The Meandering Root River
For as long as humans have been in southeastern Minnesota, the Root River has provided transportation, food, recreation, and natural beauty. The main channel of the river runs through Peterson, and modern-day visitors continue to reap its benefits while enjoying the quiet charm of a small town founded as a railroad village in 1867.
From Peterson’s canoe access, paddle down the river by canoe or kayak or take a leisurely trip down the river by tube.
Rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes at Geneva’s or Just around the Bend, and then be shuttled to your favorite entry point on the river.
Fish are plentiful. Anglers can be seen catching small mouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass, sunfish, crappies, and rough fish. Where cold streams enter the river, trout are abundant. Drive just west from Peterson to find one of the many designated trout streams, or follow Highway 25 across the bridge and up the bluff a short distance to visit the Peterson State Fish Hatchery and learn more about the region’s designated trout streams.
History of Peterson’s State Trout Hatchery
Peterson’s trout hatcheries have provided trout to stock Minnesota lakes for over 100 years. The town’s founder, Peter Peterson Haselrud, established one of the first fish hatcheries in Minnesota. By 1874, the hatchery supplied at least 100,000 yearling trout to stock waters for fishing. The springhouse, one of the two remaining structures from the original Haselrud homestead, spanned the clean, coldwater spring used for the trout hatchery. After his death in 1880, Haselrud’s original ponds were filled in and the current fish hatchery, operated by the Minnesota DNR, is on a different site south of town. Every year the Peterson hatchery produces between 100,000 – 150,000 lake trout for the Minnesota Inland Lake Trout Program, which stocks cold lakes in Northern Minnesota.”
(Much of this page is published on the DNR Interpretive Signs found along the Root River State Trail in Peterson, MN.)