Established in 1938, the Great River Road travels nearly 3,000 miles through 10 states. In Minnesota, it runs for 575 miles along the Missisippi River, through 11 state parks, state historic sites, Chippewa National Forest, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, 21 counties and 60 communities. Join us - celebrate the Mississippi River and its National Scenic Byway!
A few ideas are listed below. For many more, visit Explore Minnesota Tourism's Calendar of Events, where you can search by town or by event type. Just go to www.exploreminnesota.com and click on "events."
Step 3 - Get out there and have fun!
The byway meanders through a wide variety of landscapes — the humble headwaters, countryside dappled with lakes, the northwoods, ribbons of lush resort and farm country, rolling bluffs, big cities and charming river communities. Worthy of a week's vacation in its entirety, the Mississippi flows naturally through six distinct regions whose unique river experiences can be explored on excursions of any length. Follow the lure of the river and the freedom of the road to see what lies around the next bend. Pull out a map, tune in some good driving music and load up the car, a van, motorcycle or bike. Your Mississippi River adventure is just waiting to begin. See you on the Great River Road!
The name "Mississippi" comes from the Anishinabe people (Ojibwe Indians). They called the river "Messipi" or "Mee-zee-see-bee," which means "Big River" or "Father of Waters." Source: National Park Service