The Lake Mille Lacs 68-mile Scenic Byway is the state’s 22nd byway. The byway loops around Lake Mille Lacs and includes highways 169, 27, 18 and 47. Shakopee Lake Road, which is a county-owned road, is also part of the loop. It's just 30 minutes from Brainerd and 90 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The scenic route includes many opportunities to learn about Minnesota’s natural beauty, rich history, culture and recreational opportunities. A partial list of the route’s attractions include: birding and wildlife viewing, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Vineland, several historic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp sites from the 1930s and 1940s, the nations smallest national wildlife refuge and two State Parks.
The Lake Mille Lacs area and it's Byway offers something for everyone in the family. Whether you're making a trip to Onamia, Isle, Wahkon, Malmo or Garrison to see the huge walleyes or the fall colors, picnicking in the two State Parks, hiking or biking the multi-use trails, cross-country skiing or just relaxing in a cozy resort, it's a trip worth taking!
Byway Side TripsDriving the Byway is a great trip but it’s even better to spend some extra time exploring the communities, forests and parks that are located along or just a short distance off the trail. Take your exploration from a couple hours to a full day!
Stop in one or all of our quaint Cities along the Byway. Isle, Wahkon, Onamia, Garrison and Malmo where you’ll find unique shops, dining and lodging opportunities, community festivals throughout the year and more.
The Mille Lacs area is fortunate to have 2 State Parks – Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and Father Hennepin State Park which are both situated along the Byway. Climb the Observation Tower at Kathio, put your toes in the sand at the Father Hennepin State Park beach, hike, bike, camp and enjoy the great outdoors in both locations.
The entire byway is a scenic opportunity but wake up to a spectacular sunrise at the Garrison Concourse located on Highway 169 right in the City of Garrison.Don’t miss a captivating sunset from the Scenic Overlook on the east side of the lake a few miles north of the City of Isle on Highway 47.
These are just 2 of the areas to take in the views and both are mesmerizing and addictive and we know you’ll want more!
- 68 miles
- The byway loops around Lake Mille Lacs and includes highways 169, 27, 18 and 47.