Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

National Scenic BywayMinnesota

All Photos (96)

  • Stone Mill in Lanesboro

    This restored old mill in Lanesboro now houses a gift shop, among other things.

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  • Polka Players in Lanesboro Restaurant

    Live polka and piano music is a fun feature of lunchtime at Das Wurst Haus in Lanesboro.

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  • Inside Das Wurst Haus

    A piano player and an accordian player entertain some Sunday lunchers at Das Wurst Haus in Lanesboro.

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  • Lanesboro Stone Dam

    Waters swollen with spring snowmelt and rainfall spill over the old stone dam in Lanesboro.

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  • Downtown Hokah

    Downtown Hokah is quiet on a sunny Sunday morning in early April.

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  • View from Inspiration Point

    Even though the hills aren't laden with their summer green yet, the view is still worth seeing from Inspiration Point west of Lanesboro.

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  • Flower Art at Houston Nature Center

    Bike parts make creative art at an outdoor sculpture display at the Houston Nature Center.

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  • Houston Nature Center

    A visitor checks out the free biking materials at the Houston Nature Center.

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  • Root River State Trail Sign

    A brown wooden sign in Rushford marks one of the entrance points to the Root River State Trail.

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  • Spring Valley Tourist Information Center

    Tourism Center at 400 North Broadway in Spring Valley is located directly on TH 16. Statue at right once stood at Mystery Cave.

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  • Whalan Information Site

    Whalan is one of the many places on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway with information available about the history of the area.

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  • Chicago Bridge

    Little kids play on the wooden walkway of the iron-girdered Chicago Bridge along the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Interpretive sign for "Rails to Trails"

    Interpretive sign for "Rails to Trails" along the Root River Trail in Lanesboro.

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  • Walking Across an Old Lanesboro Bridge

    A hiker strolls across an iron bridge built by the Chicago Bridge Company in Lanesboro, Minnesota. The bridge crosses the Root River.

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  • Downtown Lanesboro

    Cars are parked in front of colorful shops in downtown Lanesboro.

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  • Forestville State Park Bridge

    This bridge represents the many historical structure in the byway area.

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  • Farmland with Bluffs in Background

    As visitors wind their way along the byway in the river valley, they see productive farmland with towering bluffs in the background.

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  • Zebra Swallowtail on Pink Bush

    A black and yellow swallowtail butterfly alights on some broad pink compound flowers (butterfly bush?) on the roadside beside the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Root River State Trail Biking Path

    The state trail, a bike path with its own signs and markings for bicyclists, runs past the Rushford Depot Museum in Rushford.

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  • Wagon Before Rushford Depot Museum

    A red wagon and a brown wagon stand before the Rushford Depot Museum.

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  • Grinde School

    Grinde School and a tiny church are next to the Rushford Depot Museum. The Root River State Trail runs before them.

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  • Tiny Episcopal Church in Rushford

    One room is all you need to worship at this little white church with a red door in Rushford.

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  • Peterson Station Museum

    The Peterson Station Museum stands at a corner in Peterson, Minnesota.

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  • Cat Art at Houston Nature Center

    Bike parts form two sculptures of cats at an outdoor display on the grounds of the Houston Nature Center.

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  • Biking the Root River Trail

    A biker on a reclining-style bike pedals up the trail to the Houston Nature Center.

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  • Autumn Biking on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

    Cyclists enjoy the fall foliage along the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Field and Bluff Lands

    Farmland with bluffs in the background illustrate typical scenes along the byway.

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  • Summer Biking on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

    A cyclist peddles through a lush, emerald forest along the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Interpretive sign for Lanesboro

    Interpretive sign for Lanesboro along the Root River trail.

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  • Amish Buggy

    The Byway corridor includes a large community of Old Order Amish, who demonstrate a unique lifestyle and are often seen on the highways and in the communities, especially Harmony, Preston, Lanesboro, and Canton.

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  • Methodist Church Museum

    A Laura Ingalls Wilder site, the museum is in a church that the Wilder family attended.

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  • Information Sign at Enterprise

    The karst topography of Southeastern Minnesota is unique and a curiosity to visitors.

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  • Wayside Near Preston

    An old WPA construction project, the Wayside near Preston gives visitors a place to pull off the highway and enjoy the view out over the city, the county fairgrounds, and the South Branch of the Root River.

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  • Forestville State Park Barn

    This barn is part of Historic Forestville, a state historic site, where costumed guides portray actual residents in their daily activities and assist visitors to imagine what life was like in this small town.

