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Lanesboro, MN


Sun, Dec 3rd, 2000
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River (South Branch) is the unique city of Lanesboro. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway. Norwegian immigrant influence is still felt today with food and conversation, although other nationalities, Irish and German, give it a cosmopolitan flavor. Where else can you eat a brat in a lefse or a serving of Romegrot with a glass of beer?

Strolling down the quiet streets of Lanesboro is like taking a step back in time. The downtown area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places...and for good reason! The two and three story frame, brick and stone buildings have changed very little since they were first built by immigrants who settled here a century and a half ago. The businesses afford the community with all basic services, but starting mid-week through Sunday the city is invaded by visitors looking for that different experience, that place for relaxation, invigorating fresh air, breathtaking scenic beauty and mind stimulation.

Come and explore the many gift and antique shops. Sample the locally made delicacies downtown and various fruit wines produced right here at the local winery. During summer you'll find a fresh vegetable vendor or two on the corner. Wednesdays and Fridays the Lanesboro Livestock Commission conducts auctions. Farmers from the tri-state area bring in their livestock for these auctions and other special auctions. Saturdays are good days to catch an estate household auction. Church and social group dinners and bake sales are an added treat from time to time.

Bed and Breakfasts in and near Lanesboro and modern cabins in the city provide rooms for the overnight traveler, the weekend explorer or the family vacation.

The community provides a myriad of recreational offerings. The Root River, which winds right through the middle of town, is excellent for canoeing, tubing and fishing.

The State DNR Fish Hatchery, located at Lanesboro, produces more trout per year than any other state hatchery. Weekday and special tours are available. Trout fishermen delight in the knowledge that nearly all the trout raised at the Lanesboro Hatchery are stocked in local streams.

The State DNR Trail is a blacktopped trail which runs along the Root River near Fountain to Houston. The multi-purpose trail is used by hikers and bikers during the summer months and skiers during the winter months on separate, groomed trails. Ski, bike, canoe, tube and horseback rentals/rides are available locally.

The Lanesboro Depot houses the DNR Trail Center, the Lanesboro Visitor and Information Center and public restrooms. Built entirely with community support, the Depot is reminiscent of the original train stop along the downtown section of the trail. The Scanlan Building houses the Lanesboro Museum. The two story museum is filled with local artifacts, the wood carvings of Hans Olson, and the upstairs rooms are set in late 1800's furnishings.

The century-old Power Dam, constructed in 1868, is known for its unique stone construction. Coupled with the city hydro-electric plant, this dam still provides electricity to the city.

The State Hardwood Forest stretches for miles in all directions around Lanesboro. The top wild turkey, grouse and white-tailed deer hunting, along with excellent trout, bass, catfish and panfish fishing is right here! Bird watchers, photographers, ginseng root and morel mushroom hunters enjoy the hardwood forest.

The Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center is located just north of Lanesboro on a bluff above the north branch of the Root River. The center provides hiking and sking trails, woodland and mushroom demonstrations and workshops.

The Lanesboro Golf Course is open to the public. The par 35, nine hole course offers a challenging and very scenic round of golf.

Sylvan Park is considered by many to be one of the nicest city parks in this section of the state. Its two spring-fed ponds offer fresh catches for the evening campfire. Camping (with electric hookups, a dumping station and hot showers) is a half-block from the river, the dam and the downtown area. Picnic shelters, electricity and bathrooms are also available to picnickers, tenters and campers. Two lighted, regulation size tennis courts, horseshoe pits and grass volleyball courts, along with a friendly flock of ducks, enables anyone to have an enjoyable stay at the park.

Art in the Park, sponsored by the Lanesboro Arts Council has become one of the largest arts festivals in southeastern Minnesota. Held each year in June on Father's Day, the annual arts and crafts exhibition and sale draws people from all over the tri-state area.

The arts are also represented by several galleries, including Cornucopia Art Center. A cooperative representing over 30 regional artists, Cornucopia features special art exhibits year around.

The Commonweal Theatre Company, a professional non-profit theater company, in cooperation with the Lanesboro Arts Council, performs throughout the summer. Special rates for tour groups are available.

Buffalo Bill Days is held the first weekend in August. The weekend events include softball and volleyball tournaments, dances, food stands, parades, kids games, historic tours and much more. The celebration originated to commemorate the fact that Buffalo Bill Cody first practiced his Wild West Show in the Root River Valley near Lanesboro. Bill Cody's good friend Dr. Powell, was a resident of Lanesboro during the 1800's. Oktoberfest means polka music, German foods, beer and dancing. This festival is held the first Saturday in October and includes polka bands from the tri-state area.

Come discover and explore Lanesboro in Historic Bluff Country!

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