Rice River, Minnesota

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.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Mississippi byways provide access to the state’s most spectacular public lands, including one national park, 66 state parks, two national monuments, two national rivers, one national scenic trail, and 58 state forests.

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.