Weather Forecast


Ride the Great River Road

The Great River Road route -- and some detours -- is highlighted on the new Explore Minnesota Tourism website aimed at motorcyclists. (Map courtesy Explore Minnesota Tourism)

Red Wing is a popular stop and destination for motorcyclists, and it might be getting even busier soon.

The Great River Road scenic route that runs through Red Wing is one of the paths highlighted on a new Explore Minnesota Tourism website called Highways, Byways and Back Roads specifically aimed at motorcyclists.

The site,, offers maps as well as attractions, food and lodging, road and weather condition information and resources in case of emergency, such as the motorcycle breaking down. It also allows for riders to post reviews on the routes.

Kathy Silverthorn, executive director of Red Wing Visitor and Convention Bureau, said being highlighted in articles or websites such as Explore Minnesota Tourism's brings in new riders and also triggers repeat visitors.

"It sparks an idea," she said. "It's not as much about educating sometimes as it is reminding people how beautiful it is here in southeastern Minnesota."

And that beauty means September and October are especially packed, Silverthorn said.

"The fall is just one of the busiest times of the year for us here at the VCB, almost busier than summer," she said. "And a lot of that is motorcycle traffic."

The fall offers the changing colors making the scenic routes even more interesting, and usually brings cooler weather which can be better for riding.

Silverthorn said events such as the Flood Run also give motorcyclists some exposure to the area.

"That introduces people to the area and then I think they come back," she said.

This fall's Flood Run that includes Red Wing as a stop is set for Sept. 21.

"Motorcycling is a very popular way to travel, and Minnesota's Scenic Byways have a lot of appeal to riders," John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, said. "We're reaching out to this niche market through a site geared specifically to them, from a rider's point of view."

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629