March 16, 2017: West River Parkway Hike (Minneapolis)

Join the hiking group for an urban hike along the west side of the Mississippi River below the University of Minnesota West Bank area and near the Elmer L. Anderson Library at the University.

The University of Minnesota was founded as a preparatory school in 1851, seven years before Minnesota became a state, closed during the Civil War, and reopened in1867. The University of Minnesota was established as a land-grant college under the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act, with land to use or sell to provide an education for students of all incomes and with a commitment to agriculture. William Watts Folwell was the first president of the University, the first bachelor’s degree was awarded in 1873, and the first doctorate was awarded in 1888. The University has 40,572 undergraduate students, 25,527 graduate, professional, and other students, and 4,088 full-time faculty. The University colors of maroon and gold were adopted in 1880. The “Gopher” nickname is as old as the state, derived from an 1857 political cartoon that depicted nine Gophers with the heads of local politicians pulling a locomotive, criticizing legislative action for a $5 million railroad proposal in western Minnesota. The “Minnesota Rouser” was written in 1909 by Floyd M. Hutsell, who won a contest sponsored by the Minneapolis Tribune. The Elmer L. Andersen Library, named for former State Senator and Governor Elmer L. Anderson, who donated his personal library of 12,500 rare volumes, houses eight special collections and archives units.

The Anderson Library is located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River on the west end of the Washington Avenue bridge. Its 185,000 square feet house the majority of University Libraries archives and special collections, including the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature, voluminous Sherlock Holmes collections, the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, the Children's Literature Research Collections, the Immigration History Research Center, and the Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Anderson Collection in climate-controlled conditions.

Directions: From I-94, take the Riverside Avenue exit and proceed south on Riverside Avenue to Franklin Avenue. Go east (left) on Franklin Avenue about three blocks to Seabury Avenue. Meet on the corner of East Franklin Avenue and Seabury Avenue in Southeast Minneapolis.

Back to the Thursday Night Hikes homepage

This page was last modified on February 28, 2017.