along the byway is Spicer, on the shore of beautiful
Green Lake. A beach, amusement park and dinner
cruises are part of the fun here. For big time golf, there’s
the 27-hole Little Crow Country Club between Spicer
and New London. Glacial Ridge Winery is in this area, as
well. At New London, the Little Crow Water Ski Team
performs in the summer on the Crow River at Neer Park.
Nearby is Sibley State Park, with wooded hills, restored
prairie, and several lakes; the Mount Tom overlook is a
highlight. Cyclists enjoy the paved Glacial Lakes Bike
Trail, which links New London, Spicer and Willmar, with
a spur to Paynesville.
The countryside between here and St. Cloud is
mainly farmland, dotted with many good fishing lakes.
Several family resorts and campgrounds near Richmond
and Paynesville cater to those who come to fish for the
wide variety of species in these waters, or simply relax on
To the east of Willmar is Litchfield, on the shore of
Lake Ripley. In 1885, Union veterans of the Civil War built
the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, a fortress-like
structure that is now a museum of Civil War relics. In
nearby Darwin, the world’s largest ball of twine made by
one man is on display in a city park.
Hutchinson has a picturesque Main Street, several
antique and specialty shops, and a community theater.
Just north of town, the Clay Coyote Gallery has a great
array of hand-crafted items. The McLeod County
Heritage Center displays works of well-known wildlife
artist Les Kouba.
St. Cloud is the largest city in the state northwest of
Munsinger and Clemens Gardens St. Cloud in Bloom
Enjoy gardens? Don’t miss these!
The expansive, public gardens
along the Mississippi River feature
both formal and informal areas, a
white garden, more than 1,000
roses, beautiful fountains, and
winding paths under tall pines.
Outdoor concerts are offered on
several summer Sundays.
the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and the commercial hub of
central Minnesota. St. Cloud offers quite a variety of
shopping and other activities in and around the city.
Downtown streets are lined with shops, coffeehouses and
restaurants. Pioneer Place on Fifth and the Paramount
Theatre, both in renovated historic buildings, offer plays
and concerts. The Mississippi River flows through the
heart of the city. Just across the river from downtown
are the lovely Munsinger and Clemens Gardens,
colorful from spring through fall.
The St. Cloud area is known as
“Granite Country.” Quarries and stone
cutting figured prominently in this
area’s history; granite from the area
has been used in buildings across the
country. The Stearns History Museum
has a replica of a 1930s granite quarry
and tells the story of this industry. For a brief period, cars
were also manufactured in St. Cloud, and the museum
features a 1919 Pan automobile. A few miles west of town is
Quarry Park, where old quarries are now rock-trimmed
ponds used for swimming, scuba diving, and trout fishing.
Nearby Collegeville is home to St. John’s University.
Renowned architect Marcel Breuer designed the striking,
contemporary St. John’s Abbey Church. At the College of
St. Benedict in nearby St. Joseph, the Benedicta Arts
Center offers plays, concerts and dance performances.
The Lake Wobegon Bike Trail travels the countryside
between St. Joseph and Sauk Centre, with an additional
spur from Albany north past Holdingford. The quaint
towns along the trail are part of the rural community that