The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway is a linked series of park areas in Minneapolis, Minnesota that takes a roughly circular path through the city. The corridors include roads for automobile traffic plus paths for pedestrians and bicycles, and extend slightly into neighboring cities. About 50 miles (80 km) of roadway is in the system, and much of it was built in the 1930s as part of Civilian Conservation Corps projects. There are seven districts along the byway:
The area was designated as a Minnesota State Scenic Byway in 1997 and a National Scenic Byway in 1998. The Grand Rounds are considered to be the most significant example of an urban byway, as most such areas run through rural regions. Portions are also part of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River.
Fortuitously, the city bought up all the land immediately adjoining its lakes during its formative period, turning them into public parks rather than allowing them to be privately developed. Because of this, Minneapolis' lakes are open to all.
Heavy vehicles such as semi-trailer trucks and buses are largely banned from the byway, and the speed limit is 25 miles per hour throughout. Thanks to the low speed limit, motorcycle riders enjoy riding through the parkway system. Much of the asphalt paving along the road has a reddish tone so that drivers can more easily determine where to go upon reaching intersections.
Route map: Google