Scenic Drives

Explore Houston County, Minn. by Car

Houston County’s topography makes for gorgeous scenic drives, winding through picturesque valleys, and teetering along bluff edges, overlooking the Mississippi river valley.  

Printable Scenic Drives list

Scenic Highways
  • Apple Blossom Scenic Byway
    Beginning in La Crescent heading north on Elm Street (follow the apple signs), this beautiful drive winds up to bluff tops, through apple orchards, particularly gorgeous during spring bloom.

  • Great River Road: Minnesota
    The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the majestic Mississippi River, beginning at its headwaters in northern Minnesota. The southern end runs along Highway 61 to La Crescent, and then south to Iowa on Highway 26.

  • Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway
    Highway 16 between La Crescent and Dexter, Minn., the Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway runs east-west through some of the best of what Bluff Country has to offer: staggering bluffs, peaceful valleys and quaint small towns.

Scenic Gravel Drives
  • Bicycle La Crosse’s “Driftless Region’s Most Scenic Ride”
    A combination of gravel and paved roads, this 82-mile ride, mapped out by Bicycle La Crosse, begins and ends in La Crosse. The Houston County portion tours through the towns of Houston, Hokah, and Brownsville, and includes the scenic Tschumper Ridge road.

  • County Road 5
    Primarily gravel road that begins south from Caledonia, and winds through the picturesque Winnebago Valley to New Albin, Iowa.

Self-guided tours
  • Caledonia Area Barn Quilt Tour
    Self-guided tour and map, highlighting the many colorful barn quilts dotting the Caledonia area’s countryside. 

  • Houston County History Hunt
    County-wide self-led scavenger hunt. Print your guidebook and map from website, or pick up from any Houston County library.

  • KARST Driftless Guidepost Map
    Made by KARST Driftless Guidepost (located in Houston), this map highlights favorite locations throughout Houston County.