Sites Along the Byway

This list of sites along the entire Byway are listed in order from west to east along the Minnesota River Valley.

For your convenience, we have separated the Byway into segments. Click on any of the icons below to view the list of sites in that particular segment of the Byway.

Browns Valley to Ortonville Ortonville to Montevideo Montevideo to Granite Falls Granite Falls to Redwood Falls Redwood Falls to New Ulm New Ulm to Mankato Mankato to Belle Plaine


Continental Divide

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Minnesota/South Dakota border approximately two miles west of Browns Valley on TH 28/7. A wayside rest offers information about this high point between two watersheds. From this point the Red River drains north to Hudson Bay and the Minnesota River drains south to the Gulf of Mexico from the divide.

W Broadway Ave.
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Natural History

Samuel J. Brown Memorial Park

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W Broadway Ave.
Browns Valley, MN 56219
320-695-2608
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Wadsworth Trail Marker

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W Broadway Ave.
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Browns Valley Man

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TH 28/7 E
Browns Valley, MN 56219
Discovery Site, Interpretation

Big Stone Lake State Park

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Big Stone Lake Park brown sign

From Ortonville, seven miles northwest along State Hwy 7. Watch for brown highway signs. Nestled on the shores of Big Stone Lake, this State Park offers visitors a quiet camping experience complete with great fishing, swimming, hiking and bird watching. The park landscape includes native hillside prairie, oak basswood forest, oak savanna woodland, cattail wetlands and spring-fed streams.

35889 E Meadowbrook
Ortonville, MN 56278
320-839-3663
Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Fishing/Hunting, Geocaching, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History, Paddling

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

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Big Stone Wildlife Refuge-cactus1

The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge consists of 10,795 acres of marsh and open water created by the three-mile dam across the Minnesota River Valley. The refuge offers a four-mile self-guided auto tour along which you will experience western prairie, mixed hardwoods, and wetlands with over 230 different species of birds living there. A foot trail provides a close-up view of prairie plants, river meanders and wildlife. The 100 acres of granite rock outcrops support unusual species of cactus and other plants and provide an excellent view of the refuge.

44843 687th Avenue, County Highway 19
Odessa, MN 56276
320-273-2191
Biking, Birding/Wildlife, Destination, Interpretation, Natural History

Big Stone County Museum

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Big Stone County Museum-birds

The museum is the home of many historical treasures of the past. A granite anchor, a symbol of glacial River Warren, which is now Big Stone Lake, and the headwaters of the Minnesota River and the Muskegon - Golden Bantam boat, is also on display. Come see the Charles Hanson North American Wildlife Collection. This collection contains over 500 waterfowl from across the Americas and the world. You'll see native waterfowl, upland birds and other exotic specimens from places as far away as the Arctic Sea.

985 U.S. 12
Ortonville, MN 56278
(320) 839-3359
Birding/Wildlife, Destination, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History

Ortonville Historic Buildings

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Ortonville Historic Red Building

Vicinity of 2nd Street, Madison and Monroe Avenues, Ortonville. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Visit The Columbian Hotel, Ortonville Free Library, or the County Courthouse.

Hwy. 12 & Hwy. 75
Ortonville, MN 56278
320-839-3359
Eating, Historic Town, Shopping

Lac qui Parle State Park and Lac qui Parle Mission

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Lac qui Parle State Park-boy on snow trail

Located in the Minnesota River Valley, this 1,057-acre park consists of 70 campsites, 3 camper cabins, 2 group camps, swimming beach, boat launch, hiking and horseback trails, cross country ski trails, and canoe/kayak rentals. Spring and fall migrations can be spectacular at the park. Renville invited missionaries to establish the Lac qui Parle Mission near his fur trading post in 1835. The replica Mission has interpretive panels about the mission site inside.

Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Fishing/Hunting, Geocaching, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History, Paddling, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Arv Hus Museum

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228 Main St.
Milan, MN 56262
320-734-4829
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Norwegian Stabbur

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12040 50th St NW
Milan, MN 56262
320-734-4891
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Plover Prairie Nature Conservancy Preserve

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MN
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Interpretation, Natural History

Lac Qui Parle County History Center

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250 8th Ave S
Madison, MN 56256
320-598-7678
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Marsh Lake

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MN
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Natural History, Paddling

Chippewa Prairie Preserve

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Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Interpretation, Natural History

Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area

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14047 20th St. NW
Watson, MN
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Natural History

Camp Release Memorial Monument

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Montevideo-Historical-Buildings-Camp-Release

The Camp Release Monument, dedicated in 1894, stands as a reminder of Minnesota’s tragic early state history. It commemorates the release of 269 captives taken during the U.S. DakotaWar of 1862 and the surrender of some Dakota bands to Colonel Henry Hastings Sibley. The monument was the first property added to the state park system and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

MN
Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Montevideo Historic Buildings

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Montevideo Historical-Chippewa Bank

Join us in Montevideo as we celebrate what makes America so great, keeping the history of our individuals while coming together as one people. Sites of interest in the area include: Chippewa Historic Village Camp Release Monument Minnesota River Rapids Milwaukee Road Heritage Center Hollywood Theater on Main Historic Swenson Farm in Montevideo

Montevideo, MN 56265
1-800-269-5527
Eating, Historic Town, Shopping

Milwaukee Heritage Depot

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South 1st St. at Park Ave.
Montevideo, MN 56265
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Historic Chippewa City

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Montevideo Historical-Chippewa Bank

An unique, 23-building, turn-of-the century village. Stroll the boardwalks as you reminisce of times gone by. Visit the Millinery Shop, Law Office, School House and the authentic log cabins. A 1915 Seagraves Pumper and a 1914 Dodge hearse are also on display.

151 Pioneer Drive
Montevideo, MN 56265
320-269-7636
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Minnesota River Valley Trail - Montevideo to Wegdahl

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Biking, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History

Olof Swensson Farm Museum

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Olof Swensson Farm Museum-horses

The Olof Swensson Farm Museum includes a 22-room house, timber-framed barn, family burial cemetery and remains of a grist mill. Constructed in 1901, the house contains original furnishings from this unique Norwegian/Swedish family. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

115 Co. Rd. 15 SE
Granite Falls, MN 56241
320-269-7636
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Granite Falls Downtown District and River

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Granite Falls Downtown-clock

Celebrate our American Prohibition Story in Andrew Volstead's hometown. Start with the Volstead House Museum, a National Historic Landmark, then follow the Prohibition walking tour through this scenic river town. Stop at the KK Berge Building for tourist information and to see the latest art exhibit. You'll also find a popcorn stand that "pops" up from time to time.

Granite Falls, MN 56241
320-564-3743
Eating, Historic Town, Shopping

Granite Falls Footbridge

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Granite Falls-people on footbridge

This pedestrian suspension bridge that links the two sides of Granite Falls across the Minnesota River was built in 1935 by the Minneapolis Bridge Company with the design and materials from the historic Roebling & Sons Company (Brooklyn Bridge). Nearby, the dam creates hydroelectric power for half the city of Granite Falls.

813 Prentice St
Granite Falls, MN 56241
Disc Golf, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing

Yellow Medicine County Museum

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Granite Falls Downtown-oldest rock

The museum features pioneer and American Indian artifacts. Contains useful county history information. Oldest known exposed rock on the continent dating back some 3,800,000,000 years! It has a pioneer home and general store on site.

98 Minnesota 67
Granite Falls, MN 56241
320-564-4479
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History

Andrew J. Volstead House Museum

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Granite Falls-Volstead House

The Andrew J. Volstead House Museum is a National Historic Landmark, a high honor designated for the national importance of Congressman Volstead in the co-authoring of the Capper Volstead Cooperatives Act and authoring of the Prohibition Act. The house is open to tours by appointment and during events through the Granite Falls Historical Society.

163 9th Ave.
Granite Falls, MN 56241
320-564-3011
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Minnesota Machinery Museum

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1st Ave. W
Hanley Falls, MN 56245
507-768-3522
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Gneiss Outcrop Scientific and Natural Area

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170th St SE1
Granite Falls, MN 56241
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Natural History

Blue Devil Valley Scientific and Natural Area

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Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Natural History

Fagen Fighters World War II Museum

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2450 540th St.
Granite Falls, MN 56241
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Wood Lake Monument and Battlefield

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Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

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Upper Sioux Agency State Park-tipi door open

This 1,280-acre park was named for the historic site within its boundaries. The Upper Sioux Agency (or Yellow Medicine Agency) was established by the federal government in 1854 to be a center for instructing the Dakota People in farming methods. The park offers three campgrounds, 18 miles of trails, two picnic areas, river fishing, and two rental tipis. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

