Willow River Spillway

After years of waiting, the dam at Willow River State Park has been rebuilt and the far west area of the park is re-opened. I have been trying to access this spot for a long time as supposedly there are rapids below the previous dam that were quite nice. Access is now very easy via the small parking area and paved walkway.

There are several accessible fishing and wildlife observation decks available along Little Falls Lake.

Here’s a view across Little Falls Lake. Back when I visited in 2017 the lake was completely dry as it was drawn down for repairs to the dam. This is the first time I’ve seen it with water.

The dam and spillway are easy to find by walking to the end of the paved path. You can partially walk out across the top/side of the dam for a short way.

Here’s a view of the spillway from the side/below. Overall it appears to be maybe 20 feet high.

Due to the new construction, the only rapids are far below the dam and not at all substantial. Just some small rocks and riffles but really not worth visiting.

I tried following a small trail along the river but the only thing I found was old farm debris and the previously mentioned tiny “rapids”. Save your time and hike to the larger falls in the park.


Here’s a short video of the spillway and surrounding area.

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