– THINGS TO DO –

Activities Abound in Lake City, Minnesota’s South Shore.

Lake City is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. We offer unmatched access to the lake, championship golf and miles of hiking and biking trails. Known as the Birthplace of Waterskiing, our lake provides world class sailing opportunities, the best fishing in Southeastern Minnesota with over 85 different species, and endless water sport activities.

City Parks

City Parks

Lake City offers a variety of city parks. From lake shore swimming and strolling to baseball fields and playgrounds.

More Info

Fort Beauharnois Wayside Park
2.5 Miles north of Lake City on Hwy 61
Picnic Area w/great views overlooking Lake Pepin, Cover Picnic areas, Charcoal Grills, 24 Hour Public Bathrooms, Shoreline Fishing Access

Gold Star Mothers Park
Hwy 61/Lakeshore Dr & Jewell Ave
651-345-5383
Veteran’s Memorial, Beautiful Flowers, Park Benches w/ great views of Lake Pepin, Adjacent to River walk, Eagle viewing late February through March.

Hoyt Park
On W Center St north of 10th St
Children’s Playground, Basketball Volleyball Courts, Picnic table.

Lewis McChaill Memorial Park
651-345-5383
Overlooking Sailboat harbor across from Fiesta Foods
Open from 5am to 9pm
River walk, Children’s Playground, Picnic area, 24 Hour Public Restrooms.

McChaill Ball Fields
Between Jewel Ave. & Woodburn St on N Prairie St
651-345-5383
Softball Field, Skate Park, Basketball Court, Children’s Playground.

North End Park
1000 Block of N Garden St
651-345-5383
Children’s playground.

Ohuta Park
North edge of Marina on Park St.
Beach access w/o Lifeguards, Picnic area, access to River walk, caddie corner to public tennis courts.

Patton Park
Between Center St. & Lyon Ave. across from City Hall
651-345-5383
Gazebo-Historic Bandstand, Paved Walkways, Lighted Fountain, Park lights until 10pm.

Peter’s Park
Between County Rd 9 & W Marion St, south of Cross St
651-345-5383
Public Swimming Pool, Softball & Soccer fields, Volleyball& Basketball Courts, Covered Picnic Area, Children’s Playground, Seasonal Public Restrooms.

Roschen Park
South edge of Lake City
651-345-5383
Free Public Boat Launch, Fish Cleaning House, Seasonal Public Restrooms, South end access to River walk.

Underwood Park & Fields
Off of 10th St & County Rd 5
651-345-5383
Soccer fields, Childrens Playground, Covered Picnic area, Seasonal Public Restrooms, Winter Ice Skating Rink (Mon-Fri 4-9pm Sat & Sun 1-9pm)

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground is open year round for day use.
1 Mile North of Lake City on Hwy 61.

More Info

Amenities:

Sleeping Cabins, Tent Camping, Picnic Areas, Screened Shelters, Charcoal Grills, Dining Hall Rental, Environmental Education & Interpretive Center Swimming Beach w/o Lifeguard, Volleyball & Basketball courts, Hiking & Nature Trails, Cross Country Skiing Trails, Chapel, Birding, Free Boat Launch, Public Restrooms & Bathhouse, Playground.

The park alive with migrating birds in both parks. Opportunities abound for viewing great varieties of birds, flora and fauna.

Screened shelters, hall, camper cabins & tenting open May through mid October.

Contact/Location:

2500 N Hwy 61 Blvd, Lake City, MN
651-345-3855
www.hoksilapark.org

https://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/

Frontenac State Park

Frontenac State Park

Open Year Round w/ Nature Programs & Interpretive walks throughout season
5 Miles north of Lake City. View trail map.

More Info

Amenities:
64 Campsites, 14.2 Miles of Hiking Trails, Birding (more than 260 species including migration of Swans & Eagles), Wildflowers & Mushroom Hunting, 6.7 miles of groomed ski trails, Picnic Area & Picnic Shelters.
Contact/Location:

29223 County 28 Blvd, Frontenac, MN
651-345-3401
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/frontenac/index.html

Lake City Heritage Tree Trail

Lake City Heritage Tree Trail

Ten trees selected as Heritage Trees can be viewed and enjoyed on a short walking trail.