5908 Minnesota 67
Granite Falls, MN 56241
320-564-4777
Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Fishing/Hunting, Geocaching, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History, Paddling, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Upper Sioux Community and Prairie's Edge Casino and Hotel

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5722 Travers Ln
Granite Falls, MN 56241
Camping, Destination, Eating

Belview Depot and Museum

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County Road 7
Belview, MN 56214
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Joseph R. Brown State Wayside Rest

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Joe Brown-sign

The Joseph R. Brown State Wayside Rest displays the granite ruins of Brown’s home from 1862. Destroyed during the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862, the three-story home was a mansion compared to normal pioneer homes. Brown’s family was spared because of his wife Susan’s Native American heritage. Brown was a politician, inventor, publisher and Indian Agent.

Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Sacred Heart Area Museum

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300 5th Ave.
Sacred Heart, MN 56285
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Rudi Memorial

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Rudi Memorial

Located on Renville County Road 12 south of Sacred Heart. The memorial is an original dovetailed log cabin built in 1868 by an early settler of the area. Today the cabin houses relics including photos, household articles and tools.

MN
Discovery Site, Interpretation

Enestvedt Seed Corn Company

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Enestvedt’s- carving of family

The Enestvedt’s Seed Corn Company was established in 1900 by Engebret Enestvedt with the University of Minnesota’s open pollinated seed corn company. Today, the Enestvedt Seed Corn Company is still a family owned and operated business located on the original farm homestead which was first established in 1867 by Ole Enestvedt. Just southeast of the Enestvedt’s Seed Corn Company on County Rd 12 you can see a carved Norwegian settler family.

75802 County Road 12
Sacred Heart, MN 56285
320-765-2728
Discovery Site, Interpretation

Schwandt Memorial

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Schwandt Memorial

Located on Renville County 15 south of Sacred Heart. Erected in 1915 in memory of Johan and Christian Schwandt killed in the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862. One of their daughters escaped with the help of a Dakota friend.

MN
Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Birch Coulee Battlefield State Historic Site

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Birch Coulee Battlefield-battlefield sign

On September 22, 1862 an advance party of 150 soldiers was surprised and attacked at this site by the Dakota during the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862. The battle went on for 36 hours with heavy casualties. Reinforcements finally arrived from Fort Ridgely and ended the battle. It has a very nice ADA gravel trail with interpretive panels by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Jct of Renville Cty Hwy 2 and Hwy 18
Morton, MN 56270
651-259-3473
Birding/Wildlife, Destination, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Renville County Parks: Skalbekken

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Skalbekken County Park

Skalbekken County Park is nestled in the Minnesota River Valley southwest of Sacred Heart. There is an interpretive panel at an original dovetail cabin located on the river road within the park. The park offers horse camping and horse trails, hiking trails, rustic camping, and river fishing.

Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History

Renville County Parks: Vicksburg

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In Vicksburg County Park, you'll find an interpretive panel that describes the beginning of the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Vicksburg Park overlooks what once was Red Middle Voice Village. You can imagine the conversations that took place on the other side of the Minnesota River - very important decisions.

Renville, MN 56284
1-320-523-3793
Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Interpretation, Natural History, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Renville County Parks: Birch Coulee

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68638 County Road 18
Morton, MN 56270
1-320-523-3793
Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling

Renville County Parks: Beaver Falls

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A beautiful county park, this is also the location of the Beaver Creek Settlement and Meyer Home which were areas destroyed during the U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. You'll find more information at the Renville County Museum in Morton, MN.

Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Renville County Parks: Anderson Lake

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Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling

Renville County Parks: Mack Lake

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Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling

Redwood Falls Historic Buildings

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redwood falls carnegie library

Redwood County was first established in 1862, and is one of the largest counties in southern Minnesota, with 26 townships, 555,474 acres, with 874 square miles and approximately 18,000 population. At one time there was nearly 150 lakes. There are 16 cities in the county, more than most. The oldest building still in use was built in 1861, the Old Agency Stone House, about 8 miles east of Redwood Falls. It is the site of the Sioux Uprising in 1862.

