Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary






City of St. Paul logo




City of St. Paul

Lower Phalen Creek Project

National Park Service: Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary on Facebook




Representative Bruce Vento was well-known as a champion for environmental causes in Minnesota and across the nation. During his tenure in Congress, he was chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands for ten years, overseeing the enactment of 300 laws. After his death in 2000, several places in the Metro area were established in his honor: the Vento View Overlook near Cherokee Park, the Bruce Vento Regional Trail in Maplewood and St. Paul, which then leads down through Swede Hollow to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The 27-acre sanctuary is located just east of downtown St. Paul, tucked in between the railroad tracks along Warner Road and the bluffs below Mounds Park. One cave, called Wakan Tipi (Spirit House), was a significant site for the Native Americans living in the area. In 1853, the North Star Brewery was built here, and they used one of the caves to store beer. Starting in the 1880’s, the area became a railroad and industrial area, later becoming largely abandoned in the 1970’s. In 2001, a coalition of St. Paul residents, neighborhood groups, and the City of St. Paul started work on purchasing the land, and in 2005 it became an official park open to the public. There is an ongoing effort to restore the land’s ecology and native plant communities, though reminders of the industrial history have been left in place. The sanctuary has also become a significant location for birdwatching and for educational opportunities.

— Kirk Nelson








Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) is a 72-mile, 53,775 acre corridor along the Mississippi River. It stretches in the north from Weigh Station Highway Park on US Highway 10 in Ramsey to the Dakota County/Goodhue County border in the south. MNRRA, pronounced “minnra”, is a partnership park, a new and unique kind of national park. St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and the 29-acre Coldwater Spring are the only parcels of land within the MNRRA owned by The National Park Service.








Park Map (PDF)


Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates




27 acres




265 Commercial Street
Saint Paul, MN

There is a parking lot at the north end of the park on Positively 4th St. wit room for 14 cars.

Positively 4th St. Parking Lot
N44 57.201, W93 4.502

Additional parking is available at the nearby Indian Mounds Regional Park.

Indian Mounds Regional Park Parking Lot
N44 57.032, W93 4.109




Sunrise - 11 p.m.






Driving Directions

  Area and County  

Get driving directions from Google Maps to this destination from any address, and send those directions to your phone.

          Ramsey County  
          Metro Area  

Hiking Trails


1.0 mile loop with several interconnecting trails




No hunting


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

  Ecological Section    

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

  Ecological Subsection    

St. Paul-Baldwin Plains and Moraines

  Land Type Association    

Pig's Eye Alluvial Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Not mapped (10/11/2021)

  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features


Sandstone and limestone bluffs, cave, wetlands, stormwater ponds, oak savanna and prairie restorations, and an educational bee apiary






Visitor Photos

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Kirk Nelson



    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      


    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      


    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

White-tail deer

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Educational Apiary

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Honey bees

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Interpretative markers

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary   Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary  

Interpretive sign

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Outdoor Classroom

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Concrete railroad pad

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      


    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

Brewery Cave

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      

View of Downtown St. Paul

    Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary      





  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary • Fall 2019
Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)
  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary • Fall 2019  
  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary  
  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, Oct. 20, 2007
Kevin Hendricks
  Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, Oct. 20, 2007  

Lexi and I went to Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary just east of downtown St. Paul on a beautiful October Saturday.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  A Video Tour Bruce of the Vento Nature Sanctuary
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Tour - (1) Welcome


Published on Jan 27, 2011

  Eight more videos of this tour can be seen at  
  Flowers of the Railyard
Bridget Fitzgerald

Published on Jun 13, 2018

railyard = Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

  Bruce Vento Sanctuary Minnesota
Artid Chah

Published on Mar 1, 2018

Short clip of a little sanctuary here in Minnesota.
I recorded everything with my GoPro Hero 5 Black.

I don't own this song or the audio.
Song: Kiiara- Feels (Jai Wolf Remix)

  Clearing Buckthorn at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

Published on Aug 24, 2017

  Quadcopter on Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
Denis Foo Kune

Published on Oct 18, 2014




Visitor Sightings

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Kirk Nelson



  Green Heron (Butorides virescens)   Green Heron  


  whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)   whitetail deer  





eBird Field Checklist





Created: 8/24/2019

Last Updated:

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