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Each two-page document includes information about the state’s scenic byways program, in addition to a listitng and map of all state and national scenic byways within its borders.
Minnesota’s Scenic Byways
Minnesota established the Minnesota Scenic Byways Commission in 1992 as a collaboration between the Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Department of Tourism. The main goal of the program’s enactment was to increase economic growth via tourism in communities through which byways run.
- Minnesota is home to 22 scenic byways, including two All-American Roads, six national scenic byways, and 16 state scenic byways.
- Visitors directly spent $15.3 billion in 2019, supporting over 270,000 jobs and paying $5.8 billion in wages.
- National parks generated $86.6 million in total economic output in gateway communities in 2019, supporting 875 jobs and $26.6 million in labor income.
- A University of Minnesota study found that the Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway annually generates nearly $22 million in visitor spending.
State Scenic Byways
About the National Scenic Byways Program
The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991, recognizes historic, scenic, and culturally important roads, all of which promote economic development and tourism in communities around the U.S. There are more than 1,200 byways in all 50 states.
All scenic byways exhibit one or more of six core intrinsic qualities — scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, or natural. For a road to be named a national scenic byway, it must first be designated a state, tribal, or federal agency scenic byway. Once achieving that, a road may apply for national scenic byway designation, but its intrinsic quality must be of regional significance. All-American Roads are the very best of the national scenic byways, demonstrating at least two intrinsic qualities of national significance.