200 South Mill Street
Redwood, MN 56283
507-637-2828
Historic Town, Shopping

Redwood County Historical Society (Poor Farm Museum)

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913 W Bridge St.
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
507-637-3329
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Alexander Ramsey Park and Zoo

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Redwood Falls Historic-Ramsey falls

At 219 acres in size, Alexander Ramsey Park is the largest municipal park in the State of Minnesota. Termed as the “Little Yellowstone of Minnesota,” the park is enhanced by 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps shelters and bridges and picturesque Ramsey Falls. The park serves as a focal point for community events, festivals and summer activities and features campground facilities, shelter houses, four miles of paved hiking trails, a DNR trout stream, scenic overlooks, and a zoo.

333 S Washington
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
507-637-5755
Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History

Morton Monuments

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Renville County Historical Museum-Coulee sign
Morton, MN
Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Renville County Historical Museum

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Renville County Historical Museum-textured monument

Experience Renville County’s Historical Museum, offering displays for each town in the county, plus extensive resources detailing the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, which began in this area. Additional buildings on the site include a log cabin dating back to 1869, a county school, machine shed, woodshed, St. John’s Church, and a schoolhouse that has been converted into a showcase of glassware. Open year-round.

441 N Park Dr
Morton, MN 56270
507-697-6147
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Lower Sioux Community and Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel

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39527 Res Hwy 1
Morton, MN 56270
Camping, Destination, Eating, Interpretation

Lower Sioux Agency

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Lower Sioux Agency-building along trail

In 1853 the U.S. Government established the Agency to administer treaty obligations with the Dakota people living on reservations along the Minnesota River. Explore the history and culture of the Dakota, learn how government employees and missionaries sought to change their traditional way of life at the agency, and discover the roots of the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862 in the visitor center exhibit. Outdoors, investigate the original 1861 agency warehouse and three miles of trails with interpretive signs telling more of the agency’s story. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.

32469 Redwood County Hwy. 2
Morton, MN 56270
507-697-6321
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Fort Ridgely State Park, Cemetery, Monuments and Historic Site

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Fort Ridgely-cannon ball firing

This state park offers opportunities for camping, golfing, hiking, picnicking and horse trails. Within the state park is the Fort Ridgely State Historic Site. Built in 1853 without a protective outer wall, it was intended to serve as a “police station”. A staging ground for Civil War volunteers, Fort Ridgely was attacked twice during the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862. The restored commissary building houses an audio-visual program, exhibits and gift shop. The Friends of Fort Ridgely administers this Minnesota Historical Site. The state park is administered by the Department of Natural Resources.

Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Fishing/Hunting, Geocaching, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Museum, Paddling, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Sleepy Eye Historic Buildings

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Sleepy Eye Historic-depot museum

The community of Sleepy Eye, incorporated in 1872, was named after a Sisseton Dakota Chief, Ish Tak Ha Ba, which means Sleepy Eyes. He was given the name because of his drooping eyelids. He and his band lived on the north side of Sleepy Eye Lake, which is also named for the kind and friendly chief. A lovely restored train depot houses a museum, with exhibits on the telegraph, Chief Sleepy Eye pottery, and musical instruments. Dakota Chief Sleepy Eye is buried on site under an impressive obelisk, with a full-size statue of him across the street.

100 Oak St. NW
Sleepy Eye, MN 56085
507-794-5053
Eating, Geocaching, Historic Town, Interpretation, Museum, Shopping

Harkin Store

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Harkin Store-inside store

Sit a spell and play checkers, enjoy the old-fashioned smells of camphor and cinnamon, chat with the costumed staff, and investigate the line of wares — many of them original inventory — at this 1870s general store. The Harkin Store was important to early settlers arriving by steamboat to the town of West Newton, which flourished until the railroad passed the community by in 1873. The Nicollet County Historical Society administers this Minnesota Historical Society site.

66250 County Road 21
New Ulm, MN 56073
507- 354-8666
Discovery Site, Geocaching, Interpretation, Museum

Evacuation of New Ulm to Mankato Route Marker

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47572 State Highway 68
New Ulm, MN 56073
Discovery Site, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Flandrau State Park

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Flandrau State Park-people by pool

Park entrance is right next to the New Ulm Country Club. The highlight of Flandrau is the unique chlorinated, filtered sand bottom swimming pool. Flandrau features 88 campsites, 2 cabins, and hiking and ski trails.

Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Fishing/Hunting, Geocaching, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History, Paddling, Playground, Swimming

New Ulm Historic District

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New Ulm historic buildings downtown

New Ulm was founded by two groups of German immigrants beginning in 1854, both looking to create a “utopian German community on the American wilderness.” It is named after Ulm, a city on the Danube River in south-central Germany, and the city reflects its German heritage still today. Monuments such as the Hermann Monument, the Glockenspiel (an unique 45-foot, free-standing clock tower with animated figures that depict the city’s history) and many others grace the city of New Ulm and share its history.

Eating, Geocaching, Historic Town, Interpretation, Playground, Shopping, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Hermann Monument

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New Ulm-Hermann the Great stature

This 102’ tall monument and statue honors an ancient German hero who repulsed the Romans in the famous Battle of Teutoberg Forest in 9 A.D. Climb to the top for a stunning 15-mile panoramic view of the river valley! A museum is housed in the base level. Open daily Memorial Day to Labor Day and seasonal weekends, 11 am to 7 pm. $2.25 admittance.

Center & Monument Streets
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-233-4300
Discovery Site, Geocaching, Interpretation, Museum, Playground, Shelter Rental

Glockenspiel

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New-Ulm-Glock01-by-Kate-Grabosky

New Ulm's Glockenspiel is a unique free-standing clock tower. It stands 45 feet tall with a bourdon bell weighing 595 pounds. The tower has animated figures that depict the city's history. New Ulm's Glockenspiel plays at noon, 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day all year round. During the holiday season, the small moving characters in the clock are changed to a nativity scene.

Discovery Site, Geocaching, Interpretation

Wanda Gág House Interpretive Center and Museum

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226 N. Washington Street
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-359-2632
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

The John Lind House

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Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

August Schell Brewery Museum, New Ulm

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18th St. S & Schell St.
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-354-5528
Brewery, Discovery Site, Geocaching, Interpretation, Museum, Shopping

Brown County Historical Museum

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Brown County Historical Museum-front

This notable building was built in 1910 in an eye-catching Northern German Renaissance-style, as the town’s Post Office; becoming the County Museum in 1984. Inside are three floors of rotating exhibits, featuring an award-winning exhibit of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. It contains over 5,000 family history files to help researchers. Open Mon.-Sat., 10 to 4 pm, May 1 to Oct. 31, reduced hours in the off-season. $5 admittance.

Destination, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Minnesota Music Hall of Fame

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27 N. Broadway
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-354-7305
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Regional River History Center & Info Center

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Riverside Park, 101 S. Front St.
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-354-8367
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History, Playground

Swan Lake Wildlife Management Area

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Kasota, MN
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Natural History

Minneopa State Park and Minneopa Falls

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Minneopa State Park-cascading waterfalls

A major waterfall in southwestern Minnesota tumbles through Minneopa State Park. An old stone mill and traces of Glacial River Warren can be found in the midst of the park’s native prairie that is filled with wildlife. The park offers camping, picnicking, and hiking in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.

Biking, Birding/Wildlife, Camping, Destination, Geocaching, Golfing, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History

Minnemishinona Falls

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Minnemishinona Falls -summer

This county park is a scenic overlook, 42' waterfalls located on the Judson Bottom Road. No facilities on site. The waterfall does not run at all times. The trust for public land purchased the 3-acre home site containing the falls in order to enhance the falls. The home was sold and removed, which allowed the site to open to the public. The archeological investigation found overwhelming evidence of artifacts from prehistoric cultures."

40923 Judson Bottom Road
Mankato, MN 56003
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Natural History

Mankato Historic Districts

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Old Train comes to the Mankato Depot

The Union Depot was build in 1896 and is the only surviving railroad depot in the 13 Blue Earth County townships where railroads played a major development role. The Blue County Courthouse was built in 1889 and makes elaborate use of local Mankato stone in French and Haitian Renaissance architecture - which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Old Main Village - built in 1924, was the administration building for the Mankato Normal School- listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Betsy Tacy House, Carnegie Art Center, Hubbard House, Reconciliation Park, Riverfront Park and many others.

