Named for the mythical Elysian Fields, this southern Minnesota city remains true to its namesake ...a quiet, peaceful place with gently rolling hills and fields. Surrounded by lakes, Elysian is a summer city for many. For over 600 residents, it's called home. Elysian thrives on quaintness, thinks progressively, supports local businesses, and welcomes tourists. A culture of cooperation, community spirit, neighborly charm and hometown pride create a high quality of life.
Sakatah Singing Hills Trail
This Sakatah Singing Hills Trail runs between Mankato and Faribault, through Elysian, which is the mid-point of the Sakatah Trail. Whether hiking, biking, skating or snowmobiling the 39 mile trail, you will find Elysian to be the perfect rest stop. In 1991, a group of 25 Elysian residents met to discuss the idea of hard-surfacing the Trail. Working in conjunction with the Minnesota DNR, the group lobbied local legislators to gain the necessary funding to have the entire trail black-topped in 1995. A convenient wayside rest was built on the trail in Elysian, reminiscent of an earlier train depot located there. For more information on the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail call 800-507-7787 or (507)267-4040. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/sakatah/index.html
Elysian's Tourism Center
Located on Hwy. 60 The Elysian Tourism Center, staffed by Elysian Area Chamber personnel and community volunteers is located adjacent to the Sakatah Trail and offers visitors helpful information about the area. The Tourism Center is a comfortable stop for fresh drinking water, restrooms and browsing through brochures.The Tourism Center is also the site of meetings for community groups and their events.
Okaman Elk Farm and Petting Zoo
The Okaman Elk Farm is located 1-1/2 miles east of Elysian and offers the visitor a chance to view a majestic herd of elk. The mid-1800's historic farm was once the site of a sorghum mill attracting people from the area to buy the sweet dark syrup. Okaman is more than elk. Over 1,000 visitors each year enjoy the free petting zoo featuring miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, alpacas, kittens and more. A playground is also on site.
Quality elk meat is available - federally inspected, packaged steaks, roasts, burger, sausages, jerky and stix, quarters, halves or whole elk packages. Okaman is now hosting the NEW Elysian Farmer's Market on Sundays from 10-4:00 p.m. They encourage visitors to call (507)267-4054 or evenings or weekends at (507)267-4716 to arrange a tour.
Tustin Park is a quiet, quaint little park, nestled in the trees on the edge of town. It offers a peaceful picnic area with a stainless steel grill and a few picnic tables. Sit and enjoy the sounds of the local wildlife and beautiful views of Lake Tustin or play a game of horseshoes if you desire.
Elysian City Park and Beach
A complete playground, volleyball court, ball field and picnic shelter provide a recreation spot on the south shore of Lake Francis. Ample parking and restrooms are available at this location only blocks from the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail and Elysian's Main Street shops and restaurants.
A popular tourist attraction is Klondike Hill. Located north of Elysian, Klondike is known as one of the first spots the Jesse James Gang camped in August of 1876. It is well known that they used the hill as a campsite and look-out post and utilized the railroad route to make their way to Northfield for the infamous bank robbery. Present-day Klondike Hill is an area set aside for hunting, hiking and enjoying nature. It is the highest point in three counties and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Other Area Attractions
4th of July Celebration
This special festival features one of the largest parades in Southern Minnesota. Other attractions include the Elysian turtle races, a vintage car show, kids fishing contest, flea market, street dance, concession stands and a fireworks display over Lake Francis. All make for summertime family fun and a wonderful way to celebrate our independence!
Elysian Rookie's Triathlon
Held annually on the Saturday after July 4th, this event attracts athletes from the Upper Midwest area to compete in swimming, biking and running. The test of endurance is to swim .4 mile, bike 8 miles, and then run a 4 mile course.
Lake Francis Ice Fishing Contest
Elysian extends a hearty winter welcome to ice fishermen, women and youth the 1st Sunday in February. Ice anglers are invited to compete for cash and merchandise prizes. All who enter are treated to Elysian's famous "Hunter's Stew"! This annual event is sponsored by the Elysian American Legion Post 311.
For more information, call the Elysian Tourism Center at (800) 507-7787 or (507) 267-4040.