OUR MISSION: “To establish the Historic Bluff Country Region of Southeastern Minnesota as a desirable travel destination, as well as to strengthen and improve the economic base of the area.”
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Leave I-90 (exit 193) and go east on MN 16 to Grand Meadow to view the 1864 Booth Unit GAR Hall and First American Bank, a "prairie school" architecture building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. East of town, the prairie lands turn to rolling hills. In Spring Valley visit the 1876 Methodist Church Museum (a Laura Ingalls Wilder Site) and the Washburn-Zittleman House Museum. Take Co. 12 southeast past the Catholic cemetery to tour Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Travel south on Co. 5 through an area of former iron ore mines. Tiny Cherry Grove was home to the late experimental aviation pioneer, Bernard Pietenpol, whose original workshop and garage are listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Traveling south, cross Co. 44 and follow Co. 5 to US Highway 63. Turn west to the "garden spot" of Historic Bluff Country. Follow US 63 north to the junction with Co. 14. Turn west to Ostrander and enjoy a round of golf or dine at an area eatery. Go south on Co. 1, west on Co. 11, then south on Co. 14 to Lake Louise State Park, boasting one of Bluff Country's two lakes. Nearby LeRoy offers a classical revival historic library and a small gem of a bank in the "prairie school" style, beautifully restored. Join MN 56, the Shooting Star Scenic Byway, turning west past corn fields, native grasses and wildflowers and the Shooting Star Recreational Trail. At Taopi see Minnesota's smallest operating post office and stop for a self-guided walking tour of vacated CNW railroad right-of-way to see hundreds of rare prairie plant species. At Adams, see the "prairie school" bank (now a private business) and at Rose Creek, the Congregational Church, before turning south on Co. 19, then west on Co. 6 to Lyle which offers parks, a "Walk of Pride" tour, and historic church settlements. US 218 takes visitors toward Austin. At the south edge of town, turn east on Co. 3 through rich farmland, then north on Co. 20 to see the historic Hofandia Swedish church. View farm and home antiques at the campground before rejoining 1-90 (exit 187).
|Hwy 16 Byway|
|Hwy 16 Self-Tour|
|Gun & Archery|
|Horse & Riding|
|Music & Theater|