The Yellowstone Trail  of Minnesota (us!) is a portion of this historic trail.  Our loosely organized alliance meets regularly and has recently grown to include all of Minnesota thanks to a partnership grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.  We are always looking for new alliance members from any location along the trail.  

The Yellowstone Trail was  the first transcontinental automobile highway in the United States through the northern tier of states from Washington through Massachusetts.

The Yellowstone Trail  Association  was formed in October 1912 and was active until  1930.  The creation of the Yellowstone Trail was a grassroots effort, not a governmental effort…

For complete the history of the trail, see

Our section of the trail:  The Yellowstone Trail Alliance of Western Minnesota (YTAWMN) , changed in 2021 to The Yellowstone Trail  of Minnesota. 

Our Mission:  To promote destination corridors comprised of  Minnesota communities along the Yellowstone Trail through the celebration, revitalization, and development of arts, culture, historic, and recreation assets.

Who is YTMN?  YTMN is made up of volunteers from along the Yellowstone Trail.  The initial YTMN involved a corridor of communities running from Granite Falls to Buffalo Lake.  The group has been meeting monthly since January of 2018 and expanded its membership from Granite Falls to Ortonville while also working with an emerging YT Alliance of Eastern Minnesota. In 2021 the entire state was included from Ortonville to Stillwater.  

Fulfilling the legacy of local legend Michael J. Dowling
A former resident of Granite Falls, Renville, and Olivia, Michael J. Dowling is perhaps the premier champion of the Yellowstone Trail in Minnesota.  Dowling was the first YTA President (from 1917-1919) following founder Joseph Paarmley of Ipswich, S.D.  Dowling declared to association members that one day the Yellowstone Trail would one day bring a “golden stream” of tourists to all communities along its route.  Established 100 years after Dowling was elected national YTA President, YTAMN was formed to realize Dowling’s legacy in full and bring it into the modern era. 

The Yellowstone Trail in MN
The Yellowstone Trail runs coast to coast.  In Minnesota, it follows Highway 212 & 7.  In 1959, Senator Leo Lauerman, R. of Olivia successfully led the passage of legislation officially declaring Highway 212 in Minnesota the Yellowstone Trail.

The following articles are from the archives of local newspapers about Michael Dowling while running for governor and his obituary – the photograph shows the uncovering of the old Yellowstone Trail route in Buffalo Lake – 


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