Featured Photo Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
Experience the Beauty of Fall with a Scenic Minnesota Great River Road Getaway!
The Great River Road from Brainerd to St. Anthony Falls showcases stunning fall scenery and historic sites that seem to take you back in time to another era. Fall is the perfect time to cruise the route to see the fall colors at their peak and make some stops along the way to learn about Minnesota history and culture. Follow the route in this region – or anywhere along the Minnesota Great River Road – for an All-American adventure and head out this fall to celebrate Drive the Great River Road Month this September!
Photo Courtesy of MN Mississippi River Parkway Commission
Take in the views on a unique portion of the Mississippi River! Here the Mississippi is considered the prairie river – relatively straight, wider than its start to the north and with islands appearing along the way. The area from St. Cloud to Anoka has also been designated a State Wild & Scenic River due to the outstanding scenic value it provides, and the nearby Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a beautiful 72-river-mile national park. The prairie runs up to the river’s banks, sometimes rising 40 to 60 feet, creating sights and scenes that are unique to this area and not found on other parts of the river. Nearby you’ll find historic sites, scientific and natural areas, and parks dotting the landscape, giving you many places to enjoy the views from.
Charles Lindbergh House and Museum
Before Charles Lindbergh did extraordinary things, he grew up as an ordinary boy on a farm along the Mississippi River near Little Falls. Today you can visit his boyhood home, a museum specially designated as a Great River Road Interpretive Center, and the adjacent Lindbergh State Park. Take a tour of the house to learn all about Lindbergh’s life and legacy, before and after making his historic trans-Atlantic solo flight from New York City to Paris. Then take a walk on the historic site’s Nature Trail for great views of the river and the Lindbergh property. Lindbergh State Park also offers a wooded campground, hiking and skiing trails, and a picnic area for visitors to enjoy.
Oliver Kelley Farms
The Oliver Kelley Farm is a National Historic Landmark and National Great River Road Interpretive Center, representing Minnesota’s rich history of agricultural innovation and leadership. Located outside Elk River, the Mississippi River flowing by the farm today looks much like the one Oliver Kelley saw from 1850 to 1871. The 19th century home and farm provide hands-on living history experiences for visitors of all ages. Take some time for a tour of the home to learn all about what life was like during the 19th century, and then enjoy walking around the farm to view the property and even get up close and personal with the animals. If you’re up for more adventure, you can head down the River and Woodland Trail on the property for views of the river and places where Kelley would have visited during his time on the farm.
Plan Your Trip
Plan Your Trip online mapping features over 700 things to see and do on the Great River Road from Lake Itasca to the Iowa Border, along with digital travel guides. It’s the perfect start for your adventure!