Minnesota – A recently completed feasibility study provided a favorable review of replacing the Ramsey Mill Pond Dam with five whitewater pools in the Cedar River near Austin. The park would create recreation opportunities for whitewater rafting, kayaking and tubing.
Initial designs for the $10 million project have the park near the Austin Community Recreation Center and ending on Second Avenue NE. The length of the park would include five drops and five pools, with rock structures used to create obstacles for new and experienced rafters.
A pedestrian trail is planned for the west side of the river that continues under the bridges. The dam would be removed and reworked as part of the project.
In addition to creating a recreational option for the area, the project may also benefit the health of the river. Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) officials indicated the new drops could help clear the water, provide better shoreline access, and improve accessibility for fishing.
The final design will be completed once funding is secured. Developers hope to have the park open by 2027.