Peterson Attractions

From meandering Root River teeming with fish and birds, breathtaking North Woods Trail and Overlook, to our family friendly paved Root River State Bike Trail and world class City of Peterson historic museum – our small town will surprise you with activities for all ages.

For as long as humans have been in southeastern Minnesota, the Root River has provided transportation, food, recreation, and natural beauty. The main channel of the river runs through Peterson, and modern-day visitors continue to reap its benefits while enjoying the quiet charm of a small town founded as a railroad village in 1867.

Come discover the dramatic river-carved blufflands of southeastern Minnesota! Part of the Blufflands Trail System, the Root River State Trail provides outstanding views of the soaring limestone bluffs of the Root River Valley. Wildlife is abundant.

1877 Peterson Station Museum and Visitor Center

“Nearly 100 years after Peterson Station opened to serve Southern Minnesota Railroad customers, it welcomed the public again in 1974 – this time as a museum.  Today, visitors can explore the area’s past through historical memorabilia, photographs, and artifacts, or learn more about their family’s history in the area at the genealogy center.”

Our home-grown curator, John Erickson, has stayed true to his passion of amassing a history of Peterson and the local area and presenting it as a pleasing and interesting display of art and artifacts for all ages.

Peterson’s trout hatcheries have provided trout to stock Minnesota lakes for over 100 years. The town’s founder, Peter Peterson Haselrud, established one of the first fish hatcheries in Minnesota. By 1874, the hatchery supplied at least 100,000 yearling trout to stock waters for fishing. The springhouse, one of the two remaining structures from the original Haselrud homestead, spanned the clean, coldwater spring used for the trout hatchery. After his death in 1880, Haselrud’s original ponds were filled in and the current fish hatchery, operated by the Minnesota DNR, is on a different site south of town. Every year the Peterson hatchery produces between 100,000 – 150,000 lake trout for the Minnesota Inland Lake Trout Program, which stocks cold lakes in Northern Minnesota.

Copy courtesy of DNR Interpretive Signs found along the Root River State Trail in Peterson, MN