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Southern MN destinations?

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Southern MN destinations?

Hi-Looking for someplace in S. MN to visit this coming week. We'd especially like access to some pretty hiking trails, preferably near water & hopefully much cooler than it's been around here (KC, MO)! Access to any quaint towns would be nice, too.




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1. Re: Southern MN destinations?

I love staying in the area around the Root River Trail. Lanesboro, Preston or any of the towns nearby. There is nice hiking in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, and Whitewater State Park nearby. The Root River is a fabulous place to do some biking from town to town, or canoeing. Rentals are available. This is an area populated by the Amish and there are tours of their farms. You will see them around the area selling their wares. It's a really beautiful fun part of our state.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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2. Re: Southern MN destinations?

I'm not sure how much you are gaining. It was 96 and humid in MPLS today. And forecast is not too good for the coming week.

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3. Re: Southern MN destinations?

Southern Mn. is about 6 hours from Kansas City and typically 5-10 degrees cooler on average. However, I would drive an additional 4 - 5 hours north to the North Shore. (Duluth area and beyond) It is cooler than southern Mn. and beautiful.

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4. Re: Southern MN destinations?

Thank you all. We have decided to wait & leave next week, as the weather forecast is much nicer. Looking forward to something cooler than 99 + 55% humidty--Ugh.

I would love to head further north, but we just won't have the time this trip.

Thanks for the input about Lanesboro/Preston. We hadn't looked into that. We now have it narrowed down to that area or Mankato or Red Wing.

Looking for some easy hiking, pretty surroundings & maybe some small and/or unique towns to explore, do you have any further input?

Thanks again for your help!


Burnsville, MN
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5. Re: Southern MN destinations?

The Red Wing plan has some nice towns to visit as well as traveling along the Mississippi River. You could take I35 to Faribault, then head northeast to Northfield (where the James-Younger gangs met their defeat in the 1876 "great Northfield bank robbery." It's also home to two universities. From there you could check out Cannon Falls and then onward to Red Wing. Red Wing is a neat place. From there you could head down Hwy 61 to Wabasha (known for bald eagles), Lake City along Lake Pepin, and the historic river city of Winona. From there you can work you way westbound to I90 and back to I35.

Everett, Washington
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6. Re: Southern MN destinations?

Good move deferring to next week. Supposed to be significantly cooler than it has been lately and much lower dewpoints.

A little closer to KC and not quite as touristy (or busy) as SE MN are some nice places in SW MN. Camden State Park near Marshall has some nice easy hiking along the Redwood River with a lot more of a forest feel than many places in the area. Nearby also is a state park at Lake Shetek which is close to Walnut Grove and the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. Also near there is Tracy, MN but Boxcar Days won't be for another 3-4 weeks. Lots of interestint little towns around there. The Murray County Fair in Slayton (near Lake Shetek) is the 18th-21st.

Preston, Minnesota
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7. Re: Southern MN destinations?

Preston MN, Trail Head Inn &Suites.

Over 60 miles of bike/hiking trails, state park within 15 minutes.

Shops, restraunts, caves, amish.


Trail Head (507)765-2460

8. Re: Southern MN destinations?

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