Guys, what if I were to tell you that there was an entire island in the Mississippi River that was once actually used by local residence, equipped with baseball fields, small buildings and a playground, would you believe me?


I thought this was total bull...until I looked it up on Google Maps and researched it at the Stearns History Museum. There's actually an abandoned island in the Mississippi River by St. Cloud State University called Sportsman's Island.  I had lived in St. Cloud my entire life without ever hearing about this mysterious plot of land.

One of our interns mentioned it in casual conversation and puzzled, I asked, "what are you talking about." The intern was shocked that I had never heard about it. I didn't believe him. But he insisted he has actually been to the island and saw the buildings and playground himself.

It turns out it's all true. The island was once a super popular work picnic destination. But, for some reason they shut it down. There's an old broken bridge that still remains in the area today. You can't get to it by vehicle anymore.

I mean, I've always heard of the Beaver Islands, but I thought they were just small sections marsh and trees in the Mississippi. I didn't know people actually used the land!

Why don't we use this land anymore? It's kind of a complicated story. I'll just leave it at that. Am I seriously the only person who didn't know this existed?


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