A pedal along the Root River reveals southern Minnesota’s finest—scenic landscapes, food and drink. A professional theater and arts galleries round out a weekend stay.
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Bluffs along the Root River Trail
Root River Trail
| Credit: Justin Salem Meyer

Most visitors come to Lanesboro for the trail system. Lanesboro (120 miles southeast of the Twin Cities) stands at the heart of the area's paved multi-use trails, including the 42-mile Root River Valley Trail and the 18-mile Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail. Art galleries, a seasonal farmers market and a professional theater round out a weekend trip here.

Do

The Commonweal Theatre

The professional theater is known for comedies, family shows and musicals. 

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park Lanesboro Minnesota
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Tours of Minnesota's longest cave, west of Preston, range from a ¾-mile stroll to a four-hour crawl-on-your-belly expedition. Above ground at this park, you can explore tallgrass prairie, bluffs and the village of Forestville restored to its 19th-century appearance.

Lanesboro Arts Juried Sales Gallery

See works by more than 90 artists from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, including beautifully displayed photography, jewelry, ceramics and literature.

Lanesboro Farmers Market

Held seasonally at Sylvan Park, the market has vendors representing some of the region's 1,500 farms.

Niagara Cave

Visitors to one of the Midwest's largest limestone caverns—and its nearly 60-foot waterfall—should pack sweatshirts: It's a constant 48 degrees at the Harmony attraction.

Root River Bike Trails

The 60-mile system connects nine communities, with Lanesboro at its heart. Along the trails, watch for wildlife, barns dotting the countryside and scenic river overlooks. A bike-share program in five towns lends bikes for free.

Root River State Water Trail

Canoe, kayak or fish along the Root River, which has no major rapids.

Eat and Drink

Estelle's Eatery and Bar

At the modern cafe in Harmony, beef comes from a farm down the road. Try it as a burger dressed up with goat cheese, arugula and blackberry jam.

High Court Pub

Sample seasonal flatbreads, cocktails and craft beer at this pub. Prime patio seating overlooks the river.

Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe

Try the huge cookies and sticky buns at this small-town cafe with an upscale edge. Lunch sandwiches are good too.

Old Village Hall Restaurant

This mainstay has a deck overlooking the Root River Bike Trail. When it's in season, try the morel mushroom and chopped sirloin soup.

Pedal Pushers Cafe and Coffee Bar

Burgers, grain bowls and vegan sausage with locally sourced ingredients rule at Pedal Pushers. Try the homemade draft root beer or have a Minnesota craft beer.

Cedar Valley Resort.
Cedar Valley Resort.

Stay

Anna V's Bed and Breakfast

At the end of a Lanesboro area bike ride, kick back on the wraparound porch or one of the parlors of this 1908 Victorian home. Each day starts with a gourmet multi-course breakfast.

Cedar Valley Resort

Five miles east of Lanesboro, well-appointed cabins, each with multiple bedrooms and easy access to the Root River Trail, make family reunions a breeze. 

Iron Horse Outfitters and Inn

The four rooms embody steampunk style above a motorcycle shop ("100% doily free"). Ask about scooter rentals or a tour on the region's backroads.

Old Barn Resort

Between Lanesboro and Preston, the property offers a campground and hostel, plus a golf course and pool. The namesake barn houses a restaurant and music venue.

Stone Mill Hotel and Suites

Guests stay in one of 13 themed rooms created in an 1885 feed mill; some rooms preserve original mill equipment inside.

For more information visit lanesboro.com