Find great adventure on a driving tour that takes you to lakes and rivers, and  down scenic fun to drive roads. Jump in the pool, grab a slice of pie, then at the end of the trip, sip a brew and listen to live music.

YOU WON’T NEED SNOWSHOES for this route, unless you go in the dead of winter. Then, we make no guarantees. This route resides in the extreme northwest portion of the state—ergo its name—and nearly kisses the Missouri-Iowa border at its northernmost point.

Start in Maryville, the seat of Nodaway County and home of Northwest Missouri State University. You’re going to end here, too, so we’ll tell you about all the hot spots in a bit. From Maryville, head north on Route 148. It’s a fairly straight ride through the Missouri prairie. You might find yourself channeling the spirits of the American Indians who once rode horseback through this land.

Photos Courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism and Maryville.

At Hopkins, turn east on Route 246. It’ll cut sharply south before turning back east just before Sheridan.

If you enjoy a road with more turns, you’re about to get your wish. At Grant City, take a minute to cool your toes in Worth County Community Lake, just a few miles outside of Grant City off Route W. Or stay in Grant City and dive into the Grant City Pool, open Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Take Route 46 east out of Grant City to Allendale, where you’ll connect to Route C south. Just when you start thinking this is the straightest road you’ve ever been on, it’ll throw you a couple of sharp turns that take you to the banks of East Fork Grand River. Follow Route C into Albany and sit down for a slice of pie at Poppa’s Family Restaurant. Take Highway 136 west out of Albany to the town of Stanberry. Highway 136 turns west on West Fourth Street and twists north and west to the town of Conception, where it turns back to the north. At Ravenwood, the highway turns west, over the Platte River and into Maryville.

Grab a brew and listen to some live music at The Pub. Or enjoy American cuisine with a French twist at William Coy’s Farm to Table Restaurant.

1. The Pub, Maryville
2. William Coy’s Farm to Table Restaurant, Maryville
3. Worth County Community Lake, Worth County
4. Grant City Pool, Grant City
5. Poppa’s Family Restaurant, Albany

Article originally published in Missouri Life’s Scenic Rides and Drive Guide 2023.