The National Trout Center is located in downtown Preston, Minnesota, just east of the courthouse square. The center is open to visitors during the traditional Minnesota stream trout season, mid-April to the end of September. The temporary home in Preston offers a gift shop with NTC-branded items, and some fly-fishing supplies, exhibits, maps and information related to trout fishing in the upper midwest, Driftless Area, and surrounding states.
Preston is located in the upper Root River Valley near the western border of the Driftless Area, the unglaciated region of the upper midwestern United States. The area is a popular tourism region with highlands covered with crops and pastures, and river valleys enclosing spring-fed streams flowing easterly to the blufflands of the Mississippi River. The geology underlying the region is known as “karst”, characterized by fractured limestone and sandstone. Surface water from snow and rain percolate quickly into the groundwater of the region, emerging at the base of bluffs in artesian springs. Fully oxygenated spring water emerges at approximately 47 degrees Fahrenheit, reflecting the average annual air temperature at this latitude and providing an ideal environment for a world-class trout fishery in the upper midwest. Prominent features of karst geology include sinkholes, and underground networks of caves and caverns, providing opportunities in the region for cave exploration.
The Driftless Area is served by numerous parks, hiking and biking trails, nature centers and environmental learning centers as well as public and private colleges and universities. The hospitality industry provides motels, bed & breakfast accommodation, and campgrounds offering sites ranging from primitive to full service RV camps.
Start planning your vacation trip to the Driftless Area by contacting any of the regional Chambers of Commerce through their websites: