“Wilderness Adventure” will bring people back in time

Excelsior, Minn. – The Steamboat Minnehaha will return to Big Island on June 18 and 19, recreating a voyage it made last year for the first time in eight decades. Visitors who board the historic steamboat at the Excelsior Dock will experience a restored wilderness park full of the wonders nature has to offer. They’ll walk along wooded trails, picnic on a grassy knoll, swim at a sandy beach and view a pair of bald eagles nesting atop an old tree.

The “Big Island Wilderness Adventure” is an outing for the entire family to enjoy. “Families can pack a picnic lunch and take the steamboat to the island for a day of hiking, swimming and exploring this beautiful island, which was made possible by financial support from the City of Orono and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District,” said Jim Murphy, President of the Museum of Lake Minnetonka. “This weekend is part of an ongoing commitment to have the island be accessible to the public and providing low-cost transportation is our way of making sure that happens,” he said.

To enhance the visitors’ experience, there will be tour guides on hand to provide historical background on the island, including its days as an amusement park and a veterans’ camp. There also will be signs placed throughout the park showing where the amusement rides were located and identifying what remains from the period of 1906-1911.

Since all but one of the structures were removed last winter, this will be the first time the public will see the park restored to its natural beauty. As a wilderness park, Big Island does not offer food or beverage service or provide restroom facilities. A restroom is available on the boat.

During the “Big Island Wilderness Adventure” all trips leave from and return to the Excelsior City Docks. The scheduled departures are at 9:30 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 12:50 p.m., 2:20 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Round trip tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. It is strongly suggested people order tickets online at

For more information on the Steamboat Minnehaha and the Museum of Lake Minnetonka - including the 2011 schedule, how to order tickets, and volunteer opportunities - visit www.steamboatminnehaha.org.
About the Museum of Lake Minnetonka and Steamboat Minnehaha The Museum of Lake Minnetonka, an all-volunteer, 501-C3 museum, is in its 16th year of offering cruises to the public on its historic steamboat Minnehaha. Passengers have traveled from all corners of the world to enjoy a ride aboard this floating museum.

View pictures of the Steamboat Minnehaha here.