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By David VonDoom (10 McR Points) on Aug 02, 2020

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Written Directions

Since the scenic byway is a loop, there are many places to start and end the ride, and fuel, food stops and lodging are plentiful. I usually started in Battle Lake (where my friend Chris Johnson lived) or Fergus Falls, Minnesota (which was the furthest west point), and rode counterclockwise. Heading north out of town on Minnesota Trunk Highway 78, the road quickly begins to curve along the shoreline of Otter Tail Lake. Following the lazy and scenic curves, Highway 78 soon brings us into the community of Ottertail, about a mile east of the more recent development along the main highway. Leaving Ottertail and heading north on Highway 78, we arrive in Perham. Make a left on County Road 34, cruise downtown Perham and head out into the country. The route rolls and curves around more lakes. From Vergas, wind your way back to Trunk Highway 108 via County Road 35, then 85. From the intersection of County Road 85 and Highway 108, to U.S. Route 59 is my favorite section of this favorite ride. When the road is straight it rolls high across the landscape providing views of farms, forests and lakes. Approaching Maplewood State Park, you???re back in the curves. Trees grow close to the road and provide beautiful greens in summer, and flame yellows and reds in the fall. Sweepers make the road fun and then it squeezes tight between resorts and the Lake Lida shoreline. At U.S. 59, turn south toward Pelican Rapids. The world???s largest pelican, Pelican Pete, watches over Pelican Rapids dam, a good place to stop for a snack or a meal. Heading south on U.S. 59 for a short distance, look for the Otter Trail signs and turn east on County Road 3. The road is in great shape and winds around the south side of Maplewood State Park. Head toward Phelps Mill County Park and continue to follow the Otter Trail signs over the country roads and curves. From Phelps Mill, head west again. County Road 1 takes us into Fergus Falls. There are numerous restaurants, fuel stops and lodging establishments if you explore just off the Otter Trail. Following the Otter Trail Scenic Byway signs through Fergus Falls, just off the trail is Adams Park, where you will be rewarded with another large sculpture, Otto the Otter, who overlooks the Otter Tail River. Back on the Otter Trail, leave Fergus Falls and head southeast. This is another great section of road, curvy and in good condition all the way into Dalton, which has limited services. There are two gas stations, the local coffee shop and the Dalton Opera House. Follow the route out of Dalton through beautiful rural country. At County Road 47, head south and enjoy more nice scenery and curves. The trail crosses Trunk Highway 78 and heads toward Inspiration Peak on County Road 38, the highest point in Otter Tail County. A short walk rewards you with a panoramic view. Back on the road for the last leg of the trip, we turn west on Trunk Highway 210 and end up back in Battle Lake. It is a pleasant ride with great scenery, good roads, an easy pace and even a little history. Credit to Phil Holbo for the very details description of the trip

Scenery

You'll ride through lake areas, farms, small towns while making a loop around several Minnesota Lakes with lots of great places to stop and eat. You'll be traveling through the roads that pass by 1,000 lakes in all while riding this loop! Great descriptions of the Ottertrail Scenic Byway are all over the internet such as at - https://www.exploreminnesota.com/profile/otter-trail-scenic-byway/2332,

Drive Enjoyment

It has many straightways and curvy sections when you get near the lakes and towns

Tourism Opportunities

If you start in Battle Lake, you will see the statue of Chief Wenonga, who led the Ojibwe in a battle again the Sioux in the late 1700s Elmer???s Texas Barb-B-Que which offers Texas-style BBQ in rural Minnesota, with a local theater group that performs on weekends. When you get near Pelican Rapids. The world???s largest pelican, Pelican Pete, watches over Pelican Rapids dam, a good place to stop for a snack or a meal. When you get to Phelps there is a small settlement centered around the 19th century flour mill. the mill is now a museum, open for self-guided tours. Much of the original milling machinery remains and the museum is very informative. Once you leave Fergus Falls and get to Dalton there are two gas stations, the local coffee shop and the Dalton Opera House. The opera house hosts a variety of performers and you???ll want to find out if there is a concert during your visit. There is an interesting park next to the Big Foot Gas, Grocery and Deli in Vining. The father of astronaut and Vining native, Karen Nyberg, is metal sculptor Ken Nyberg. Numerous interesting metal sculptures are on display in the park, and it???s worth taking a few minutes to admire the art and make a few photo memories.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

Credit to Phil Holbo for the very details description of the trip

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