Minnesota adds Mille Lacs as its 22nd Scenic Byway

The Scenic Byways Commission designated Lake Mille Lacs as the state’s newest scenic byway this week. The designation will open up opportunities for increased tourism and promote the region’s unique character, reports AitkinAge.

The 68-mile long Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway is the 22nd in Minnesota’s 2,948 miles of regionally outstanding scenic, natural, recreational, cultural, historic and archaeologically significant road trips.

Work on the designation began about two years ago when the East Central Regional Development Commission and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission led a grassroots effort to gain support. The two commissions studied the route possibilities, inventoried the prominent features and held public meetings in communities, including tribal communities, to gather input.

The commission is made up of the Minnesota departments of transportation and natural resources, the Minnesota Historical Society and Explore Minnesota.

All roadways except one on the scenic byway are MnDOT-maintained roads. The byway loops around Lake Mille Lacs and includes Hwys. 169, 27, 18 and 47. Shakopee Lake Road, which is a county-owned road, is also part of the loop.

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