More Info

A Heritage Tree can be any tree that has special qualities. Similar to historic buildings, Heritage Trees provide a link to our past and they directly connect the community with nature. Heritage trees can be selected because they are uniquely old, large, unusually shaped, associated with a particular history or commemorative event, or are distinguished for other reasons such as thriving in an unusual locale. Ten trees selected as Heritage Trees can be viewed and enjoyed on a short walking trail that starts at the Mississippi River shore at Ohuta Park, continues past the Lake City Library, and ends in Patton Park.

View the full Lake City Heritage Tree brochure/map here.

Community Bike Program

Community Bike Program

Bike sharing in Lake City is free for daily use and is available to anyone over the age of 18.

More Info

With a name like Lake City, don’t be surprised that everything—including the city bike-sharing program—revolves around the marina. Open daily from April to October, head to the Lake City Marina to experience the robust dining, shopping and entertainment options of beautiful downtown Lake City on two wheels. Bike sharing in Lake City is free for daily use and is available to anyone over the age of 18.
Lake City River Walk/Ride

Lake City River Walk/Ride

The River Walk begins at the Willows with more than 2.5 miles of open shoreline.

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On the River walk one can stroll, jog or roller blade uninterrupted while viewing the magnificent scenery and activities on Lake Pepin.
Tour de Pepin

Tour de Pepin

An biking event that starts and ends in Lake City.  A tradition on the first Saturday of June.

More Info

Join us for the exciting rides or just come to watch and cheer on the bikers. Visit www.lakecity.org/tourdepepin/about.html for more information and registration.

Four Touring Options

32 Miles – Bike to Stockholm, WI & shuttle back to Lake City on the Pearl of the Lake Paddlewheel boat.
50 Miles – Bike to the scenic overlook past Maiden Rock, WI, then back to Stockholm, where you will board the Pearl of the Lake Paddlewheel shuttle to Lake City, MN.
72 Miles – The entire Lake Pepin loop, along the MN & WI Great River Road scenic byways.
100 Miles – The full Lake Pepin ride + a countryside loop.

Lake City Biking Trails

Lake City Biking Trails

There are several mapped rides and trails that are perfect for families and more active bikers.

More Info

View the full Lake Pepin biking guide here.

Here are some Lake City rides:

Family Friendly:  Start at Underwood Park, take a right on 10th St., watch for the bike trail. It ends at Hidden Meadow Lane, where you take a left.  Then left on Cty. 5, back to the park. 2.29 miles

Clubhouse Cruise:  Follow the Family Friendly loop but instead take a right on Cty 5. Then go left on Clubhouse Dr,  and right onto Greenway Parkway. Take a left on Hwy. 63 and a left on Cty. 5 to return to Underwood. 5.79 miles

Lake Pepin Ramble:  Follow the Cruise tour but continue on Hwy. 63 to 7th St.  Take a right. Go left on Iowa, right on Garden, left on Illinois, right on S. Lakeshore (Hwy. 61), and left on Oak.  Dead-end at the Sportsman’s Club. Return to Hwy. 61 and head north. Take a right on Marion, left on Franklin, right on Chestnut, left on Park. Turn right on Hwy. 61 to Hok-Si-La Park. Go back on Hwy. 61 and head south, take a right on Country Club Rd. Go left on Lakeview, left on Territorial, left on Grant, and a right on 10th back to Underwood Park. 14.07 Miles

Historic Theilman Country Ramble: Begin your tour at Hok-Si-La park. Ample parking is available. Head south on Hwy. 61 to Cty. Rd. 4 and into Theilman. Take a short detour thru this historic town and check out the newly restored opera house. Continue on Cty. 18 to Kellogg, and return to Lake City via Hwy. 61. 48.9 Miles

 

 

State Hardwood Forest

State Hardwood Forest

Dense hardwood forest and long distance views of sparsely developed valley give a feeling of remoteness.

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17 miles of hiking trails with several loops, the shortest about 3 miles. Rugged; steep hills and valleys. Wild turkeys can be heard gobbling on spring mornings and occasionally during summer. Trout fishing in Hay Creek. Good fall color. Picnic area. Map available from DNR.

Contact/Location:

Red Wing, MN 55066
507-206-2847
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests/facilities/cmp00040/index.html

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Cannon Valley Trail

Cannon Valley Trail

The Cannon Valley Trail runs 19.7 miles from Red Wing to Cannon Falls and attracts close to 100,000 users a year.

