Vermillion Falls Park
The Vermillion River is a 59.6-mile river that meanders through Scott County and Dakota County in Minnesota, emptying into the Mississippi River just south of Hastings. 13.5 miles of it are designated as a trout stream, which is unusual for being so close to a metropolitan area.
Located just off of Highway 61 on 21st Street East, the park is a treasure for picnics, exploring, and of course, viewing the spectacular 35 ft. Vermillion Falls and limestone ravine.
In the 19th century, this 35-foot waterfall was used to power the gristmill, today, it’s a beautiful attraction that is easily accessible to all.
Across the river is the Ardent Mills facility. This mill was built in 1853 by Harrison H. Graham and the FIRST operating mill in Minnesota as well as the first all-roller mill facility in the U.S. It was originally powered by the Vermillion River. The purifier, patent barrel and graham flour were invented here.
Three years later it was sold to William G. LeDuc and later on bought by Stephen Gardner, renaming it the Gardner Mill, who develops a reel sifter to create “patent flour,” the primary bakery flour used today.
The mill will change hands eight more time before 2014 when ConAgra, Cargill and CHS combine their milling businesses to form Ardent Mills.
When visiting the falls, make sure you view it from the observation deck. This deck gives you an excellent top-down view of the Vermillion Falls and the Ardent Mills.
VERMILLION RIVER OVERLOOK
The Vermillion Gorge Bridge provides beautiful views of the Vermillion River.
OLD MILL RUINS
Travel back in time with a pit stop in Old Mill Park where towering pillars from the Ramsey Mill, built in 1856, still stand today.