Find Minnesota’s Outdoor Experiences in Pine Island
By David Friese, Mayor of the City of Pine Island
The City of Pine Island showcases a thriving business district, a regionally recognized school district and expanding residential neighborhoods with a spacious park system boasting eight parks and public spaces. As the community continues to grow and move forward, the past is remembered through the annual Pine Island Cheese Festival held the first weekend in June. The festival, celebrated for more than 80-years, is one of the oldest in southern Minnesota and is the first community festival of the season in Southeastern Minnesota. The Cheese Festival attracts visitors and guests from around the area who come to enjoy the carnival rides, variety of foods and cheeses, activities, a 5K race and a grand parade on Sunday.
Pine Island is expanding our outdoor activities. Recently, the city has invested in a $2.5 million aquatic center that boasts fountains, diving boards, a climbing wall and a soon-to-be-installed water slide. Along with the 11-mile paved Douglas Trail extending between Pine Island and Rochester, the city promotes our Borrow-A-Bike program from our shop at Trailhead Park. Pine Island is also investing in a canoeing system on several miles of the Zumbro River accessible from Roscoe Township into New Haven Township. Multiple canoe launches located along the route include parking for anyone looking to venture down the river and take in its natural beauty. Trailhead Park also hosts two large ice rinks for public use during the winter months, with groomed trails available for snowshoeing. In addition, there are several hills around town for family sledding.
Residents, visitors and guests should stop at any one of Pine Island’s eateries for a meal or snack. During the warm summer months, Tribute Soda Fountain serves up flavorful ice cream treats and cones, Betty Sue’s Café has down-home cooking, Let’s-Go-Tacos provides authentic Mexican food and the Pine Island American Legion hosts many homemade foods. In addition, Trailhead Grill and Lanes serves your bar favorites along with recreational activities, and you’ll find several local food trucks around town, from Murph’s Hotdog Stand to Cavemen Grill. Recently, Pine Island became home to South by Southeast (SxSE) MN Brewing. The brewery is quickly becoming a must-stop location for anyone wanting to enjoy a tasty craft beer from a state-of-the-art facility. Many SxSE beers are served throughout Southeastern Minnesota bars and restaurants.
With a healthy and growing industrial park, Pine Island continues to look for and welcome anyone wanting to bring their business to our community. A vibrant and active Economic Development Authority is ready to assist business ventures looking to expand or build their business. With a growing community comes an accessible workforce to fill jobs, provide opportunities and develop careers. The community is located right on Highway 52, with a 10-minute drive south to Rochester and the Mayo Clinic or a 50-minute drive north to St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Pine Island has something for everyone, whether you are looking to enjoy a theatrical experience at the Olde Pine Theater, free Sunday night concerts at Trailhead Park, local shops, cafes, restaurants or the many great outdoor experiences.
A Quote from the President of the Chamber of Commerce in Pine Island
“We are so fortunate to have the start of the Douglas State Trail right in town. When I was a kid, the trail was an old railroad bed that we played on near the Zumbro River. Now it is utilized by thousands of people each year for biking, walking, jogging with an adjacent horse and snowmobiling trail. The trail ends in one of our many parks and is perfectly situated for a short walk to Main Street to check out our new ice cream shop, local taco restaurant, brand new arcade and other shops and businesses.”
– Janet Hanke, Chamber President
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