9:00 - 9.8 miles / 19 minutes - 9:19
Victory Memorial Parkway
Throughout the Victory Memorial Parkway section of the Grand
Rounds, visitors will see the value Minneapolis places on the men
who fight for this country's freedom. Trees and memorials located
throughout the parkway were established to honor the memory of the
servicemen of Hennepin County.
The Victory Memorial Parkway also provides access to the
Mississippi River and a beautiful shoreline. People sometimes come
here to watch barges as they begin their navigation down the
Mississippi. The North Mississippi Regional Park and Shingle Creek
both offer opportunities for visitors to enjoy nature on the
9:19 - 1.6 miles / 3 minutes - 9:22
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Schoolteacher Eloise Butler feared that 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. Located in Theodore Wirth Park, the preserve (which has grown to nearly 15 acres) offers representative plantings of Minnesota's major habitats - deciduous forest, wetlands and upland prairie - and blooms spring to fall.
9:42 - 3.8 miles / 7 minutes - 9:50
Sculpture Gardens and Loring Park
Everyone can enjoy a visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden,
because in addition to showcasing the biggest and sturdiest of the
Walker collection, it's a place for blooms and birds, naps and
A joint effort of the Walker and the Minneapolis Park and
Recreation Board, the garden proper is 11 acres, though it also
spans multiple lanes of traffic via the Irene Hixon Whitney
The southernmost portion of the garden is dominated by four
arborvitae-walled "galleries" housing permanent and temporary
works. To the southeast, Jenny Holzer's oddly brilliant
installation of 28 granite benches (1989), inscribed with invented
truisms, amuses and provokes readers.
Even if you wanted to, you couldn't miss Spoonbridge and
Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, husband
10:35 - 6.7 miles / 13 minutes - 10:48
This beautiful lakeside park is located in downtown Minneapolis. Like Harriet Island in St. Paul, Boom Island isn't actually an island. It's just a nice Mississippi riverside city park.
11:08 - 3.3 miles / 6 minutes - 11:15
Longfellow Home and Information Center
Begin your tour of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway by
stopping at the Longfellow and Stevens Home where the byway
information center is located. Visitors will find information,
pamphlets, and guides to the Byway at this historical house in
Built in 1907, the house is actually a replica of Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow's Massachusettes home. An eccentric man by the
name of Robert Jones built the home as centerpiece to his botanical
gardens and zoological park. Longfellow was his favorite poet.
Moved, reconstructed, and renovated, this house now stands as a
piece of the past with a place in the future of the Minneapolis
The Longfellow House, Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway
Interpretive Center and Trail Head for the Minneapolis Park and
Recreation Board, opens the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byways
Interpretive Gallery. The gallery is an introduction to the seven
historic Byway districts. The gallery incorporates elements seen on
the landscape along the Byway tour including large-scale maps and
photographic images of historic sites and landmarks. The gallery
also includes an interactive video and information kiosk.
11:15 - 9.7 miles / 19 minutes - 11:34
Minnehaha Park and Falls
Spanning 171 acres, the Minnehaha Regional Park is best known for the enchanting Minnehaha Falls, created as Minnehaha Creek spills over a rock ledge into a white pool of fresh foam. It's a great stop during a bike ride, and there are well-marked paths for hiking and nature viewing - be sure to take a walk down to the gorge. Explore Minnehaha Park and view the statue of Hiawatha among the trees or the Minnehaha Plaza and Refectory.
12:34 - 0.9 miles / a minute - 12:36
Nicollet Island began as one of the rougher parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Grain mills and rail yards brought an industrial ambiance to this downtown river area. Now the remaining houses are historic and well-kept. Be sure to tour Merriam Street where you can catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.
The highlight of Nicollet Island is the Nicollet Island Inn. The Inn was originally the Island Door and Sash Company in 1893. When that company closed down, mill companies used the building for various purposes. In 1913, the Salvation Army renovated the building as a men's shelter, and it served as such for the next sixty years.
In the 1970s the shelter was converted to the Nicollet Island Inn. Now the Inn features 24 rooms of period decoration and furniture, a 150-year-old bar, and an award-winning menu.
13:06 - 9.7 miles / 19 minutes - 13:26
Grand Rounds Scenic Byway - end