More Info

The Trail includes natural and cultural resources, scenic view sheds, rest areas, hiking, biking, inline skating and cross country skiing. View trail map.

Contact/Location:

825 Cannon River Ave, Cannon Falls, MN
507-263-0508
www.cannonvalleytrail.com

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Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground is open year round for day use.
1 Mile North of Lake City on Hwy 61.

More Info

Amenities:

Sleeping Cabins, Tent Camping, Picnic Areas, Screened Shelters, Charcoal Grills, Dining Hall Rental, Environmental Education & Interpretive Center Swimming Beach w/o Lifeguard, Volleyball & Basketball courts, Hiking & Nature Trails, Cross Country Skiing Trails, Chapel, Birding, Free Boat Launch, Public Restrooms & Bathhouse, Playground.

The park alive with migrating birds in both parks. Opportunities abound for viewing great varieties of birds, flora and fauna.

Screened shelters, hall, camper cabins & tenting open May through mid October.

Contact/Location:

2500 N Hwy 61 Blvd, Lake City, MN
651-345-3855
www.hoksilapark.org

https://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/

Frontenac State Park

Frontenac State Park

Open Year Round w/ Nature Programs & Interpretive walks throughout season
5 Miles north of Lake City. View trail map.

More Info

Amenities:
64 Campsites, 14.2 Miles of Hiking Trails, Birding (more than 260 species including migration of Swans & Eagles), Wildflowers & Mushroom Hunting, 6.7 miles of groomed ski trails, Picnic Area & Picnic Shelters.
Contact/Location:

29223 County 28 Blvd, Frontenac, MN
651-345-3401
www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/frontenac/index.html

FISHING

fishing-brochure_inside_web-1Download Lake City’s Lake Pepin Area Fishing Brochure or have one mailed to you or click here to have one mailed to you.

About Fishing in the Lake City, Lake Pepin Area

The out-wash of Wisconsin’s Chippewa River basin into the Great Mississippi River forms 20 mile-long Lake Pepin. Over 85 species of game fish can be angled year round in these boundary waters. Lake City has nearly 7 miles of shoreline along Lake Pepin offering many opportunities for shore fishing as well as 2 designated trout streams, Gilbert and Miller Creeks. From boat or shore – whether you like bobber fishing, jigging, trolling, or casting, trophy-size lunkers are possible rewards.

ANNUAL FISHING CONTESTS
Officer Shawn Schneider Memorial Fishing Tournament, Lake Pepin

Frontenac Sportsmen’s Walleye & Sauger Classic, Lake Pepin
Jimmy Siewert: 651-345-5035 (for both)

Ice Fishing Contests
Frontenac Sportsman’s Club, Frontenac Pond
Jimmy Siewert: 651-345-5035

Lake City Sportsman’s Club, Lake Pepin
Third Saturday in February
Club Phone: 651-345-2901
Contest Coordinator Amy Brinkman 651-764-5754
www.facebook.com/LakeCitySportsmansClub

FISHING GUIDE SERVICES

Eagle Cliff’s Guide
www.eaglescliff-pepin.com
319-350-1838

Lake Pepin Guide
212 S Lakeshore Dr, Lake City, MN
651-345-5801

Walleye Strike Guide Service
306 N 6th Street, Lake City, MN
507-261-6301

HUNTING

Hunters can find everything they are looking for in the surrounding Hiawatha & Mississippi River Valleys. Hunting near Lake City offers some of the most comfortable accommodations in a wilderness setting without having to travel or invest into a high end guided hunt. Sportsman will find an open season on big game, small game, waterfowl, or trapping nine of twelve months each year.

Our most popular seasons are the Whitetail Deer, Turkey and Duck/Goose opportunities. The excitement starts with spring turkeys in which tags are provided on a draw basis. The high concentration of gobblers in this region has put Lake City in high demand during the draw process. However, should you get one of these coveted tags you will be happy to know that with the abundance of birds success rates are very high. Fall turkey hunts are also available through draw and this season runs throughout the month of October.

Fall hunts start the beginning of September with an Early Canada Goose season and follow shortly with Small Game & Archery the middle of the month. Autumn in the bluff county is a sportsman’s dream with Waterfowl, Pheasant and many types of trapping seasons opening in October. The latter portion of October offers world class whitetail hunting as the deer begin their pre rut process.

