The Lighthouse at Boom Island Park

The Lighthouse at Boom Island Park

Photo by TheDailyNathan, Creative Commons

Minnesota Grand Rounds 1 Day RV Itinerary

Image from www.byways.orgMinnehaha Falls Image from www.byways.org

Day 1

Start: Boom Island Park

Suggested Time at This Site:       20 minutes

Begin your tour of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway at Boom Island Park, a park along the banks of the Mississippi. View several historic buildings, or walk along the peaceful shores of the Mississippi.

Stop 2: Nicollet Island

Directions from previous place:      From the northern parking lot of Boom Island Park:

    * Head north to the junction of 8th Avenue NE
    * Turn right
    * Turn right onto Marshall Street NE and continue for 0.6 miles
    * Turn right onto 1st Avenue NE and cross the bridge
    * Take the first right into the Nicollet Island Parking Lot

Distance from Previous Site:     0.95 miles / 1.5 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     3 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:     30 minutes

Nicollet Island is the only inhabited island on the Mississippi, and features lovely walkways, tennis courts, and historical buildings. Backtrack across the river and turn right on Main Street to see the historic Nicollet Island Inn, a period building with a rich history and comfortable rooms.

Stop 3: Loring Sculpture Garden

Directions from previous place:      From the Nicollet Island parking lot:

    * Turn right onto 1st Avenue NE and continue for 0.4 miles
    * Turn right onto N 2nd Street
    * Turn left onto 1st Avenue N and continue for 0.6 miles
    * Turn left onto N 10th Street
    * Turn right onto Hennepin Avenue and continue for 0.4 miles.
    * Make a slight right onto Dunwoody Boulevard
    * Turn left onto S Lyndale Avenue
    * Turn left, and then left again onto Hennepin Avenue and the entrance to Loring Park

Distance from Previous Site:          2.39 miles / 3.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     8 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        45 minutes

Located in Loring Park, the Sculpture Garden and adjacent Walker Art Center is home to a nice collection of art. Stroll around the park, viewing such classic pieces as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's "Spoonbridge and Cherry".

Stop 4: Minnehaha Park and Falls

Directions from previous place:      To follow the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway from the Loring Sculpture Garden to the Longfellow Home Information Center in Minnehaha Park:

    * Head northeast on Hennepin Avenue S for 0.6 miles
    * Turn left onto N 9th Street
    * Take a slight right to stay on N 9th Street
    * Turn left onto N 8th Street
    * Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto N 2nd Avenue and continue for 0.5 miles
    * Turn left onto N 1st Street
    * Turn right onto N 4th Avenue
    * Turn right onto West River Parkway and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.
    * Continue along West River Parkway for 4.1 miles
    * Keep left at the fork to continue for 2.6 miles on West River Parkway
    * Enter next roundabout and take 3rd exit onto Minnehaha Avenue
    * Continue for 0.3 miles into Minnehaha Park.

Distance from Previous Site:            9.3 miles / 14.9 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     23 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:            1 hour

This regional park is best known for massive Minnehaha Falls, and features several picnic sites and paved trails. See the statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, or take a walk through the quiet woodlands.

Find more information about the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway at the Longfellow House Information Center. While Henry Wadsworth Longfellow never lived in Minneapolis, a former fishmonger named Robert "Fish" Jones built a 2/3 scale replica of Longfellow's home in Massachusetts. The Longfellow home now serves as the official information site for Minnehaha Park and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

End: Chain of Lakes and Eloise Butler Wildflower Sanctuary

Directions from previous place:      From the Longfellow House in Minnehaha Park, follow these parkways under wooded canopies and past several of the most scenic lakes in Minneapolis.

From Minnehaha Park to Lyndale Park:

    * Start out going northwest on Minnehaha Avenue and continue for 0.3 miles.
    * Enter the roundabout and take the 3rd exit to continue west on Minnehaha Parkway for 3.3 miles.
    * Turn right onto Stevens Avenue.
    * Turn left onto Minnehaha Parkway.
    * Veer left to continue along Minnehaha Parkway for 2.1 miles. The road name will change to Lake Harriet Parkway.
    * Turn left to continue along Lake Harriet Parkway into Lyndale Park.

From Lyndale Park to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Sanctuary:

    * Continue along Lake Harriet Parkway for 0.5 miles.
    * Take a slight right onto William Berry Drive and continue for 1.9 miles. William Berry Drive will become Calhoun Parkway.
    * Calhoun Parkway becomes Dean Parkway; continue for 0.3 miles.
    * Turn left onto Cedar Lake Parkway and continue for 1.6 miles. Cedar Lake Parkway becomes
    * Continue for 1.9 miles along Theodore Wirth Parkway. go 1.9 miles 11: End At Eloise Butler Wildflower Sncty, 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55422, 612-370-4903

Total Est. Time: 20 minutes Total Est. Distance: 6.82 miles
Distance from Previous Site:           13 miles / 20.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     40 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Schoolteacher Eloise Butler feared the wild beauty of Minnesota would fall to the ax of city life as surely as her beloved Maine woods had, and she set about to save it. As a result, in 1907 the Minneapolis Park Board created a three-acre preserve for native flora, an immense wild garden that Butler tended all her life.

Stroll along the 2/3 mile trail that winds through this sanctuary, and enjoy the many spring and summer flowers that bloom along the way.

Totals for Day 1

Total Distance Traveled:     25.64 miles / 41.0 km
Total Travel Time:               1 hour 14 minutes
Total Stopping Time:           2 hours 55 minutes

Featured content and image from www.byways.org

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