Houston County: Apple Blossom Drive

County By County

We continue our County by County series look at Houston County. First News at Nine’s Hayley Spitler takes us down the Apple Blossom Drive Scenic Byway.

There’s no shortage of natural beauty while driving around Houston County, but locals say perhaps the most beautiful is the Apple Blossom Drive Scenic Byway.

Apple Blossom Drive is 17 miles long and starts in Houston County and continues into Winona County.

“Apple Blossom Drive actually starts at Elm Street so if you go over two blocks from where we’re standing now and make a right hand turn and head north up on Elm Street, it automatically becomes Apple Blossom Drive,” said Eileen Krenz with the La Crescent Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.

The route was designated by the state of Minnesota as a scenic byway back in 1972 and got its name as a result of all of the orchards along the drive.

“At that time there were probably around 40 orchards along apple blossom drive, there are not quite that many anymore but it’s still a destination because it’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Krenz.

While the number of orchards have decreased throughout the years, the number of apple trees have not, according to Krenz.

There is still plenty of scenery and aromas for guests to enjoy.

The drive has become a tourist destination for the county and brings visitors in not just from Minnesota, but from throughout north America as well .

“Generally speaking, I get phone calls starting in April people wondering when the blossom’s will bloom. Just driving along the road you can smell the aroma from the apples in May and early June until the blossom’s actually turn into apples.  It’s an amazing place, it’s an amazing place to live, and it’s an amazing place to visit,” said Krenz.

For Krenz, it is one thing to hear about the drive and something completely different to see it.

“And so it really is a destination and it’s a place for people to come and visit at anytime, any season,” said Krenz.

For many, Apple Blossom Drive is a chance to get off the beaten path. Slow down and take in all the beauty that Houston County has to offer.

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