New Byways And Roads To Explore On Your Next RV Trip
Start your engines! There are even more national wonders to discover on your next RV trip! This past February 2021, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced 49 new designations to America’s Byways collection. These include 15 All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways across 28 states. (Lists of new designations included at the end of the article.)
“We’re proud to have supported legislation that led to the announcement of 49 new Scenic Byways and All-American Roads, the first additions since 2009,” said RV Industry Association Senior Manager of Government Affairs Samantha Rocci. “RVing is about many things—freedom, flexibility, exploration— but it all comes back to the majesty of the open road. The revitalization of this program ensures that millions of RVers will continue to be able to experience the magic of roads like Historic Route 66, Skyline Drive, and the Blue Ridge Parkway for years to come.”
What’s the story behind the National Scenic Byway Program?
The National Scenic Byway Program started in 1991 and is administered by the FHWA of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The initiative recognizes U.S. roads that have unique features not found anywhere else in the country. For this reason, they often attract tourists and, in turn, help with the area’s economic development. As part of the program, these routes are protected and enhanced.
Congress stopped funding for the program in 2012. With the actions of groups like RVIA and Scenic America, the America’s Scenic Byways Act was signed into law in September 2019. The FHWA’s announcement of 49 additional roadway designations is the result of the act. The increase in the number of America’s Byways has brought this prestigious list to 184 byways spanning 48 states (all except Hawaii and Texas).
How are National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads chosen?
Under the umbrella of America’s Byways, the USDOT discerns roads based on six qualities: archaeological, scenic, natural, cultural, recreational, and historic. National Scenic Byways must meet at least one of these qualities. All-American Roads must meet two or more of the criteria.
Why should your next RV trip include one of these roadways?
“Through their many unique qualities, each of these new additions to the National Scenic Byways program helps America’s roads tell our national story,” FHWA Executive Director Tom Everett said. “These special routes offer travelers exciting new opportunities to explore the nation, from coast to coast or close to home.”
In the following news bite by CBS Sunday Morning, reporter Conor Knighton takes viewers on a virtual road trip across several scenic byways, stretching from Oregon to Louisiana.
He reminds all of us travelers to stop and smell the roses. “It’s easy to get caught up in getting to where you want to go, while missing all the beauty and intrigue you pass along your journey.”
2021 All American Roads and National Scenic Byway Designations
All-American Roads (AAR)
|Arkansas||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Florida||A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway|
|Iowa||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Illinois||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Kentucky||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Louisiana||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Massachusetts||The Battle Road Scenic Byway|
|Minnesota||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Missouri||Historic Route 66 Missouri|
|North Carolina||Newfound Gap Road Byway|
|Tennessee||Newfound Gap Road Byway|
|Tennessee||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Wisconsin||Great River Road National Scenic Byway|
|Wyoming||Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway|
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
National Scenic Byways (NSB)
|California||California Historic Route 66 Needles to Barstow Scenic Byway|
|Colorado||Scenic Highway of Legends|
|Colorado||Silver Thread Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway|
|Delaware||Delaware Bayshore Byway|
|Florida||River of Lakes Heritage Corridor|
|Florida||Scenic Highway 30A|
|Iowa||Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway|
|Indiana||Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway|
|Kentucky||Old Frankfort Pike Historic and Scenic Byway|
|Louisiana||Boom or Bust Byway|
|Louisiana||Bayou Teche Scenic Byway|
|Massachusetts||Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway|
|Massachusetts||Old King’s Highway (Route 6A)|
|Maine||Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway|
|Maine||St. John Valley Cultural Byway/Fish River Scenic Byway|
|Maine||Bold Coast Scenic Byway|
|Nebraska||Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway|
|Nebraska||Lincoln Highway Scenic and Historic Byway|
|New Jersey||Western Highlands Scenic Byway|
|New Jersey||Bayshore Heritage Byway|
|New Jersey||Palisades Scenic Byway|
|New Jersey||Pine Barrens Byway|
|New Mexico||Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway – New Mexico|
|New York||Palisades Scenic Byway|
|Ohio||Hocking Hills Scenic Byway|
|Pennsylvania||Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway|
|Rhode Island||Revolutionary Heritage Byway|
|Tennessee||Sequatchie Valley Scenic Byway|
|Tennessee||Cumberland Historic Byway|
|Utah||Zion Scenic Byway|
|Wisconsin||Door County Coastal Byway|
|Wisconsin||Wisconsin Lake Superior Scenic Byway|
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Use RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan your American byway adventure
Don’t let the scenery pass you by. Use RV LIFE Trip Wizard with the accompanying RV LIFE app to plan your next road trip. The online planning tool makes mapping your route a breeze with RV-friendly directions and tons of campgrounds and other stops to choose from along the way.