All the lakes, rolling hills and surrounding landscapes in the Alexandria area were all formed by an ancient glacier that advanced and retreated over the span of 75,000-10,000 years ago. Millions of acres of land was covered by thousands of feet of ice as the Laurentide Ice Sheet advanced during the Wisconsin Glaciation period. Alexandria was covered by a smaller section of that ice sheet called the Wadena Lobe, and later on by parts of the Des Moines Lobe that melted and retreated around 10,000 years ago. The glaciers picked up millions of tons of rocks and sediment as they advanced, and deposited those rocks and sediment as they retreated. This is what formed all the beautiful rolling hills and lakes we love and enjoy today.
Cruise the Trail of the Glacier! The Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway is your window into the Ice Age of the past! This officially designated Minnesota State Byway is over 220 miles of beautiful rural routes through rolling hills, lakes, woods, prairies and farmlands. There are several scenic loops and dozens of side trips along the way. The Byway is great for both a motorcycle tour or a driving cruise. The route starts in Alexandria and goes through many other towns, spanning a course of 5 counties, 4 State Parks and a birding trail.
Many of the interesting stops are highlighted in the Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway Map, that can be picked up at our office (Explore Alexandria Tourism :: 324 Broadway Street), or click here for an electronic version.