Touring the Otter Trail

By Explore Minnesota

This state scenic byway exploring the countryside east of Fergus Falls in central Minnesota is a colorful autumn drive with great stops along the way. Choose all or part of the approximately 150-mile loop route traveling along country roads through a serene landscape of rolling hills, lakes, woods and farms, dotted with charming small towns. Here are some fun things to do along the Otter Trail byway.

Take in the view

Maplewood State ParkEnjoy the panoramic views from Inspiration Peak, a short walk from a wayside near Urbank, and the Hallaway Hill overlook in Maplewood State Park, where the maples turn brilliant hues in the fall. Historic Phelps Mill is a scenic spot for a picnic.

Make an art stop

The Art of the Lakes Gallery in Battle Lake carries a wide variety of work from local artists; also check out the Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls.

Enjoy a stroll

There are hiking trails at both Maplewood and Glendalough state parks; take a quick and easy walk or a long trek through the woods. Glendalough also has wildlife observation blinds.

Don't miss this photo opp

Snap a picture of the world’s largest pelican, a sculpture overlooking a small waterfall in Pelican Rapids. And in Vining, there are several quirky metal sculptures on display.

Bring your bike

Fergus Falls is the western access point for the Central Lakes paved bike trail, another way to explore this lovely area.

Another interesting stop, in Perham, is the In Their Own Words Veterans Museum, with moving exhibits and videos from interviews with area veterans. Shops in Fergus Falls, Pelican Rapids and Perham are other lures along the route.

For more info on the Otter Trail and other scenic byways, check out our byways section.