On Saturdays in September, the Root River Trail System has been featuring local food, artisans, entertainment, culture and fun during an annual trail-wide event, Taste of the Trail.

This Saturday, Sept. 21, the towns of Fountain, Harmony and Preston are teaming together to show off their abundance of food, beverages and entertainment in southeast Minnesota between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Each town will include its own growers, producers and restaurateurs, offering complimentary samples of their products. Live entertainment will also be part of the fun.


Join the residents in Fountain at the Trailhead and adjacent City Park, which has two covered picnic areas, restrooms, a play equipment area for children, and of course...a drinking fountain. Pick up a "passport" listing participating vendors and businesses that are offering free samples and treats throughout Fountain. At the end of the visit to Fountain, hand in the "passport" for a drawing of prizes.

A Little Decadence will be offering free samples and old-fashioned handcrafted treats for purchase at the park.

Amish Tours by Rose will be offering a free bottle of spring water at the park.

Duane Vonch's Popcan Art will be showcasing work at the park.

The Fillmore County History Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be offering a mystery treat.

Los Gables Mexican Restaurant will open at 6:30 a.m. and offers wonderful meal choices for purchase.

Village Square of Fountain opens at 11 a.m. and a coupon for a meal can be picked up at the park to be used at the restaurant.

Willies Grocery and Locker is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One may stop in and find out what is being offered in the sampler pack that is one of the door prizes.

Fillmore Fitness is open during the event. A coupon is being offered at the park, plus an extra special coupon is being offered at the business site.

Finally, First State Bank of Fountain is offering free popcorn at the park.


Preston will offer several nature activities during its Taste of the Trail events. These will include an interpretive bike ride and walk, Eagle Bluff Raptor and Snake Wildlife Program and a Rockie Top Acres Alpaca Farm exhibit.

Kids will enjoy Nanny Giggles and Uncle Chuckles, with a program from 12:30 to 1 p.m., with balloon making and face painting through the day. There is a Kid's Health and Safety program in downtown Preston.

Sample treats by local Preston businesses and vendors. Listen to live music by artist Ron Haugen from 10 to 11 a.m. and again from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Come back in the evening for the firemen's dance and Sportsman's Club raffle.

Take a short, in-town interpretive bike ride or walk with a Forestville State Park Naturalist who will discuss wildlife, plants, geology and cold water trout habitat environment along the Root River State Bike Trail. Bike rides will begin at 10 a.m. and noon. The walk begins at 11 a.m.

The Eagle Bluff program will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at the trailhead in Preston.

Additional activities include sampling local food products, a photo set with the Preston Trout Float, live alpaca exhibit, tractor display and city-wide garage sales.


Harmony invites all to its beautiful Trailhead and Visitor Center at the north edge of town where one can bike in or visit by car. Relax to the music provided by local musician Charlie Warner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kid's activities will keep the little ones entertained. Learn about geology and fossils in the area with a display from Niagara Cave and get a preview to the upcoming "Rockin' Fossil Fest," which is in the works for 2014.

Sample local foods by Harmony food service businesses and artesian water provided by the Harmony Chamber.

Asahi Loft will be offering green tea and edamame.

Selvig House B&B will be offering cool raspberry soup.

QUARTER/quarter Restaurant and Wine Bar will be offering caprese salad skewers and Back Forty Farms oyster mushroom pate on crostini.

Harmony Foods will be featuring local fresh apples with caramel dip and some new chopped salads at the Harmony Foods IGA store.

The Village Green will be offering samples of its dip mixes and candy samples from the Sugar Plum House.

There will also be an Amish market on site to offer baked goods and crafts for sale.

For more information on specific food vendors and activities, go to taste.rootrivertrail.org.

Taste of the Trail is sponsored by Root River Trail Towns, an association of communities situated on the Root River Trail System, working together for the promotion and betterment of the trail.