Population (2010)



The city of Ramsey has been through explosive growth in the past generation, going from 1,179 residents in 1960 to almost 24,000 in 2010. Virtually all of that growth has been residential, as Ramsey developed into a bedroom community for the Twin Cities. The city has been around for a while, though.

Visitor Information

Direct your questions to the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce (763.421.7130).


Mississippi River near Dayton and Ramsey

Mississippi River near Dayton and Ramsey

Once the site of a trading post, permanent settlers began arriving in 1852. Originally known as Itasca, the village was platted in 1852. It grew to include a hotel, coach stop, railroad station, and a post office. The village was busy enough to be in the running for the territorial capital, although it eventually lost out to St. Paul. Itasca was renamed Ramsey in 1858 in honor of the first territorial Governor, Alexander Ramsey. In 1974, the entire township of Ramsey incorporated as a city.

Exploring the Area

The northern end of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area begins near Ramsey and continues for 72 miles through the Twin Cities to Hastings.

Entertainment and Events

Farmers Market

The Ramsey farmers market runs on Thursdays from 3pm-7pm from early July through September along Center Street north of the Ramsey Municipal Center (763.433.9853; 7550 Sunwood Dr. NW).


Ramsey celebrates its hometown pride with its annual Happy Days Festival (763.433.9831) in early September., with live music, fireworks, a parade, and events like a bean bag tournament.

On Thursday evenings from mid-June to mid-August, bands play live shows in the evening at The Draw (7401 E. Ramsey Parkway).

**Looking for more places in Minnesota? Check out Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more information. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Getting There

The Northstar Line commuter rail (612.373.3333) runs trains from Big Lake (198th Ave. and County Road 43 NW) to downtown Minneapolis (ending at Target Field), with a stop in Ramsey and in several other river towns  (Big LakeAnokaCoon Rapids, and Fridley); riding the entire distance takes about 50 minutes.

Where to Go Next

Heading upriver? Check out Elk River.

Heading downriver? Check out Anoka.

Community-supported writing

If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2015