Goodhue County, Minnesota
Area: 780 Square Miles
Named for: James Madison Goodhue, the first printer-editor in Minnesota
Cities included: Bellechester, Cannon Falls, Dennison, Frontenac (unincorporated), Goodhue, Kenyon, Lake City, Pine Island, Red Wing, Wanamingo, Zumbrota, and Prairie Island Indian Community.
County seat: Red Wing
Largest city: Red Wing
Goodhue County was formed with territory from Wabasha County in 1853 and was originally home to Hamline University before it closed during the civil war and relocated to Saint Paul several years later. Wheat production played an important role during the mid-nineteenth century when the county was the top wheat producer in the country utilizing mills in Red Wing and transporting grain via the Mississippi River.
The area has been home to a large amount of decedents of German, Norwegian, Swedish, and Irish ancestry and is home to Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing. The county is home to one county park, one state park, and two regional bike trails, as well as several other scenic destinations. The Cannon Valley Trail runs 20 miles along the Cannon River between the cities of Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing. The Mill Towns Bike Trail is under development - when complete, it would link the Cannon Valley Trail to Faribault in central Minnesota. Goodhue County's Lake Byllesby Park is in the northwest corner of county and features fishing and a picnic area. Frontenac State Park features camping, hiking, and birdwatching high in the bluffs alongside the Mississippi River's Lake Pepin.
The Prairie Island Indian Community is a Mdewakanton Sioux Indian reservation within Goodhue County along the Mississippi River in and around Red Wing. The band operates Treasure Island Resort and Casino north of Red Wing and Mount Frontenac Golf Course.