Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway
Length: 88 miles / 140.8 km
Time to Allow: Allow at least 3 hours.
Trail the Minnesota and Iowa border on the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway. At 88 miles, you can take this byway in as little as three hours or take a couple of days and see all the sights. From Amish communities to lakes and forests, you can find an amazing adventure with gorgeous scenery. If spending time outdoors sounds like the perfect vacation, then take this trail to try out fishing, canoeing, skiing, and so much more.
Along the byway, find rich and rolling farmlands and the Mississippi River. Start your journey by the river in a town just west called Hokah. The word Hokah means root, and it’s fitting as the town roots in both history and the river. Find fantastic areas to canoe, kayak, fish, and enjoy the main attraction, Como Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall that leads into a spring-fed pool free of chemicals. Follow trails to four parks, horseshoe courts, and tons of beautiful scenery. After visiting nature, stop in town for an iconic main street filled with antiques, local food, culture, and tons of sports.
Follow the Root River west toward the town of Houston, filled with trails and a nature center. Stop at the International Owl Center. Around town, you can find tons of homegrown and handmade items, including paintings, sculptures, music, and farmers’ markets. It’s a great place to bring children with multiple parks and playgrounds along with an archery range too. Try your hand at some outside activities, too, such as a fishing derby, snowmobiling, and hunting. Stay at one of several hotels or stay at the Money Creek Haven Campground.
Keep heading west on the river to Rushford, a town filled with parks, trees, and trails. It’s not a large town, but it does have a rich Amish culture with sightseeing tours. The town next door, Lanesboro, offers the Lanesboro Arts or the historical museum too if you want a little local culture. Try out some unique food at the Creamery for original pizzas or the Norsland Lefse bakery for a sweet treat.
Next on the trail is the city of Fountain, filled with sinkholes, caverns, underground waterways, and carved limestone bedrocks. An exciting county museum filled with antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia makes it a fun location. Even find a padlock owned by Leif Ericson, the Viking! Stop at the Beaver Bottoms Saloon for some food with a smile and a cold beer.
A few other towns mark the trail, including Wykoff and Preston with the Mystery Cave State Park. Stay at the Wykoff Jail Haus Bed and Breakfast if you don’t mind stripes and bars. Catch a race at the Deer Creek Speedway before checking outfalls by the Root River. If you want to explore a relaxing trail filled with nice people and a hometown feel. Find trails, water, campgrounds, and everything you need without stress making this a great byway to detox from daily life.
More Minnesota Byways
You can check out additional Byways in Minnesota by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Minnesota Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.