The first weekend in November marks the start of our two firearm seasons for whitetail deer with the second season taking place during the third week and the muzzleloader season running through the second week of December. These hunts are so popular for families and friends that many of our hotel accommodations are rented out years in advance by the same friendly faces.

BIRD WATCHING

birding-brochure_web
Download our birding brochure or fill out the form in the sidebar to have one mailed to you.

Our unique location on the Mississippi River Flyway, designated as a globally important migratory corridor, provides exceptional year-round bird watching, including migrations of bald eagles, trumpeter swans and warblers.

Lake City’s Lake Pepin Vistas:

Park on side streets and cross to the water’s edge. Any duck species can be seen from here. Find huge rafts of Commer Mergansers in November (and in December in a warm winter). Check for shorebirds on the sand April through November (in cold weather, there may be a Purple Sandpiper!) Bald Eagles can be found in any season from any vista.
Head toward Ohuta Park and follow the one way signs past the mobile homes to a parking area. Find great vistas in late fall when C. Mergansers are in the thousands and Bald Eagles are fishing. Scoping carefully, even in the distance, you might see a rare Pacific, Red-throated or very rare Yellow-billed Loon, besides migrant Common Loons April-June and in September until freeze-up.
Especially in November, December and May check the two in-town marinas and the jetty for Black, White-winged and Surf Scoters. Someday, Eiders will be found here, too.
From Roschen Park boat landing, see terns (Common, Caspian, Foresters and Black are regular) during spring migration and in fall, jaegers may be harrassing gulls. Check for Glaucous, Iceland, Thayers and less common Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes among the Herring and Ring-billed roosting on the lake at night. Many species are waiting to be discovered along this shore. Long-tailed Ducks, any loons, scoters and rafts of C. Mergansers can be found here in spring or fall. From Roschen Park, take two left turns and follow Oak Street, staying close to the river. Past a creek and across from a railroad trestle on your right, scope Lake Pepin for shorebirds in May and scoters (especially Black) and gulls in November. A good Bald Eagle spot along the creek. Check the water at open vistas behind the small brick building further down Oak Street and
at the dead end at the Sportsman’s Club for Greater Scaup flocks and other ducks and gulls.

Hok-si-la Municipal Park:

A migrant trap of mixed woods that juts out into Lake Pepin where warblers drip from trees in a good mid-May migration, including Cerulean and Connecticut.
Check the entrance road’s bottomland woods, wetland areas and parking lot woods for Barred Owls, ducks, Pileated Woodpeckers and migrants. A walk through the grass opening to the right of the parking lot eventually weaves throughout the
campground with an overlook above a “birdy” creek. Continue upriver through oaks and circle to the lot through tall pines where there are more warblers, records of Cooper’s Hawks and Longeared Owls. Walk an old road down to the water for shorebirds, gulls and tern rarities. Heading upriver on Hwy 61, scope the boat landing and rest stop for loons, Greater Scaup, gulls and Canvasbacks. Try mid-late November for huge C. Merganser flocks and swooping/feeding Bald Eagles.

Smitty’s Marine Inc

Smitty’s Marine Inc

With Great Prices And 40 Years Of Sales and Service, Smitty’s Marine is a locally owned business.

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Smitty’s Marine Inc sells boats, outboards, trailers and parts and accessories that go with them. Gravely mowers also. They can set you up with a new rig or fix it when it goes down. Smitty’s Marine is your SE Minnesota Headquarters for : AlumaCraft boats.​Lowe and Roughneck Jon BoatsManitou and Montigeo Bay PontoonsEvinrude and Suzuki Outboard Motors. Porta-Dock Dock & Lift systems, Sea Legs Pontoon Lifts. Yacht Club, Eagle, Trition and Karavan Trailers. Polaris Recreational VehiclesAriens and Gravely Power Equipment.
Monday 9-6
Tuesday & Wednesday & Friday 8-6
Thursday 8-7
Saturday 8-2
Closed Sunday
1705 N Oak St,
Lake City, Minnesota 55041
651-345-3990
Eagle Water Sports

Eagle Water Sports

Come explore Lake Pepin and experience one of the most beautiful places in the midwest.

