Your Driftless Adventure Awaits...
Most of us who trout fish also enjoy other outdoor and recreational activities (or we need something for the rest of the family to do while we fish!). Luckily, our area has an abundance of things to do for the outdoors oriented person or family from camping, hiking, and biking to birdwatching, golfing, and kayaking, as well as an above-average selection of shops and restaurants.
Many visitors who have this type of trip in mind make Lanesboro their headquarters for the duration of their stay. Within the city limits of Lanesboro a visitor can fish, golf, bike, hike, tube, and canoe/kayak. The main outdoor attractions in and around Lanesboro are the south branch of the Root River and the Root River Bike Trail. These can be used to connect to other towns and campgrounds in the area (bike to Whalan and have pie at the Aroma Pie Shoppe). All manner of bikes and watercraft can be rented right in Lanesboro to take advantage of the river or trail (check out Little River General Store, Root River Outfitters, or River Rats Outfitters), or of course you can bring your own. Restaurants, shops, and Bed and Breakfasts abound, and don’t miss the opportunity to take in a play at the professionally-staffed Commonweal Theatre. Of course Root River Rod Co. is a must stop for all of your fishing needs.
Within a half-hour’s drive of Lanesboro, the possibilities are almost endless. Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is worth a visit, as is the Old Barn Resort which has camping, golf, a restaurant, and access to both the Root River and the bike trail. The town of Preston is only a few miles away and is the self proclaimed trout capital of the state of Minnesota. Here you will find the National Trout Center and Trout City Brewing, along with the Driftless Fly Fishing Company. The city of Fountain, know as the Sinkhole Capital of the world, also has a popular brewery named Karst Brewing and the Fillmore County Historical Society and Museum. The town of Harmony isn’t too far either, and a trip down into Niagara Cave (as well as a round of mini golf right on site) is not to be missed. On the weekends, take in a $5 movie at the JEM Theatre. The towns of Chatfield (Potter Auditorium, Paw Print Brewing) and Houston (International Owl Center), as well as many other area small towns offer their own unique adventures. Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park (between Preston and Spring Valley) is fantastic for fishing, hiking, camping, birdwatching, and even horseback riding. History buffs will love the old town of Forestville. A trip through Mystery Cave and the adjoining visitor’s center are worth the drive.
The rest of the Driftless is great as well and includes Whitewater and Beaver Creek Valley State Parks. On the east side of the Driftless lies the Mississippi River and all the recreation and history that goes along with it. Red Wing is a great river town and is the home of Red Wing Shoes. Wabasha is the home of the National Eagle Center and Slippery’s Restaurant of Grumpy Old Men fame. Just south of Wabasha is Lark Toys and visitors with kids need to make time to visit. Handmade toys, mini golf, and a fantastic carousel are the highlights. Winona is another town with lots of things to do right along the river.