Hidden Falls Crosby Farm Master Plan

Overview

The master plan for Hidden Falls Crosby Farm Regional Park will guide park improvements, natural resources management, and make recommendations for changes within or adjacent to the park. The park does not have a master plan, and per the Metropolitan Council, a plan must be approved and adopted for every regional park in the seven county metropolitan area. See the Metropolitan Council's website for more details. City Parks and Recreation will be asking for input and feedback on this plan through early fall 2018, and the written report will be completed in June 2019.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this project, or if you would like to be involved on the master plan advisory committee (three meetings will be scheduled in late summer and early fall), please contact the project manager listed above to the right side of this page.  

Hidden Falls History

Hidden Falls Regional Park dates back to 1887, when it was selected by Horace Cleveland, a nationally known landscape architect and park planner, as one of four major park sites for the City of Saint Paul. Except for the use of a portion of the land as a tree nursery, no improvement was made in Hidden Falls Park until 1936-37, when the WPA carried out an extensive improvement program on the site. Featured in the park was a small spring-feed waterfall from which the park got its name. In the mid 1960's the park took much of its present form as work began on the park's four primary use areas: the primitive area, boat launching area, general picnic area, and scenic falls area.

Crosby Farm History

Crosby Farm Regional Park is named after Thomas Crosby, an English immigrant who staked out 160 acres in the valley southwest of the present-day junction of Shepard Road and Interstate 35E in 1858. Before Crosby's death in 1886, the farm became one of the largest and longest running in the West End and Highland Park area. A succession of families farmed it between 1902 and 1962. The Saint Paul Port Authority purchased the land in the early 1960s and leased it to the City for park use. Today, Crosby Farm's potential as a nature area accessible to the public is being realized. With about 6.7 miles of paved trails, the park provides a beautiful setting for an afternoon's walk, run, or ride. Trails run along shady, wooded bottom lands next to the Mississippi River, along the marshes of Crosby Lake, past scenic picnic areas, and connects to the Mississippi River Boulevard parkway. Fishing and picnics are other popular activities in the park.

Project Timeline

July to October 2018 - public engagement and design advisory committee meetings
November 2018 - public open house
January 2019 - draft submission to Metropolitan Council
April 2019 - nearly complete draft to St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission, and St. Paul City Council
June 2019 - final master plan adopted by Metropolitan Council

This plan is made possible by funding from the Minnesota Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment. The Legacy Amendment, passed in 2008, focuses on fostering Minnesota’s rich outdoor, arts and cultural heritage, maintenance and expansion of our trails, and preserving our clean water. 

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