Map of Root River State Trail


Root River State Trail

Root River State Trail Minnesota Map Area

Root River State Trail


42 miles




Fountain, Lanesboro, Whalan, Peterson, Rushford, Houston


rail trail, Minnesota countryside, farmland, small communities, Root River


Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail



Regional Trails

The Root River State Trail is a 42-mile long paved trail that meanders along the banks of the Root River from the City of Fountain to the City of Houston in Southeastern Minnesota. Fountain is located 32 miles southeast along Highway 52 from Rochester, Minnesota. This is a lovely trail that passes through rural farm towns, dense forests, open countryside and rural communities.


The Root River State Trail is paved the entire way. The trail is open to cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers and cross-country skiing in winter. There are long stretches of trail without any services. Be sure to bring plenty of water and any other necessary supplies.


The Root River State Trail goes past the following communitie: Fountain, Lanesboro, Whalen, Peterson, Rushford and Houston.

Nearby Trails

Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail: the two trails intersect between the communities of Fountain and Lanesboro, to the north of Preston.

End Points & Route Description

The western end of the Root River State Trail is located off of County Road 8 on the south side of Fountain. There is a large parking area, playground and restroom at this trailhead.

From this location, the trail takes off to the east, then the southeast, through farmland. At around 6.5 miles from Fountain, there is an intersection with the Harmony-Preston State Trail that heads south to the City of Preston, Minnesota. The Root River State Trail continues gong east from this intersection toward the City of Laneboro. It is an 11 mile stretch between these two communities. In Lanesboro, the trail crosses the Root River, goes past Sylvan Park and then heads through town. The trail takes several meanders as it follows alongside the Root River.

In another 4.6 miles the trail reaches the community of Whalan, then another 8.9 miles to the community of Peterson. There is a park with a restroom adjacent to the trail in Peterson. The trail continues for another 4.8 miles to reach Rushford. After leaving Rushford, the trail travels another 12.6 miles to the City of Houston. There is one short steep stretch outside of Houston.


Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Root River State Trail in Southeastern Minnesota.