• The Classic
    Minnesota Getaway:
    People have been vacationing in Minnesota's Lake Country for generations. Cruise the Lake Country Scenic Byway to see why.

The Lake Country Scenic Byway:

More than just another pretty drive

Minnesota’s Lake Country Scenic Byway reveals diverse history and culture in pristine natural settings.  You can connect with ways to plan a day, week or longer along the byway. If you’re looking to Minnesota’s Lake Country for a family retreat, find the perfect spot to stay at one of our many lodging establishments.

Find out why the area is so often called the Playground of the North. Lakes and rivers, public forests and parks, recreational trails, golf courses and more offer outdoor adventures.

Fall foliage colors along Lake Country Scenic Byway

Natural and cultural history has left a legacy in Lake Country. Visitors traveling the byway can visit local landmarks and learn the area’s unique stories.

Especially interesting in 2014 was the Christmas tree placed in Washington, DC from the Chippewa National Forest, located along the Lake Country Scenic Byway! In May, visitors from several states and Manitoba traveled to Park Rapids as the Lake Country Scenic Byway Association hosted the national conference of the Jefferson Highway.

Visitors will see remarkable changes in vegetation in a relatively short distance as you drive through prairie grasslands from the west to deciduous forests and coniferous forests as one travels east along the byway. Visitors driving the byway look for the Showy Lady’s Slippers in June along the south side of Hwy 34, prevalent from Height of Land Lake area to east of Snellman. Admire the stands of mature red and white pines as their boughs are laden with snow in the winter and their deep green spires jut among colorful hardwood leaf foliage in the fall. Take a break among the majestic pines at the wayside rest west of Osage.

The 88-mile Lake Country Scenic Byway achieved Minnesota state byway designation in 1999. The route includes a 67-mile stretch of Highway 34 from Detroit Lakes, through Park Rapids to Walker, with a 21-mile spur extending from Park Rapids to Itasca State Park along US Highway 71.