Park
Gold Medal Park is one of Minneapolis’ newest parks, the 7.5 acre park that originally opened in 2007 is a large stretch of lush, well-manicured Kentucky bluegrass that, due to its close proximity to St. Anthony Falls, draws in large crowds of people seeking a moment to unwind.
“Huck it like you mean it,” the group yelled to a player who threw the frisbee and laughed as another ran and dove to catch the low flying disc. Gold Medal Park has a variety of visitors all looking to have a little fun in the summer sun. Small groups of welcoming players set up activities and friendly games of ultimate frisbee and touch football, while others come with picnic baskets and yoga mats ready for a relaxing afternoon of cloud watching.
Since the park’s opening, tourists have come from all over to see the Park and St. Anthony Falls, just a ten-minute walk up the River Parkway Trail. The increased traffic has pushed the city to keep the area around the Falls alive and green, making Minneapolis residences and nearby shop owners like, Lara Hammel and Jeff Sommers, owners of Izzy’s Ice Cream shop happy.
Handmade Frozen Treats
Izzy’s Ice Cream, located across the street from Gold Medal Park, has been a Minneapolis favorite since its owners, Lara and Jeff, dedicated themselves to learning from the best in the business before opening their shop in July of 2000. Izzy’s specializes in handmade ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet, made with the finest ingredients from around the world. Laughing kids and smiling employees fill Izzy’s to the brim every summer as the ice cream shop draws in loyal customers and curious wanders from the park with its selection of 32 delicious desserts.
The Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge overlooks the scenic, St. Anthony Falls as it pushes billions of gallons of water down the Mississippi River everyday. The bridge, built in 1883 is the only one of its kind in the area. The native granite and limestone bridge gives walkers and cyclists a panoramic view of the Falls that have provided waterpower to the Twin Cities since the early 1800’s.
Important sites around the Falls are marked with plaques that provide a brief introduction to the location and its historic significance. Walking and segway tours can also be scheduled for anyone that wants to understand the full impact the Falls had on shaping the Twin Cities.