Discover the Fun Along Old Highway 61!

…That is the message representatives from nine chambers of commerce and 15 cities in three counties are encouraging others to help send.

red_hwy61U.S. Highway 61, also known as the “Blues Highway” was one of the original highways constructed within the U.S. highway system. Built in 1926, the 1,400-mile roadway extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada until 1990 when it was retired from north of Wyoming, Minn., to near Duluth as its alignment was concurrent with I-35. Through three counties–Chisago, Pine and Carlton–the highway was decommissioned (no Historic or “Old” U.S. Highway 61). In 2012, at the suggestion of a Chisago County commissioner, “Old Hwy 61” signs were purchased to place along the corridor in those three counties. This acknowledgement of the importance of Old Hwy 61 gained momentum when a coalition formed to raise awareness and highlight the value of Old Hwy 61 to increase tourism and promote local economies through a collaborative, consistent message.

“The mission of the Old Highway 61 Coalition is to promote and preserve Old Highway 61 within Carlton, Pine and Chisago counties.”

The mission will be accomplished by:

  • Enhancing economic development through historic, recreational and commercial opportunities
  • Developing regional marketing and branding to enhance tourism
  • Providing effective collaboration while maintaining the individual identity of each community