Mankato, MN 56001
507-345-5566
Eating, Historic Town, Interpretation, Shopping

R.D. Hubbard House Museum

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Hubbard House

Built in 1871, the Hubbard House was declared by the newspaper to be one of the finest homes of its day. The high level restoration has returned the home to its former splendor. Its oak and birch woodwork, three marble fireplaces, silk wall coverings, and Tiffany and Quetzal lamp shades enhance the French Second Empire style architecture. The fine Carriage House contains a collection of horse-drawn vehicles and antique autos. Victorian gardens landscape the two buildings. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

415 Cherry Street
Mankato, MN 56001
507-345-5566
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Betsy-Tacy House Museums

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Betsy Tacy House

Betsy’s House is the childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980), beloved author of the famed children’s series of Betsy-Tacy books. The author is the real-life character of “Betsy” and the books are historical fiction based on her childhood memories of growing up in Mankato, the fictionalized “Deep Valley.”With over a million and a half books sold, they have drawn national as well as international attention to Mankato, MN. The Betsy-Tacy Society has spent the past decade preserving the legacy of both the author and her books. Tacy’s House serves as its headquarters, gift shop and interpretive center. Open Saturdays from 1-3pm; reservations required during the week.

332 Center Street
333 Center Street
Mankato, MN 56001
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, Shopping

Blue Earth County Heritage Center

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Blue Earth Heritage Center

The museum highlights items from the Society's collection and reflects the rich heritage of Blue Earth County. Exhibits feature people, places, and events that shaped this county including: Native American tools and artifacts, Remembering Front Street exhibit, a diorama of downtown Mankato in the 1880s, and an interactive children's area with a pioneer cabin.

415 E Cherry St
Mankato, MN 56001
507-345-5566
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, Shopping, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Reconciliation Park, Winter Warrior and Memorial Marker

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Reconciliation Park-sign

Dedicated on September 19, 1997, the park is the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history in which 38 Dakota Indians were hanged by the government as the result of trials following the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Tom Miller sculpted the buffalo from a 67-ton block of local Kasota limestone. The buffalo symbolizes the spiritual survival of the Dakota People and honors the Dakota heritage of this area. The park is a site to reflect, meditate and remember.

209 N Riverfront Dr
Mankato, MN 56001
Biking, Destination, Interpretation, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour

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Mankato City Art Tour-sculpture of dancers

City Art is an exciting exhibit of outdoor sculptures displayed year-round in the City Centers of Mankato and North Mankato, Minnesota. Artists place their sculptures in the program for one year. The sculptures are promoted to the public for sale. Artists are eligible to win cash awards; as well as the possibility of having their piece be voted The People’s Choice and purchased by the City Center Partnership for permanent installation.

Biking, Discovery Site, Eating, Shopping

Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

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224 Lamm Street
Mankato,, MN 56001
507-386-0279.
Destination, Eating, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History

Carnegie Art Center, Mankato

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Carnegie Art Center-art displayed

Originally a library, this renaissance revival-style architecture houses a gallery of local artists' work. The library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

120 S. Broad St.
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 625-2730
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum, Shopping

Fort LeHillier Marker and Landing

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Minnesota 66
Mankato, MN 56001
Biking, Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling

Akota Wokiksuye Makoce (Land of Memories) Park, Mahkato Wacipi (Pow Wow)

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100 Amos Owen Ln
Mankato, MN 56001
Biking, Camping, Disc Golf, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History, Paddling, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Kasota Prairie Scientific & Natural Area and Kasota Prairie Conservation Area

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Township Road 140
Kasota, MN 56050
(651) 296-5484
Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Hiking/Skiing, Natural History

Rasmussen Woods and Elk's Nature Center

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555 Stoltzman Rd
Mankato, MN 56001
507-387-8600
Biking, Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History

St. Peter Historic District

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St. Peter Historic District- biking

St. Peter is a very historic community with 13 sites on the National Registry. Founded by Captain William B. Dodd in 1853. St. Peter is one of the oldest cities in the state. Gustavus Adolphus College is also here, which adds to the cultural and educational diversity of the city.

101 S. Front St.
St. Peter, MN 56082
1-800-473-3404
Eating, Historic Town

Gustavus Adolphus Arboretum and Sculpture Garden

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800 W College Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082
507-933-8000
Discovery Site, Natural History

E. St. Julien Cox House

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St. Peter - Cox House

Lawyer, mayor, soldier, legislator and judge, Eugene Cox built his marvelous Italianate-style home in 1871 and today it is open for tours. Special displays and activities take place year-round.

