Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Cultural Resources


historical artifact

Historic Roads

Minnesota is home to over 200 Trunk Highways and a handful of those are historic, or considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Minnesota Department of Transportation Cultural Resources Unit, along with consultants, have surveyed a majority of the state’s Trunk Highway system for historical significance.

Historic Trunk Highway Map (circa 1919)
historic trunk highway map

The History of Minnesota's Trunk Highways

The Trunk Highway system in Minnesota represents a crucial part of the state's engineering and transportation history. As a state on the forefront of construction and innovation, Minnesota’s Trunk Highways help us recognize that innovation. Not only do our roads get us from place to place, they can tell us many things about our past as we travel over them.

MnDOT developed this historical chronology of Minnesota’s Historic Trunk Highway’s to share the history of the development of the trunk highway system and those significant segments of the State’s road system.

Click here to follow the history of Minnesota's transportation development.

Screen of cascade story map of Minnesota's Historic Trunk Highways


Eligible Trunk Highway Story Map Tour

This story map tour provides a mapped chronology of the development of the state's most significant historical trunk highway locations and highlights some of the highways that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historical Places.

Click here to tour the most significant historical trunk highways in Minnesota.

Screen of map journal tour application showcasing Minnesota's Historic Trunk Highways

This compilation of data is related to our research into Historic Bridges and Historic Roadside Properties.