Birding, Biking, Fishing, Parks, Historic Sites, Indian Culture, Scenic Drives, plus much more awaits you in Southern Minnesota. A great getaway close to home that won’t take a lot of gas. From the Historic Bluff Country in the SE, the Southern Lakes Region , National Scenic Byways, the Prairie areas of the SW, and the Minnesota and Mississippi River Valley. Southern Minnesota is divided into four sub-regions.
Here’s a little about each unique area in southern Minnesota.
You’ll be surprised to discover that some of the Midwest’s most spectacular landscapes can be found in the Mississippi River Valley and Historic Bluff Country area. From Eagle spotted skies over charming river towns to massive stalactites in Minnesota’s only underground caves, magnificent adventures await. Exploration of this breathtaking country is made easy by travel along a portion of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.
Just to the west you’ll find the Southern Lakes area. You’ll find the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail; a 39-mile multi use paved biking and walking trail. Discover woodlands, rolling hills, grassy prairies, and sparkling lakes as you explore Minnesota’s Southern Lakes area. No less than four state parks, Sakatah Lake, Nerstrand Big Woods, Rice Lake, and Big Island, entice visitors four seasons of the year. You’ll be surprised by the many natural splendors.
Just to the north and west you’ll find the Minnesota River valley area. Think of it….. a valley up to five miles wide. Then realize the Minnesota River Valley was carved into the landscape at the end of the last ice age when a prehistoric river drained mighty Lake Agassiz leaving this valley through which the Minnesota River now flows. It was the Dakota people who named the river , which means “Sky-like-water”, and then later the state was named after the river. The oldest known rocks in the continental United States, over 3 billion years old, can be viewed between Montevideo and Granite Falls along U.S. 212. Come and learn the stories of the past so you can appreciate all the valley offers today.
In the Prairie Land area you’ll find that more than a few surprises await you. Near Lake Benton and the Buffalo Ridge you’ll find nearly 2000 wind turbines. In Worthington you can enjoy the Windsurfing Regatta, where competitors from all over the nation come to compete in what they call the fastest lake in the nation, Lake Okabena.
Another surprise is Minnesota’s only alkaline wetland, Salt Lake, where you’ll find unusual species of birds drawn to the salt water lake. Some of Minnesota’s richest history can be found here. Pipestone National Monument is an area of archeological and historical significance, and should not be missed. Be sure to make plans today to visit southern Minnesota, where we guarantee “You’ll Be Surprised….. at What You’ll Find”!
For a free copy of the Explore Southern Minnesota guide call 1-888-TOURISM or check it out on the internet at www.itinerariesminnesota.com where you’ll find an interactive
digital e-guide complete with audio.