Fall Colors Trip Itinerary

Autumn is the perfect time of year to take a day trip to the charming communities of Chisago Lakes! From stunning St. Croix River views to sunset at a sculpture park, we’ve got your autumn “day trip” planned. Read on to experience the quintessential fall day in Chisago Lakes.

What to Bring

Wallet, cash, camera, hiking shoes, clothing layers, picnic blanket

Start your day with two options for breakfast and coffee

Northwoods Roasterie and Lindström Bakery

Grab a handcrafted drink from Northwoods Roasterie. This charming historic house – turned specialty coffee shop roasts their beans on-site and serves up a beverage that will be the perfect start to a busy day of exploring. Their bagel sandwich and Morning Buns are also delicious!

Swedish Inn for a classic diner breakfast

The Swedish Inn has been a Lindström staple for breakfast and lunch since 1991. Sit at their diner counter and enjoy many homemade Swedish dishes as well as classic American breakfast options!

Once you’ve got your coffee, head across the 1st Ave.to the Lindström Bakery, home of the award-winning Best Swedish Donut in Minnesota! Choose from a wide variety of traditional donuts or grab a halfdozen to take with you.

Now that you’ve got your caffeine and a treat, head to Allemansrätt Swedish Heritage and Wilderness Park for a hike and some history.

Insider Tip:

Lindström Bakery only accepts cash so come prepared; it’s worth it!
Northwoods Roasterie
Swedish Inn

Hike through history at Allemansrätt Swedish Heritage and Wilderness Park

In Swedish, Allemansrätt means the right to roam in the wilderness with a “Do Not Disturb or Destroy Nature” philosophy. You’ll walk past historic farm equipment and a corn crib as you cross over the “cow pass” from the days when this was a working farm, run by the Anderson family, who were Swedish immigrants who settled this land in the 1850s.

As you round a curve you’ll glimpse the 1880s Anderson house, built in a traditional Swedish style. Circle the house and read about the vast history of this property and the incredible family who homesteaded here.

Continue down the gravel road to see the fall colors on the Anderson Peninsula. Stay to the right and you’ll walk past the location of the original log cabin that was built here in the 1850s.

Keep going on the trail to circle the peninsula, passing the Park’s two walk-in, first come, first serve campsites.

Time for a scenic picnic lunch

As you’re leaving Allemansrätt Park, call in a takeout order to either Pizza Pub, The Grumpy Minnow or Al’s Center Saloon, all in Center City…you’re going to Taylors Falls for a picnic at a scenic overlook!

Pizza Pub: Wide variety of pizzas, plus appetizers, wings, salads and sandwiches
The Grumpy Minnow: Elevated appetizers, wraps, soups, sandwiches and burgers
Al’s Center Saloon: Great burgers, sandwiches, and classic bar food

Continue east on 310th St. for about 8 miles then turn left on Chestnut Street. Continue north onto Mulberry Street where the road meets Hwy 20. Turn right onto Hwy 95/St. Croix Trail and the Heritage Park overlook will be a half-mile up on the left. Enjoy your lunch here while taking in stunning views of the National St. Croix Scenic Riverway and the hydroelectric dam!

Once you have your food, head north on Summit Ave. and you’ll pass the church that was a filming location of the 1993 "Grumpy Old Men" film!

Avid biker/hiker?

Make a note to visit the Swedish Immigrant Trail, which starts at the Taylors Falls Fire Department building and travels over 20 miles west, following the “trail” thousands of immigrants traveled to new homesteads in Minnesota.

Architecture buff?

After your picnic lunch, drive south on Hwy 95 into Taylors Falls, turn right on 1st Street, then left onto Government Road, into the National Historic District known as Angel Hill. Explore beautiful homes, the historic schoolhouse, railroad depot, Methodist Church, and Old Jail Bed and Breakfast, all built between 1850 and 1910 in the traditional New England style.

Get up close and personal with the St. Croix River and Minnesota Interstate Park

Find a parking spot in downtown Taylors Falls and walk down towards the north side of the bridge that    crosses the river into Wisconsin. Follow the paved trail under the bridge and into Minnesota Interstate Park. You’ll hear the sound of the river rapids and have sweeping views north and south.

Take a minute to visit the new patio at the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours building. Explore the trails of Interstate Park, where you’ll come across fall colors and incredible formations left by ancient glaciers.

If getting out on the water is your preference, book an 80-minute paddleboat ride with the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tour! Their licensed boat pilot and tour guide will point out the unique rock formations that were left behind as the glaciers retreated thousands of years ago. Among the most outstanding formations is the huge stone cross for which the St. Croix River was named. “St. Croix” means Holy Cross. 2021 excursions run through October 24, at 1pm and 3pm.

History Highlight:

Some of the glacial potholes you’ll see in the park are said to be the deepest in the world!

Don’t Miss these

Head west on Hwy 95 out of Taylors Falls for a scenic drive along the bluffs of the St. Croix River. You’re heading to either Franconia Sculpture Park or Pleasant Valley Orchard (or both) to enjoy the sunset!

Franconia Sculpture Park

Enjoy a beautiful walk through 50 acres of restored prairie during the sunset golden hour at Franconia Sculpture Park! Explore over 100 contemporary sculptures created by artists from around the world. Make sure to check out the gift shop!

Pleasant Valley Orchard

Take walk through the orchard, pick a pumpkin and make friends with goats and “Pip” the black cat at Pleasant Valley Orchard. Stop in at the Appleshed for your favorite Minnesota Grown apples, freshly-baked goods, gift shop, and enjoy live music on select weekends in October!

Finish your trip at a local brewery

Finally, it’s time to make your last stop at a brewery with a nod to Minnesota’s state bird: head back to Chisago City to The Uncommon Loon! With a wide variety of beers, seltzers, sodas and snacks (plus a large selection of board games!), The Uncommon Loon has something for everyone. Rest your legs on their patio after a long day of exploring, or grab a growler to enjoy at home!

Insider Tip:

Get your camera ready, this place is a photography and selfie dream!
Franconia Sculpture Park
Pleasant Valley Orchard
The Uncommon Loon
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