The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) revealed 49 new designations to America’s Byways collection, including 15 All-American Roads (AAR) and 34 National Scenic Byways (NSB) in 28 states. This is the first update since 2009.
The program started in 1991 as an effort for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to celebrate unique qualities of routes, whether based on archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities.
“Scenic roads have always been popular with travelers, and support a wide array of businesses too,” FHWA’s executive director Tom Everett said in a release. “Whether hotels, eateries, or gas stations, Scenic Byways and All-American Roads support the nation’s small business community and are economic drivers for entire regions.”
Of the new additions, New Jersey saw four byways added to the national list and 15 as All-American Roads. Tennessee accounted for five, and Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin had three each.
NSB – National Scenic Byway
AAR – All-American Road
Yellow – All-American Roads
Blue – National Scenic Byways
Map: Scenic America
NSB – Zion Scenic Byway
The byway parallels the Virgin River, and it cuts through towns including Hurricane, Rockville, and Springdale. People also follow the byway to Grand Canyon or Bruce Canyon. Travel time is 1.5 hours.
NSB – Highway of Legends
Photo by Anna Zoromski, Weaver Multimedia Group
Visitors can take the byway through to the San Isabel National Forest, and you can listen to the stories and legends from the history of the area Native Americans, the Spanish Conquistadors, the pioneers, and others who settled in the region. Travel time is 2 hours.
NSB – Scenic Highway 30A
Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A is a two-lane road that wraps around the beach in Walton County, Florida. The view comes with white sand beaches, 25,000 acres of protected state forest, and gorgeous waters. Other highlights of the area include Grayton Beach State Park and Deer Lake State Park.
NSB – Boom or Bust Byway
Photo: Boom or Bust Byway
This highway is defined by the Louisiana/Texas border, and has four parishes (territories historically under pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of the parish priest): Caddo, Bossier, Webster, and Clairborne. The name is based on the economic wins and hits that Northwest Louisiana experienced.
NSB – The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway
Photo: Visit Indiana
The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway travels through three scenic loops in Eastern Indiana.
Duration: 1 to 3 days
Destinations to check out: Whitewater Canal Byway Association, Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Duck Creek Aqueduct, Whitewater Memorial State Park, Liberty Depot and Museum, among others.
AAR – Newfound Gap Road Byway
Newfound Gap Road Byway was promoted from a NSB to an AAR in 2021.
NSB – Cascade Loop
Photo: Cascade Loop
The Cascade Loop in Washington State offers mountain scenery, alpine lakes, and the best of mother nature in the Pacific Northwest.
AAR – Historic Route 66 Missouri
Called the “Mother Road,” the US 66 in Missouri crosses the state and leads to bordering Kansas and Oklahoma. Route 66 comes with old-school diners, neon signs, iconic motels, and vintage gas stations, among other sights. While the official route no longer exists, there’s still a large bulk of it that can be accessed.
AAR – Great River Road National Scenic Byway
Photo by by.ott
Previously recognized as a NSB, the Wisconsin Great River Road is now an AAR in 2021. It reportedly takes 36 hours straight to travel from north to south along the byway, with most people taking four to 10 days to complete.
In response to the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) news, Anne Sayers from Wisconsin Tourism said, “As more travelers hit the road this year, we look forward to this well-deserved national recognition inspiring road-trippers from near and far to take in Wisconsin’s natural beauty and stretch their legs at the many restaurants, shops, and recreation areas along the way.”
NSB – The Pine Barrens Scenic Byway
This route stretches 130 miles in the Pinelands National Reserve, and the byway rolls through five counties and 16 municipalities. As the New Jersey Herald notes, “the byway goes through the reserve’s 1.1 million acres of forests, farms, rivers, streams, and towns.” More info the attractions can be found here.
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Scenic America, Forbes, Route 66, New Jersey Herald, La Crosse Tribune