Best Scenic Drives in Minnesota

This list represents the most popular scenic drives in Minnesota. Use this list to plan your next Minnesota scenic drives trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 St. Croix River Valley: Hastings - Stillwater - Taylors Falls

    0 Reviews

    Stillwater, MN

    A National Scenic Riverway, the lower St. Croix River winds along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, hemmed in by wooded bluffs and rocky escarpments. This drive rambles along the alternately wild ...
    •  60 miles
    •  Guide

    A National Scenic Riverway, the lower St. Croix River winds along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, hemmed in by wooded bluffs ...

  • #2 Lake Minnetonka Loop

    1 Reviews

    Wayzata, MN

    Lake Minnetonka, the largest lake in the Twin Cities, is beloved of wealthy residents, boaters, and nature lovers alike. A 40-mile circle tour of Minnetonka’s beauty spots and historic towns, ...
    •  40 miles
    •  Guide

    Lake Minnetonka, the largest lake in the Twin Cities, is beloved of wealthy residents, boaters, and nature lovers alike. ...

  • #3 North Shore: US Highway 61 from Duluth to the Canadian Border

    1 Reviews

    Two Harbors, MN

    Hugging the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior for 150 miles, U.S. Highway 61 serves up some of the most spectacular scenery in the country—richly wooded hills, rock-bound bays and inlets, and ...
    •  150 miles
    •  Guide

    Hugging the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior for 150 miles, U.S. Highway 61 serves up some of the most spectacular scenery ...

  • #4 Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway

    1 Reviews

    Northome, MN

    A 39-mile paved highway through extensive forests of red pine; past northern lakes, broad grassy meadows and wetlands, and several historic Indian sites. The Avenue of Pines scenic byway travels ...
    •  39 miles
    •  Guide

    A 39-mile paved highway through extensive forests of red pine; past northern lakes, broad grassy meadows and wetlands, and ...

  • #5 The Echo Trail: Ely to Orr via St. Louis County Road 116

    0 Reviews

    Crane Lake, MN

    A 72-mile roller coaster ride on asphalt and gravel through the untrammeled wilderness of the Superior National Forest and Kabetogama State Forest. Numerous trailheads and canoe portages along ...
    •  72 miles
    •  Guide

    A 72-mile roller coaster ride on asphalt and gravel through the untrammeled wilderness of the Superior National Forest and ...

  • #6 Up at the Lake: Brainerd - Nisswa - Cross Lake - Crosby

    1 Reviews

    Crosby, MN

    An 85-mile circle route from Brainerd into the popular, rolling lake country of central Minnesota. The drive, mostly on quiet county roads, includes a loop around prestigious Gull Lake, stops ...
    •  85 miles
    •  Guide

    An 85-mile circle route from Brainerd into the popular, rolling lake country of central Minnesota. The drive, mostly on quiet ...

  • #7 The Sawbill Trail: Tofte to Grand Marais through the Laurentian Highlands

    0 Reviews

    Tofte, MN

    General description: Rising rapidly from the Lake Superior shore into the Laurentian Highlands, this 56-mile circuit arcs through a rugged landscape of forests, lakes, wetlands, and streams, ...
    •  56 miles
    •  Guide

    General description: Rising rapidly from the Lake Superior shore into the Laurentian Highlands, this 56-mile circuit arcs ...

  • #8 North Shore Drive

    1 Reviews

    Schroeder, MN

    A 58-mile route between the shores of Lake Superior and the rocky inland hills. Lake Superior provides an ever-changing variety of moods to travelers on the North Shore Drive. Pounding storms ...
    •  58 miles
    •  Guide

    A 58-mile route between the shores of Lake Superior and the rocky inland hills. Lake Superior provides an ever-changing variety ...

  • #9 Root River Valley: La Crescent to Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park on MN16

    0 Reviews

    Rushford, MN

    This 70-mile excursion down a river gorge in the bluff country of southeast Minnesota winds past cornfields and dairy pastures and through picturesque, historic towns hewn from native limestone. ...
    •  70 miles
    •  Guide

    This 70-mile excursion down a river gorge in the bluff country of southeast Minnesota winds past cornfields and dairy pastures ...

  • #10 Amish Country: St Charles - Harmony - La Crescent

    0 Reviews

    Spring Grove, MN

    A 77-mile ramble through the wooded hills and intimate hollows of southeast Minnesota’s “bluff country.” Crossing the great rift valley of the Root River at Lanesboro, the drive passes through ...
    •  77 miles
    •  Guide

    A 77-mile ramble through the wooded hills and intimate hollows of southeast Minnesota’s “bluff country.” Crossing the great ...

