Minnesota is called the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but this counterclockwise loop from the Twin Cities into Wisconsin follows large and small rivers. You’ll be riding along the mighty Mississippi, the Chippewa River, and the Saint Croix River. Two of these waterways are so big that at certain points they form lakes, like Lake Pepin and Lake Saint Croix.
This is an easy but scenic route. Expect a leisurely cruise with plenty of things to see and do. Curves appear around the midway point and will entertain you just in time for lunch. This part of the country is especially beautiful in July and August.
Approximately 220 miles
Roostertail Bar & Grill serves pizza, street tacos, sandwiches, and more in a friendly atmosphere with Chippewa River views. It’s almost at the exact halfway point of the route. Find it at 106 W Main St, Durand, WI, (715) 672-3640.
Points of Interest
The Pickle Factory
If the sudden craving for a pickle arises early in your ride, you’re in luck. The Pepin Pickling Company produced delicious sauerkraut and pickles in the early 1900s and is a mainstay restaurant now. Find it on the shore of Pepin Lake at 205 First St, Pepin, WI, (715) 442-4400.
Little House Wayside Cabin
The author of Little House on the Prairie got a highway named after her—the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway—which links sites that relate to her life. This museum (admission for a small fee) and gift shop are located in Pepin. Farther along, you’ll pass by the Little House Wayside Cabin, the author’s birthplace and inspiration for her book Little House in the Big Woods. Find it at N3238 County Rd Cc, Stockholm, WI, (715) 513-6383.
Afton State Park
Stretch your legs and soak up the sun in this state park on the banks of the Saint Croix River. The park is located south of its eponymous city. Surely you’ve been wondering when to bust out your swimsuit throughout this ride—this is the ideal spot. Find it at 6959 Peller Ave S, Hastings, MN.