Royalton

Population (2010)

1,242

Visitor Information

Direct your questions to the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau (320.616.4961).

History

A small community along the Great River Road but not directly on the Mississippi River, Royalton was probably founded in the 1850s by the Reverend Rudolphus Kinney, a missionary from Royalton, Vermont who came to the area to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Father Pierz (see Belle Prairie) founded Holy Cross Church in 1864 but the village saw little action until the railroad came through in 1877. The village got a sawmill in 1879 and became a major player in the produce trade. The horse track on the south end of town was such a major draw that the sawmill would shut down for a few hours so the workers could enjoy the races. Royalton today is a small community on a busy highway (US 10).

Exploring the Area

The community of Royalton maintains a few exhibits on its history in the City Center building.

McDougall Wildlife Management Area (County Road 258/Hilton Rd.) has a mixture of hardwood forest and restored prairie in an area along the Mississippi River; it’s a good place to hike, hunt, cross-country ski, or snowshoe. From Royalton, drive 1 mile west on County Road 26, then go north on County Road 258 for 1½ miles.

When it comes to over-the-top souvenir shops, you won’t find many that can outdo Treasure City (308 US Highway 10; 320.584.5140). The front looks like a yard sale in progress, while inside you’ll find aisle after aisle of cheap trinkets, fireworks, Minnesota-themed gift items, fake jewelry, and so much more.

**Royalton is covered in the Headwaters Region Guide; other places in northern Minnesota are covered in Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Sleep

Camping

Two Rivers Campground (5116 145th St. NW; 320.584.5125) is a large, full-service campground (over 200 sites) about 12 miles south of Little Falls on the Mississippi and Platte Rivers.

Where to Go Next

Next stop downriver: Rice.

Next stop upriver: Little Falls.

Community-supported writing

If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!

Become a Patron

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2015

By |2019-01-04T19:37:10+00:00November 27th, 2015|Minnesota|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dean Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, is on a mission to explore the rich history, diverse cultures, and varied ecosystems of the Mississippi River Valley, from the Headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of Rock Island Lines, a mystery, and several guidebooks for the Mississippi Valley.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ah, geez. Another pop-up? Yep! But if you sign up for updates, I’ll send you a free, full-color PDF of Small Town Pleasures, your guide to the most interesting small Mississippi River towns. You’ll save five bucks!

This is a limited time offer, so sign up today.

We value your privacy and will never spam you. You will receive updates about new books and offers, site updates, and news from the Mississippi Valley. You can unsubscribe whenever you want.