  • #11 Great River Road: Red Wing to La Crescent via US Highway 61

    0 Reviews

    Wabasha, MN

    Squeezed between the Mississippi River and towering, forested bluffs, the Great River Road passes through handsome nineteenth century river towns, sleepy villages, and natural areas rich in wildlife. ...
    •  107 miles
    •  Guide

    Squeezed between the Mississippi River and towering, forested bluffs, the Great River Road passes through handsome nineteenth ...

  • #12 The Grand Round: Minneapolis to St. Paul via Chain of Lakes & Minnehaha Parkway

    0 Reviews

    Minneapolis, MN

    A 20-mile promenade of parklands and historic neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The route traces the shores of four lakes and the wooded banks of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi ...
    •  20 miles
    •  Guide

    A 20-mile promenade of parklands and historic neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The route traces the shores of four ...

  • #13 Minnesota River Run: Chaska to Mankato along the lower Minnesota River Valley

    0 Reviews

    Le Sueur, MN

    A 70-mile roller coaster ride shadowing the Minnesota River from Chaska to Mankato. Lightly traveled county roads repeatedly scale and descend the river’s heavily wooded bluffs, passing through ...
    •  70 miles
    •  Guide

    A 70-mile roller coaster ride shadowing the Minnesota River from Chaska to Mankato. Lightly traveled county roads repeatedly ...

  • #14 Scenic Highway

    0 Reviews

    Blackduck, MN

    A 28-mile paved route through country rich in wetlands, forests, farms, and lakes. Scenic Highway provides a pleasant route between agricultural lands and forests. The two-lane paved route has ...
    •  28 miles
    •  Guide

    A 28-mile paved route through country rich in wetlands, forests, farms, and lakes. Scenic Highway provides a pleasant route ...

  • #15 The Sioux Trail: The Minnesota River from New Ulm to Lac Qui Parle

    0 Reviews

    Granite Falls, MN

    A 120-mile trek along the broad, lush valley of the Minnesota from New Ulm to Laq Qui Parle, a rest stop for hundreds of thousands of geese, mallard ducks, and other waterfowl in the spring and ...
    •  120 miles
    •  Guide

    A 120-mile trek along the broad, lush valley of the Minnesota from New Ulm to Laq Qui Parle, a rest stop for hundreds of ...

  • #16 Headwaters Lake: Park Rapids - Itasca State Park - Bemidji - Walker

    0 Reviews

    Bemidji, MN

    A 130-mile circuit between Park Rapids and Walker, traversing quintessential Paul Bunyan country—rolling expanses of aspen, birch, spruce, and pine dotted with myriad lakes, including gigantic ...
    •  130 miles
    •  Guide

    A 130-mile circuit between Park Rapids and Walker, traversing quintessential Paul Bunyan country—rolling expanses of aspen, ...

  • #17 The Iron Trail: Hibbing - Virginia - Biwabik - Ely

    0 Reviews

    Virginia, MN

    Manmade lakes and hills that are slowly being reclaimed by nature give way to ancient, forested highlands on this 110-mile route through the Mesabi and Vermilion Iron Ranges. A detour off the ...
    •  110 miles
    •  Guide

    Manmade lakes and hills that are slowly being reclaimed by nature give way to ancient, forested highlands on this 110-mile ...

  • #18 Up on the Border: Rainy River from Voyageurs National Park to Lake of the Woods

    0 Reviews

    Baudette, MN

    Water is omnipresent on this two-part drive along Minnesota’s wild, sparsely populated border with Canada. Choose either a quick trip to island-studded Voyageurs National Park, or a 100-mile ...
    •  100 miles
    •  Guide

    Water is omnipresent on this two-part drive along Minnesota’s wild, sparsely populated border with Canada. Choose either ...

  • #19 Otter Tail Loop: Alexandria - Pelican Rapids - Fergus Falls

    0 Reviews

    Battle Lake, MN

    A 150-mile, zig-zagging tour of lake-studded farmland, woods, and prairie between Alexandria and Fergus Falls. The route, part of which follows a state scenic byway, scales the modest heights ...
    •  150 miles
    •  Guide

    A 150-mile, zig-zagging tour of lake-studded farmland, woods, and prairie between Alexandria and Fergus Falls. The route, ...

  • #20 Minnesota Highway 1: Ely to Crystal Bay

    0 Reviews

    Isabella, MN

    Bisecting the rugged, heavily forested Arrowhead region, Minnesota Highway 1 runs for 68 miles between the North Woods outpost of Ely and Crystal Bay on Lake Superior. Trails and public lake ...
    •  68 miles
    •  Guide

    Bisecting the rugged, heavily forested Arrowhead region, Minnesota Highway 1 runs for 68 miles between the North Woods outpost ...