Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to pull off those car covers, dust off the maps, and hit the road. To help, we’ve assembled a few of our favorite roads within about an hour of the Twin Cities. Depending on where you’re from, we picked multiple routes to be convenient but they’re all worth exploring if you can find a spare hour or two for a cruise.
East of the cities, near Afton Alps is Stagecoach Trail which snakes around the hills and bluffs near the St Croix River. Admittedly, at only a little over 15 miles, you’ll probably spend more time driving there than you will on the road itself, but it’s scenic enough that it’s worth a few laps on its own. And then when you’re done, just hop back onto Hwy 10 or 94 and head home. Or stop by Afton State Park for some beautiful scenery along the river or load up the golf clubs and play a round on the nearby golf course.
For those seeking a longer route, take Stagecoach Trail south to Hwy 10 and cross the river into Prescott, WI and enjoy following the other side of the St Croix River south along County Hwy 35. The alphabet soup of great driving roads – including County Roads O, OO, K, VV, C, EE, and A – are all easily accessible from County Hwy 35 and serpentine through the hills while offering some challenging drives and beautiful scenery near the Lake Pepin area.
Heading straight west out of the cities on 394 will take you onto Hwy 12 out to County Rd 6. Follow that west to Watertown, before turning south onto County Rd 25 for a couple miles to Hwy 7 which will take you back towards the cities. It’s an easy loop around Lake Minnetonka but the real highlights here are the number of great little diners and cafes along the way to stop at for a bite to eat, or take any number of little side streets to find access to the lakes in the area. This isn’t a route that is meant to be at all challenging or a test of a driver’s skills, but it’s great for a casual cruise on a warm summer evening.
If you’re on the west side of down and looking for something a bit longer, take Hwy 7 west out to County Rd 11 and head south to Hwy 5 in Victoria where you’ll take a left followed by a right to stay on County Rd 11/Victoria Drive and keep heading south for as long as you like. Depending on how much time you have, you can cross the Minnesota River into Belle Plaine on State Hwy 25 and head back on 169 N or continue south down to Henderson or LeSeur and follow the river back however you’d like.
We hope to see you out on the road this summer! And obviously, Morrie’s Automotive Group advises you to follow all posted speed limits and obey all traffic laws while you’re at it.