About Minnesota's rest areas
Statewide Rest Area Program
MnDOT's Safety Rest Area Program provides motorists in Minnesota with a coordinated system of rest areas and waysides. It helps motorists travel safer, smarter and more efficiently. Read more about the program.
Types of rest areas
MnDOT designates its rest areas into four classes: Class I through Class IV. The traffic volume and type of highway served by the facility determines the class designation and the amount and type of services provided. Read more about rest area types.
Rest areas are essential safety features on the highway system that help address driver fatigue, a major cause of serious accidents. Their basic service is crash prevention. Studies reveal that a 15 to 20 minute break improves individual performance, even among sleep-deprived people. Read more about crash prevention and safety research.
MnDOT rest areas do not offer dumpstation services. See list of Minnesota dumpstations.
Rules and policies
Certain MnDOT policies ensure that rest areas remain focused on their primary purposes: motorist safety, convenience and increased tourism to Minnesota. Read more about our rules and policies.
Geocaching at rest areas
Geocaching is a new recreational activity that brings technology and nature together. Similar to treasure hunting, it's initiated by an individual hiding a cache, normally in a waterproof container with small items inside. The location is recorded with a Global Positioning Unit and the individual then posts the GPS coordinates along with a description of the cache on the geocaching website. Other individuals then try to find the cache. When it is located, participants sign a logbook, then take or leave a small item. They also post their find on the online logbook. Read more about geocaching at rest areas.
Other rest areas in the midwest
MnDOT conducts market research studies to improve an understanding of safety rest area users, non-users and the services they desire. Read more about rest area research.
MnDOT has a significant history of developing and improving rest areas through partnerships with public and private partners. Read more about our partnerships.
MnDOT's Rest Areas ListServ is a valuable tool for sharing rest area information between federal, state and provincial government staff. Read more about our ListServ.