National Scenic Byway of the Mississippi River
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Headwaters Northwoods Crossings Scenic Metro Bluffs
Minnesota Mississippi
Itasca State Park Bemidji Cass Lake Grand Rapids Palisade Aitkin Cuyuna Range Brainerd Little Falls St. Cloud Monticello Elk River Minneapolis St. Paul Hastings Red Wing Lake City Wabasha Kellogg Winona LaCrescent Close Minnesota's Official State Highway Map
Experience Mississippi River
Minnesota Mississippi


The theme is "Planning on the River" and participants will learn how cities - small, medium and large - are harnessing the power of the Mississippi to evolve and grow,  Speakers will share effective development strategies and explain what works in their vibrant river towns.  Join us!  Check out the agenda  and registration form for details.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER TRAIL RIDE - Headwaters to Hills, August 26 - September 2

Bike the MRT. Registration is open for the new Headwaters to Hills tour, which celebrates the completion of Minnesota's Mississippi River Trail. The ride starts with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the headwaters in Itasca State Park, then crisscrosses the river, bicycling through a variety of river communities to the MN/Iowa border. On this nearly 500 mile ride, you will see the river begin as a stream in Northern MN...and change to a mighty river in SE Minnesota's hills and bluff lands. Dates: Aug. 26-Sept. 2.


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! 


Step 1 - Check out maps & travel information

MN Great River Road Driving Directions  

MN Great River Road Map/Travel Planner

Great River Road Regional Maps with Travel Ideas 

Minnesota Great River Road Explorer's Guide

Step 2 - Don't miss local events along the way...

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 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!

News & Events

Bemijigamaag Pow Wow - Bemidji, April 4 (3/25/15)
SOAR with the Eagles - Wabasha, March 28 - 29 (3/25/15)
Grumpy Old Men Festival - Wabasha, February 28 (2/18/15)
Frozen River Film Festival - Winona, February 18-22 (2/18/15)
Lake Bemidji Winter Festival, February 6 - 7 (2/5/15)
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Mississippi River Fun Facts

World-famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh, grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota.

Opening Music: "Take A Look" by Charlie McGuire. Used, gratefully, with permission by the National Park Service National Mississippi River & Recreation Area. Click here to listen to "Take a Look" in its entirety and to hear other great river tunes.
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The development of this site was made possible by a grant from Explore Minnesota Tourism.
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