The Coon Rapids dam was built in 1913 by the Northern Mississippi Power Company. It took 1,000 men just a little over 1 year to complete the entire dam system. During construction, a small town grew up on the Anoka County side of the river, complete with barracks, hospitals, fire stations and even dance halls.
Some of the best bird watching in the metro area can be found in Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. An extensive trail system offers skiing/snowshoeing, bicycle riding, and walking. There are ten kilometers of relatively level ski trails. Cross-country skis and snowshoe rentals are available at the visitor center; call for fee information.
There are also very good shore fishing locations here on the Mississippi River. Fishing from shore below the dam yields fish of several different species and is a very popular fishing spot. Cenaiko Lake holds fish of several species, including trout. A fishing license is required of those 16 years of age and older. A trout stamp is also needed when fishing Cenaiko Lake.