MN State Map

Historic U.S. Highways 75 & 14

Lake Benton is conveniently located in southwest Minnesota on the crossroads of the nation, U.S. #75 (International Highway King of Trails) and U.S. #14 (Laura Ingall’s Wilder Historic Highway). Highway #75 is historically known as the "King of Trails", prior to the time highways were numbered in the United States, and Highway 14 has its history dating back to the travels of the Ingalls era of the late 1800’s.


Laura Ingall's Wilder Historic Highway
In 1994 a segment of Highway #14, from Lake Benton to Mankato, was designated as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway. Signs designating this historic highway were placed at the entrance to each city along the route.

The towns along the designated segment formed a coalition for the purpose of promoting the highway and their individual communities. They each have identified specific sites that relate to the Ingalls era of the late 1800’s, as the family traveled along the route from Wisconsin to DeSmet, South Dakota, settling for a time at Walnut Grove, MN.


King of Trails
It was historically known as the "King of Trails", before highways were numbered in 1926. The signs, KT, marked the trail from Winnepeg, Manitoba to the Gulf of Mexico at Galveston, Texas. It was originally used by the Indians and early pioneers as a trade route. Although the present highway doesn’t follow the old KT exactly, large segments of the highway include the KT while the rest was constructed nearly parallel to it. Some remnants of the old KT roadway are still visible today along the railroad tracks south of Lake Benton.

An organization, "The International Historic Highway 75 King of Trails Coalition", was incorporated in 2000 for the purpose of cooperative marketing and promotion of the communities along the highway and its corridor.

Lake Benton is proud to be a part of this bit of history and visitors are encouraged to explore our community and discover all of the interesting sites we have to offer.