500 N Washington Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082
507-934-2160
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Treaty Site History Center and Nicollet County Museum, Traverse des Sioux Historic Site

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Traverse des Sioux -history center building

The home of the Nicollet County Historical Society, the History Center museum was built next to the site where the Treaty of 1851 between the Dakota people and the federal government was signed. The museum contains three exhibit halls, audio-visual room and archives. A variety of changing and traveling exhibits are featured throughout the year.

1851 N. Minnesota Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082
507-934-2160
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

St. Peter Regional Treatment Center Museum

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100 Freeman Drive
St. Peter, MN 56082
507-931-7270 507-931-7182
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Ottawa Bluffs Preserve

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Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Natural History

Ottawa Village Historic District

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Ottawa Village -town hall

This State Registered Historic District dates back to 1860. The platted village is a long narrow tract of land along the Minnesota River. Ottawa progressed in the 1860s to 1890s but by 1900 was falling into decline. Ottawa’s seven locally quarried stone buildings on the National Register of Historic Places stand like markers of the birth, life and passing on of this once busy townsite. A self-guided map and tour are available at Town Hall Kiosk. One of the sites, the Ottawa Methodist Church, was built in the 1860s out of native limestone and is one of the oldest Methodist Church buildings in Minnesota.

Ottawa Village Historic District, MN 56058
507-665-2501
Historic Town, Interpretation, Shopping

W.W. Mayo House

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Mayo house

Guided tours led by history interpreters explore the life and time period of Dr. William Worrall Mayo and family in the home hand-built by the “little doctor” in 1859, and the birthplace of Dr. William James Mayo. The Doctors Mayo founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1903. Between 1874 and 1920, a founder of the Green Giant Company, C.N. Cosgrove, lived in the home. From 1936 to 1967, the Le Sueur Public Library was housed in the home. It has been restored and warmly furnished to the 1860 period and is a Minnesota Historical Society Site.

118 N. Main St.
LeSueur, MN 56058
507-665-3250
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Henderson Historic District

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Henderson Historic District-main street

Henderson is a historic river town with historic sites, parks and events such as Sauerkraut Days. Henderson’s main street is a nationally registered historic district, comprised of stately buildings of locally made brick. The Sibley County Museum is located on 700 Main Street in Henderson. Housed in an 1884 brick mansion, this museum was established in 1948 when the August and Emilie Poehler home (built in 1884) was purchased. Exhibits include the remnants of early pioneer life in Minnesota.

Main St. between 5th and 6th St.
Henderson, MN 56044
507-248-3434
Eating, Historic Town, Shopping

Ney Nature Center

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Ney Nature Center

A 366 acre parcel of land given to Le Sueur County by the Ney family. Currently, plans are underway to develop on this site an environmental learning center where schools, children, and other interested groups can come to study the environment. The site offers a variety of environmental study opportunities from wildlife to vegetation for visitors.

28238 Nature Center Ln
Henderson, MN 56044
507-248-3474
Birding/Wildlife, Destination, Hiking/Skiing, Interpretation, Natural History

Sibley County Historical Museum

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Sibley county historical Museum

Housed in an 1884 brick mansion, this museum was established in 1948 when the August Poeler home was purchased. Exhibits include the remnants of early pioneer life in Minnesota.

700 Main Street
Henderson, MN 556044
507-248-3434
Discovery Site, Interpretation, Museum

Joseph R. Brown Heritage Society and Minnesota River Center

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Joseph R Brown MN River Center-building

An interpretive center telling the life story of this exceptional man who shaped early Minnesota history. A place to study the geographical and cultural history of the Minnesota River Valley with an exhibit called the “Minnesota River Table.” The valley carved by the Ancient RiverWarren has been home to successive waves of natives, from prehistoric people to the Dakota in the valley when white explorers, fur traders and then settlers arrived. He founded Henderson in 1852. His influence on early Minnesota government, relations with Indians and his business endeavors are explained in the Center.

600 Main Street
PO Box 25
Henderson, MN 56044
507-248-3234
Destination, Interpretation, Museum, Natural History, U.S. – Dakota War of 1862

Belle Plaine Historic Main Street

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Belle Plaine, MN 56011
952-873-6109
Biking, Eating, Hiking/Skiing, Historic Town, Shopping

Minnesota River State Water Trail

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Birding/Wildlife, Discovery Site, Fishing/Hunting, Natural History, Paddling
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Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway