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Places to go: the mighty Mississippi

A tug and a barge travel upstream on the Mississippi River under the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings.

Whether you're looking for a relaxing place to read a book, or looking to catch that trophy walleye, the Mississippi River in Hastings is your spot.

A large city park extends from downtown Hastings to Lock and Dam No. 2. The park allows visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with the river.

You'll have a chance to see tugs and barges pass by daily. There are bald eagles to spot, wild turkeys nearby, pleasure boaters and anglers coming and going all hours of the day.

A paved walking and biking trail stretches from downtown past Lock and Dam No. 2. Those looking to really stretch out their legs should follow the trail as it goes past the lock and dam. From there, you'll cross a large berm that separates the backwaters of the Mississippi from Lake Rebecca.

In 2008, an observatory and fishing pier opened. The observatory gives visitors a chance to get close to boat traffic passing by. The pier is located between the boat launch and the lock and dam along the paved trail.

Steamboats frequently pass by Hastings. To find out when they are coming through, contact the Hastings Star Gazette newspaper at 651-437-6153.

What you need to know

The Mississippi River

To access the Mississippi riverfront in Hastings take Second Street out of downtown and travel west. You'll see the turnoff for river access located adjacent to the Hudson manufacturing plant. Turn north.

The river stretches for 2,320 miles from its headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to New Orleans.