Minnesota’s Hidden Springs


We’ve all heard the recommendations: hydrate with eight glasses of water a day, drink half your body weight in water, if you’re running to the bathroom every five seconds, it’s working. Maybe not the last one, but I am trying to up my water intake and wean myself off soda. I now have a water bottle hermetically sealed to me at all times and I’ve even taken drastic action so far as to have a “pop-off” contest with a coworker to see who can go the longest without drinking soda. We have yet to determine the prize for the winner.

In an attempt to ease the transition to simply water, I’ve stocked up on an obscene amount of flavored water. But before I become completely addicted to LaCroix, I need a long-term plan. This is how I discovered the fresh, natural springs tucked away throughout the cities. Filling up at these springs feels like I’m embarking on a mini adventure. It certainly has turned drinking water from a mandatory chore into a mindful and relaxing retreat.

Fredrick-Miller Spring

9995 Spring Road, Eden Prairie

Nestled on the edge of the Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area in Eden Prairie, you’ll find the Fredrick-Miller Spring. Spring water flows from the spigot all year long attracting a steady stream of visitors with water jugs in hand. Yes, even during the freezing winter months! You’re able to drive up and park right next to the spring to fill up as many containers as you like for free. Surrounded by nature and with the sound of rushing water, filling up my spring water has become a peaceful reprieve from the daily hustle. Not to mention the water tastes delicious.

This spring has been providing fresh water for over a century. Back in 1890, William Fredrick channeled the spring water and piped the water to the surface for the public’s use. Aside from a few improvements over the years, the spring looks much like it did a century ago.

The city of Eden Prairie tests the spring water regularly and has deemed the water safe to drink. The spring water is free from fluoride and other treatments found in the city’s tap water. And maybe that’s why it tastes so good. Cool, crisp, and clean. Definitely no extra fruit flavoring necessary.

Dickinson Spring

Highway 55, Rockford

A little further from the cities you’ll find Dickinson Spring just off Highway 55 between Buffalo and Rockford. This unassuming stop alongside the road draws in a constant flow of visitors that swear by this water. Named after the nearby ghost town of Dickinson, this artesian well was originally dug back in 1916 by farmer Thomas Dixon. The well dried up during a drought in 1934 but was rediscovered four years later when building the highway and has quenched the public’s thirst since.

The water flows naturally from deep underground and through pressure, rises to the surface without the need of a pump. Cold, pure, and delicious-tasting, this water is also free from treatments like fluoride and chlorine and is safe to drink. Because of its frequent visitors and popularity, the Minnesota Health Department monitors and tests the water for bacteria, nitrates, and other contaminants regularly. The water is free of charge and flows all year round. Pack your car full of water jugs and head out on a mini excursion. Dickinson Spring is well worth the trip.

The Drink

888 West 7th St., St. Paul

Hidden in the heart of St. Paul, lies a truly ancient water source. Right below St. Paul’s Historic Schmidt Brewery is the Mount Simon-Hinckley aquifer that holds a repository of pure, ancient, glacial water. The water sourced from the aquifer reaches 1,100 feet below the surface and is more than 30,000 years old. Woolly mammoths were roaming the Earth then. This pristine glacial water is untreated, unpolluted, and safe to drink. The older the water, the less likely it is to contain modern pollutants.

The ancient meets modern when you fill up your water at The Drink with vending machines dispensing the glacial water at just $1 a gallon. They are open twenty-four hours a day, all year long and accept cash, Visa/Mastercard, and Apple Pay. I always look forward to the pilgrimage to fill my water up at the Drink. Drinking from an ancient 30,000 year old source feels like quite a special treat.

These hidden springs have made my water goals easy to achieve. Not only does the water from these springs taste cold, clean, and delicious, but each time I go fill up, it feels like a little adventure.

Read next: 5 waterfalls within a 90 minute drive of the Twin Cities