More Info

We offer stand up paddle board, kayak, wakeboard, water ski, and towable rentals. 

Eagle Water Sports are happy to provide you with: Stand Up Paddle Boards, Kayaks, Wake Boards, Water Skis , and more.

  • Half Day Rental (4 hours- $40)
  • Full Day (8 hours – $50)
  • Weekend Rental (2days – $90)
  • Weekly Rental (5-7 days – $280
Contacts:

303 South Lakeshore Dr., Lake City, MN 55041, US

(612) 219-1044

eaglewatersports.com

 

Lake City Boat Club & Rentals

Lake City Boat Club & Rentals

Lake City Boat Club & Rentals a family-owned and operated boat rental & lease Company in Lake City, MN.

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Find us on the beautiful waters of Lake Pepin with easy access to the Mississippi.

Whether you simply enjoy relaxing on the water, the warm glow of an evening sunset, fishing or better yet, the opportunities it provides spending time with friends and family. So come and enjoy quality boating and rich experiences in a beautiful atmosphere that brings people together and creates fond memories that will last a lifetime.

Imagine the ease of boating without having the hassles, cost and worry that comes with boat ownership. We offer a simple trouble-free and effective solution for you to take advantage and enjoy all of the many benefits of boating at a fraction of the cost of boat ownership.

Contacts:

303 South Lakeshore Drive, Lake City, Minnesota 55041, United States
(651) 675-7050
lakecity-boatclub.com

Broken Paddle Guiding Company

Broken Paddle Guiding Company

Kayak the wild and extensive backwaters of the Mississippi River.

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Our guided kayak tours are your chance to learn about the river’s ecosystems and feel the intense quiet and beauty of the real Mississippi River.  Offering daily guided tours and kayak lessons.  All are welcome, no experience needed.

Contact

richie@brokenpaddleguiding.com
Red Wing – Wabasha – Winona
Maiden Rock – Stockholm – Pepin – Alma
651-955-5222
www.brokenpaddleguiding.com

Hours

9am, 10am, 3:30pm, and *2 hours before sunset (exact time varies)

Sailboats Inc Charters-Lake City

Sailboats Inc Charters-Lake City

Our sailing charter locations provide a variety of cruising grounds and yachts – all cruise and sailing charter ready for your enjoyment.

More Info

Sailboats Inc. started chartering cruising sailboats in 1976.

The Lake City bareboat charter boats include a 28’ Pearson and a 35’ C & C.  Plan your sailing vacation now and let the adventure begin!

Recreational or Intermediate sailing lessons and a 3-day certification Sailing course available.

Patty 612-237-4112
Lake City Marina
201 South Franklin
Lake City, MN 55041
www.sailboats-inc.com

Please call Patty Quick @ 612-237-4112 if you have any questions.

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Zumbro Valley Canoe

Zumbro Valley Canoe

Sportsman’s Park, Zumbro Falls, MN
651-753-2568

More Info

Hours:

Mon-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm

Contact/Location:

651-345-5347
310 S Lakeshore Dr, Lake City, MN
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Pearl of the Lake

Pearl of the Lake

A genuine replica of an 1800’s Paddle Wheeler! Take a leisurely cruise on Lake Pepin the largest natural River Lake on the Mississippi River.

More Info

Riverboat Cruises on the Mississippi River.

Public Excursions Wed-Sun at 1 pm through October
*Please call ahead as schedule is subject to change.

Contact/Location:

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651-345-5188
www.pearlofthelake.com

GEM Sailing MN

GEM Sailing MN

Experience the beauty and tranquility of sailing on Lake Pepin with views of the scenic Mississippi Bluffs.

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Feel the balmy breeze in your face and experience the sound of the waves slapping the hull as you embark on your sailing adventure.

  • Sailing cruises with Captain Harry on “Our Lady” a 32’ Allied Seawind II Ketch.
  • Recreational or Intermediate/Advanced Sailing lessons available.
  • Bareboat Charters on “Syzygy” a 28’ Pearson

Rates:

Cruise Rates
2 Hour Cruise   $200
3 Hour Cruise   $275
4 Hour Cruise   $350
2-3 Hour Sunset Cruises

Hours:

Hours of Operation: All day – Monday – Sunday (6 passenger Maximum per boat)

Contact/Location:

Captain Harry 507-261-7473
Patty 612-237-4112
Lake City Marina
201 South Franklin Street
Lake City, Minnesota 55041
Email:  gemsailingmn@gmail.com

Website: www.gemsailingmn.com

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Hansen’s Harbor

Hansen’s Harbor

Quiet, serene and natural, Hansen’s Harbor is the best kept secret on Lake Pepin which offers the relaxation you expect in a natural and lush recreational setting.

