Swede Hollow

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St. Paul, MN
United States
Swede Hollow

Landscape Information

Established in 1973, this linear park is a lush green space with trails along the former watercourse of Lower Phalen Creek.  The 25-acre, 100-foot deep ravine curves through an area once part of the Dakota Kaposia settlements that stretched along the Mississippi River from here to below Indian Mounds Regional Park and beyond. The park was named for the first group of European immigrants to settle in the creek valley that wound its way through the east side of the city.

In 1850 the creek continued to flow through its bed, but it was soon diverted underground to allow industries and railroads to build on the former marsh land. European settlers built small frame houses along the edge of the creek and, as each new wave of immigrants came to St. Paul, they often settled in the hollow. The close-knit community was devastated in the 1950s when the neighborhood was declared hazardous due to unsafe water and lack of sanitary sewers. The residents were relocated, and their houses demolished.

Through the efforts of the St. Paul Parks & Recreation Department and other partners, invasive plants have been removed and native grasses and flowers reestablished. A Master Plan produced in 2019 proposed improved access, trail improvements, a boardwalk, wayfinding signage, expanded natural resource planning, and interpretive plaques.  A wooden observation deck was constructed in 2020. The park’s trails connect to Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to the east and then up the bluff to Indian Mounds Regional Park.