The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway was fully designated in 1996 by Minnesota State Scenic Byway Commission.
The byway was nominated by many groups and individuals including:
- Western Minnesota Prairie Waters Tourism Coalition
- Minnesota River Valley Task Force
- Region 9 Development Commission
- Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission
- The affected counties, cities, townships, and state agencies along the byway.
Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway Alliance
The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway Alliance was formally organized as a Minnesota nonprofit corporation (according to Minnesota Statute Chapter 317A) in February 1997. The Alliance continues to meet monthly to “promote and develop the scenic byway along the Minnesota River.”