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Hansen’s Harbor has convenient on-site amenities such as restrooms, showers, complete boat maintenance and repair, winter storage, launch ramp, transient slips, picnic area, sandy beaches and Ship’s Store. You have the advantage of competent service..all year round.. with Hansen’s Harbor. This includes spring launch and fall haul-out. Our service department performs needed repairs and routine upkeep for engines (gas & diesel), hulls, electronics, power, plumbing, air conditioning, and much more. From engine tune-up to an overhaul, we have experienced factory trained mechanics on duty.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday 8:30am – 5:30pm
Sunday 8:30am – 3:00pm during the season

Contact/Location:

35853 Hwy. 61 Blvd.
Lake City, MN 55041
651-345-3022
www.hansensharbor.com

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground

Hok-Si-La Municipal Park and Campground is open year round for day use.
1 Mile North of Lake City on Hwy 61.

More Info

Amenities:

Sleeping Cabins, Tent Camping, Picnic Areas, Screened Shelters, Charcoal Grills, Dining Hall Rental, Environmental Education & Interpretive Center Swimming Beach w/o Lifeguard, Volleyball & Basketball courts, Hiking & Nature Trails, Cross Country Skiing Trails, Chapel, Birding, Free Boat Launch, Public Restrooms & Bathhouse, Playground.

The park alive with migrating birds in both parks. Opportunities abound for viewing great varieties of birds, flora and fauna.

Screened shelters, hall, camper cabins & tenting open May through mid October.

Contact/Location:

2500 N Hwy 61 Blvd, Lake City, MN
651-345-3855
www.hoksilapark.org

https://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/

FALL DRIVES

Revel in Lake Pepin’s stunning fall colors on the Great River Road in bluff country! From Lake City, take Hwy. 61 through Frontenac and Red Wing. Turn left on Hwy. 19 through rolling farmland and the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest to Vasa.

Lake City
Your last leg upriver on Hwy. 61 back to Lake City offers some of the most panoramic views of Lake Pepin and the bluffs.
Vasa
Originally called “Mattson’s Settlements” for Hans Mattson a former Minnesota Secretary of State. Founded in 1853, it’s one of Minnesota’s few unchanged Swedish settlements. Continue on Hwy. 19 to Cannon Falls.
Cannon Falls
This dreamy river town has stately homes, a quaint business district and Riverside Park right at the falls of the Cannon River. From here take Hwy. 52 south to Zumbrota.
Zumbrota
Home to the only surviving covered bridge in the state. It was constructed in 1869 and was one of the major travel links between Dubuque, Iowa and St. Paul. Head east on Hwy. 60 to Zumbro Falls.
Zumbro Falls
The drive east toward the river features rugged valleys that rise to bluff tops and farmland, with the occasional view of Lake Pepin. Continue on Hwy. 60 to Wabasha.
Wabasha
Named after the Sioux Indian chief Wah-pah-sha, this historic steamboat port is one of Minnesota’s oldest communities. The business district is included on the National Register of Historic Places. From here, take Hwy. 61 upriver to Reads Landing.
Reads Landing
This once-thriving river trading post is a superb place to view bald eagles, especially in winter. Take some time to stop at the Wabasha County Historical Society Museum as well.

WINTER ACTIVITES

SNOWMOBILING
Tour our bluffs and valleys on hundreds of miles of maintained trails. Find maps at visitor kiosks or city hotels. Visit the DNR or Minnesota United Snowmobiler’s Association for maps.

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
Superb Midwestern snow sports are just a short drive away at Coffee Mill or Welch Village full-service ski areas. Equipment rentals and seasonal and daily passes are available.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Groomed trails at Hok-Si-La Park and Frontenac State Park attract skiers of all ages and skill levels. Our bluffs, valleys and forests provide stunning scenery and protection from winter winds.

ICE SKATING
Skate under the stars (or any time) or polish up your slap shot at Underwood Park’s leisure and hockey rinks and warming house.