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  • Inspiration Point Near Lanesboro

    Built by the WPA, Inspiration Point provides a place with tables and benches where travelers can stop and enjoy the sweeping vistas of farmland, bluffs, and river valley.

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  • Recreational Trail in Lanesboro

    The Root River State Trail provides a scenic and safe place for biking, hiking, skating, and cross-country skiing.

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  • Burr Oak Tree, Magelssen Park

    High on a bluff over the city of Rushford is a burr oak tree approximately 200 years old and the fifth largest tree in the State of Minnesota.

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  • Rushford Depot and Museum

    The oldest railroad depot in Minnesota that is still on its original site, it now serves as a trail head for the Root River State Trail and a museum of local history as well as a tourist information center.

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  • Apple Orchard Near La Crescent

    Travelers can enjoy the fruits of the harvest along with the glorious colors of the hardwoods when they visit in the fall.

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  • Schech's Mill

    Schech's Mill is a hidden treasure -- Minnesota's only water-powered flour mill still in operation -- located next to Beaver Creek Valley State Park. It is still in operation and available for tours by appointment.

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  • Como Falls at Hokah

    A waterfall located in a quiet park on the edge of Hokah, Como Falls is located near Mount Tom and the scenic bluffs of the Root and Mississippi Rivers.

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  • Roadside Scene Near Forestville

    The scene along the road into Forestville State Park shows the rolling landscape that invites visitors to enjoy the scenic views.

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  • Root River

    The byway follows the Root River for much of its length, providing visitors with many opportunities for enjoyment of the striking scenery.

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  • Root River Near Peterson

    The Root River, which winds through the byway area, offers excellent canoeing, kayaking and fishing, as well as contributing to the scenic beauty of the region.

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  • Birdhouse at Como Falls Park

    Pink and white petunias and other flowers complement the elaborate birdhouse standing on the shores of Thompson Creek that runs through Como Falls Park in Hokah.

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  • Como Falls and Flowers

    Pink hibiscus flowers bloom before Como Falls in summertime.

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  • The Root River

    The Root River curves past a sandy area near SR 16.

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  • Yellow Field by Hokah

    A field full of yellow flowers blooms north of Hokah on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Como Falls and Picnic Table

    A sturdy round picnic table stands in shade before the white froth of Como Falls.

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  • Bluffs of the Root River Valley

    Green bluffs of the Root River Valley form a northern edge to a field in a wilderness management area in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Forest just north of Hokah.

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  • Harmony-Preston Trail

    The grass is a little greener on the near side of the Harmony-Preston Trail by Preston, Minnesota.

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  • Farm above Harmony-Preston Trail

    A well-kept farm is silhouetted against the skyline, along with trees still waiting for spring to come, on the hillside above the Harmony-Preston Trail near Preston, Minnesota.

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  • Farm and Fields

    Attractive farms and fields waiting to be plowed for spring planting can be seen everywhere on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Exchange State Bank

    The Exchange State Bank is an architecturally significant building in the little town of Grand Meadow.

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  • Visitor Above Como Falls

    A visitor stands on the rocks over which Como Falls falls, looking down at the water and the small park.

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  • Road Descending Into Como Falls Park

    The white froth of Como Falls spills into a wide pond behind the road which descends into Como Falls Park in Hokah.

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  • Watching the Falls

    A visitor enjoys a mild April morning at Como Falls State Park in Hokah.

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  • Resting after a Walk into Como Falls Park

    A visitor watches the white froth of Como Falls spill into a wide pond at Como Falls Park in Hokah.

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  • Como Falls

    Como Falls in springtime before the trees and grass are green is still a pretty sight.

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  • Closeup of Como Falls

    Como Falls is flush with spring runoff in early April, and flows strongly between the rounded bluffs of the park.

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  • Birdhouse in Como Falls Park

    This elaborate white birdhouse with a green roof was placed in Como Falls Park in honor of the 150th anniversary of the town of Hokah. The park has at least a dozen birdhouses dangling from various trees in the park.

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  • Mt. Tom in Hokah

    Mt. Tom stands at the end of Main Street in Hokah.

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  • Thompson Creek Bridge

    Two visitor to Como Falls walk over the Thompson Creek Bridge.

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  • Como Falls Park Path

    Hikers take the southern path out of Como Falls Park in summer.

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  • Heading West near Mound Prairie

    A car approaches on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway near the Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural Area.

