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Trip Ideas

5 low cost or free journey locations round Southeast Minnesota for the summer season – Put up Bulletin

Rochester — Seeking to get out of the home for a summer season day journey however don’t wish to spend an excessive amount of cash on gasoline? Listed below are 5 locations round Southeast Minnesota which can be low cost or free, providing getaway decisions for nearly any finances.

Ohuta Park, Lake Metropolis 

The birthplace of water snowboarding is barely a 40-mile drive away from Rochester. Along with nice retailers and eating places within the metropolis’s downtown space, the newly renovated Ohuta Park, situated three and a half blocks north of downtown, provides a brand new splash pad for teenagers and upgraded playground tools, and a few of the most scenic views of Lake Pepin. The park and all its facilities are free to all guests and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Different free parks for guests of Lake Metropolis embrace Hok-Si-La, Roschen, and Gold Star parks. Or simply stroll alongside the strolling trails alongside Lake Pepin.

LARK Toys, Kellogg 

About 50 miles from the Med Metropolis is likely one of the Midwest’s most well-known toy retailers and museums, LARK Toys. Positioned in Kellogg, LARK Toys is open from 10 a.m. to six p.m. each day and supplies a wide range of choices to maintain any customer entertained for a day.

From their museum reveals to their mini-golf course, carousel, bookstore and cafe, an entire day’s price of enjoyable will be stuffed for any go to to LARK Toys.


Company journey a hand-carved picket carousel Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at LARK Toys in Kellogg. LARK Toys has acquired an outpouring of assist after posting to their Fb web page about an change that occurred when a pair and their youngsters tried to enter their enterprise earlier within the week with out protecting masks. (Joe Ahlquist /

Along with these choices are the handmade toys that LARK Toys have been producing for over 30 years with no less than one new toy design exhibiting up yearly. The vast majority of these toys are carved out of wooden and made protected for using youngsters of all ages and guests can watch these toys be made within the LARK workshop.

Step outdoors and meet Irving, George, Meg and Calvin, a quartet of miniature llamas, on the statement deck.

The Reminiscence Lane Vintage Toy Museum excursions are free for all guests, carousel rides price $3 per journey and cafe menu gadgets price $6.50 mixed with a carousel journey.

Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo, Byron

Simply north of Byron – look ahead to detours attributable to building – and fewer than 20 miles from Rochester is likely one of the hidden gems of Southeast Minnesota: Oxbow Park and the Zollman Zoo. Open year-round, except for some holidays, Zollman Zoo is free for any guests and provides over 45 totally different species of animals of their reveals.

No foods and drinks are allowed into the zoo nor are any recreation automobiles. There are additionally packages on the park all through every season. All packages are additionally free to the general public.

Along with Zollman Zoo, Oxbow Park provides open campgrounds from Could 6 to Oct. 23, which will be reserved on their web site. There are additionally a number of trails that join via the park, picnic areas and playgrounds all through the 634-acre park. The park itself is open each day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Jenna Baumgartner, an intern at Zollman Zoo, places out frozen corn for goats chickens Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo close to Byron. Frozen enrichment treats got to a few of the animals on the zoo to assist maintain them cool Saturday afternoon. (Joe Ahlquist /

Taking pictures Star Path, Leroy to Austin

Simply desire a day in nature away from the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life? Taking pictures Star Path stands out as the place to go.

Stretching from the city of Leroy on the Minnesota/Iowa border all the way in which to Austin, this path covers 30 miles of southern Minnesota that may be trekked in a day. The path is free to make use of and the one cost needed is parking at Lake Louise State Park north of Leroy, if individuals select to start out their mountain climbing or biking from there.

The path passes via different cities corresponding to Taopi, Adams, and Rose Creek with eating choices accessible in Adams and Rose Creek’s downtown areas for these needing to catch their breaths.

Shooting Star Trail

Forestville State Park and Thriller Cave

Solely 47 miles south of Rochester, Forestville State Park provides a guidelines of issues to do in at some point for any traveler. Essentially the most notable components of Forestville State Park are Thriller Cave and the ghost city of Forestville.

Thriller Cave is the longest recognized cave within the state of Minnesota masking 13 miles of recognized passages. There are a lot of kinds of excursions of Thriller Cave for individuals to join, the preferred of which is the scenic tour, which has excursions beginning as early as 10 a.m. and late as 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to five p.m. on weekends.

The scenic tour lasts round an hour and prices $15 for ages 13 and older, $10 for ages 5 to 12, and free for teenagers beneath 5, however a ticket continues to be required. The scenic tour can be handicap accessible.

The final two summers for Thriller Cave had restrictions on excursions accessible for individuals attributable to COVID-19. This summer season has extra excursions to supply as lantern, geology, and wild caving excursions are as soon as once more accessible.

Mystery Cave

Location: Thriller Cave Highway, Spring Valley Web site: Found: 1937 Fascinating details: The cave is the longest collapse Minnesota spanning 13 miles underground.Within the cave are stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, fossils, and underground swimming pools.The temperature within the cave is a cool 48 levels.Seven guided excursions can be found with park naturalists.

Already making the journey to Thriller Cave later within the week? Why not find time for the close by ghost city of Forestville as effectively.

The Minnesota Historic Society operates the deserted city that also resembles its unique look from the 1800s. Guided excursions can be found from 11 a.m. to five p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and till 3 p.m. on Sundays, however guests can even embark on their very own self-guided explorations of the ghost city. Admission price $10 for adults and $8 for teenagers, faculty college students and seniors.

Not focused on a tour and wish an actual ghost city expertise? That can be an possibility as guests are inspired to discover Forestville at their very own tempo at nightfall or daybreak. If guests wish to make the nighttime go to, no buildings are open for entry outdoors of tour hours.

Forestville’s ghost city shall be open for excursions on July 4 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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