ICE FISHING
The best of this enduring winter pastime is right on our front porch. The locals target blue gills, bass and lunker walleye and pike. There’s easy access for those who need to unload their fish house. Check our online calendar for fishing contests.

ICE SAILING
Harness winter winds! Host to several 2012 North American regattas, Lake Pepin’s wide expanse provides outstanding conditions for racing or enjoying a speedy weekend on the ice. Contact the Lake Pepin Ice Yacht Club for more information.

EAGLE VIEWING
From November through April, bald eagles migrate along the Mississippi River, and about 50 nesting pairs remain in the Lake Pepin area year-round. See them perch, soar and fish. There are many spots on the Great River Road between Lake City and Wabasha that offer thrilling, close-up viewing opportunities.

Lake City, Minnesota is privileged to be nestled along the beautiful shores of Lake Pepin, a breathtaking landmark with incredible scenic and historic value. The significance of the lake, both to its immediate surroundings and those far reaching, is currently being presented in a proposal to name Lake Pepin an official UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) heritage site.

UNESCO is a worldwide organization that seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. There are 23 current World Heritage sites in the United States, including Grand Canyon National Park and the Statue of Liberty.

Lake Pepin is a 22-mile-long, 2-mile-wide natural broadening of the Mississippi, covering 30,000 acres with majestic bluffs surrounding a natural lake of stunning beauty with cities and towns trickling down it’s shores. Some of these cities include Maiden Rock, Reads Landing and Stockholm. However, Lake City remains to be the largest settlement on Lake Pepin’s shores. Due to its prime real estate, Lake City has benefitted from the bounties of Lake Pepin since before it’s incorporation in 1872. The depth of the lake allowed for the construction and use of a port, amplifying the towns profitable market status and greatly increasing Lake City’s volume of trade. Steamboats had become an important means of transportation and commerce in the 19th century and Lake Pepin was no exception.

Lake Pepin’s most famous and cherished characteristic remains it’s significant place in watersport history. Popularly known as “The Birthplace of Waterskiing”, Lake City is where Ralph Samuelson, at the young age of 19, successfully took to Lake Pepin with his home-made water skis made of pine boards that measured a whopping eight feet long and nine inches wide. In the summer of 1922 Samuelson performed the sport for the first time in front of an audience on Lake Pepin’s ideal waters, effectively putting Lake City’s name and Samuelson’s in the history books.

Water sports in the 1920’s hadn’t made their breakthrough into becoming the popular pastime that they are today. Thus the site of Samuelson skipping across the water’s surface struck intrigue among his spectators. Samuelson began performing water ski shows from Michigan to Florida which spread interest in the new sport across America.

The spark Samuelson ignited turned water skiing into the world wide sport that it is today with participants ranging from Asia to Africa. In the United States alone, there are approximately 11 million water skiers and over 900 sanctioned water ski competitions every year. Lake City even has its very own celebration for the ‘Father of Water Skiing’ called Water Ski Days in June.

In the 1930’s the Lake’s beauty was recognized in the work of famous author, Laura Ingalls Wilder when she and her family take their wagon to the shores of Lake Pepin in the chapter ‘Going to Town’ of Little House In the Big Woods. Laura describes her first look at Lake Pepin in the following exert:

“After a long time Laura began to see glimpses of blue water between the trees.” … “Then all at once the road came out of the woods and Laura saw the lake. It was as blue as the sky, and it went to the edge of the world. As far as she could see, there was nothing but flat, blue water.” The scenic lake makes another appearance in Wilder’s most famous book, Little House on the Prairie in the chapter “Going West”.

William Cullen Bryant once said, “Lake Pepin ought to be visited by every poet and painter in the land.” The proposal for Pepin’s World Heritage Site status exemplifies this idea to best if it’s ability. Being named as an UNESCO World Heritage site is a highly prestigious designation, reserved for unique sites like Lake Pepin that are of outstanding value to humanity, for cultural or natural reasons. The 43rd World Heritage Committee meets to consider and evaluate Lake Pepin and other site contenders in Baku, Azerbaijan from June 30 to July 10th of this year. We anxiously await their decision to deservingly commemorate Lake Pepin’s outstanding value to humanity.

 

 

100 Mile Garage Sale

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Tour de Pepin 2020

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