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  • Houston Nature Center in Summer

    Garden areas present a natural setting for art of a cycling persuasion outside the Nature Center on the Root River Trail in Houston.

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  • Houston Nature Center from Parking Lot

    The Houston Nature Center welcomes visitors, bikers and hikers to use its facilities for a day on the Root River Trail.

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  • Fields near Mound Prairie

    Green fields dotted with brush and trees stretch across the Root River valley near the Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural Area. The bluffs in the distance are part of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Forest.

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  • Barn, Hayfield and Windmill

    A scattering of clouds enlivens the sky above a pastoral scene near the Mound Prairie Scientific and Natural Area on the Historic Bluffs Country Scenic Byway.

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  • Cornfields by Daley Creek

    In the Root River Valley, agricultural fields of corn like this one, or other crops are raised in the level valley between the high forested bluffs.

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  • View from Magelssen Park Bluff

    The city of Rushford and the Root River Valley spread below Magelssen Park.

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  • Magelssen Bluff Park

    A huge boulder from the Class of 1987 names this park on a bluff high above Rushford as Magelssen Park.

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  • Lanesboro Station

    A gift shop now does business in a restored and turreted historic building in Lanesboro, perhaps once a fire station or schoolhouse.

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  • Spring Valley Methodist Church

    The church shines in the afternoon sun on a summer's day in Spring Valley.

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  • Methodist Church Tower

    The decorative tower of the Spring Valley Methodist Church reaches toward the sky.

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  • Spring Valley Methodist Church

    One of several Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in this area, the Spring Valley Methodist Church also has a museum open to the public.

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  • Washburn-Zittleman House Museum

    The Washburn-Zittleman House hosts a museum, and is located across the street to the south from the Spring Valley Methodist Church.

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  • Carnegie Library in Spring Valley

    Although it no longer houses the main branch of the Spring Valley library, the old Carnegie Library facility remains part of the Spring Valley's history.

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  • Parson's Block and Hall

    Built of warm golden rock, the Parson's Block and Hall building in downtown Spring Valley is of Victorian Italianate architecture.

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  • Harmony-Preston Trailhead Park

    Feathery clouds grace the sky above this riverside park by the Harmony-Preston Trailhead in Preston.

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  • Preston Grain Elevator

    One of the tallest buildings in Preston is this grain elevator, currently awaiting enough funds for restoration.

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  • Harmony-Preston Valley Trailhead Park

    A small park and plenty of parking are two of the features of the Harmony-Preston Valley Trailhead by the grain elevator in Preston.

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  • Farm by Harmony-Preston Valley Trail

    White fences, red farm buildings, and green fields create a pleasant rural scene for bikers and hikers on the Harmony -Preston Valley Trail near Preston.

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  • Root River South of Preston

    The Root River flows by close to the road at a point south of Preston.

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  • Relaxing at Inspiration Point

    A visitor to Inspiration Point west of Lanesboro relaxes on a stone bench and enjoys the summertime view.

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  • View from Inspiration Point on SR 16

    Cornfields and forests stretch as far as the eye can see from this summer view from Inspiration Point west of Lanesboro on SR 16.

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  • Old Stone Dam in Summer

    Green grass and trees in full summer glory surround the Old Stone Dam in Lanesboro.

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  • Historic Downtown Lanesboro

    Traffic is light on a weekday afternoon in summer in historic downtown Lanesboro.

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  • Lanesboro History Museum

    Flags fly proudly over the balcony on the Historic Museum in Lanesboro.

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  • Floaters on the Root River in Lanesboro

    Two girls float past forested hills on the Root River in Lanesboro, as seen from an iron bridge in the center of the historic district.

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  • Tubing the Root River

    At a curve in the Root River near Peterson, two swimmers float past.

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  • Flowers Made of Bicycle Parts at the Houston Nature Center

    One of the outdoor sculptures at the Houston Nature Center on the Root River Trail resembles a bouquet of flowers, if flowers were made of bicycle parts.

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  • An Excellent Lanesboro Rhubarb Crop

    A woman sits beside a bountiful rhubarb crop filling the back of a blue pickup.

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  • Rhubarb Festival Torch Juggler

    Juggling flaming rhubarb torches, this performer provides just one of the entertainment options at the Lanesboro, MN Rhubarb Festival.

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  • Cruising on the Snow

    A snowmobiler cruises along the powdery snow amidst wooded Minnesota.

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  • Presenting Designation Plaque to Minnesota's Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

    Minnesota's Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway receives their designation plaque at the Designation 2002 event at Union Station in Washington DC.

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