Travel | April 19, 2021 7:00 am

Take Your Next Road Trip on a Newly Announced National Scenic Byway

The routes are spread all over the country

Mohawk Trail
A scenic view on a scenic byway.
Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways Marketing Committee

For the first time since 2009, there’s a group of newly designated National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads for drivers to take in. The Federal Highway Administration announced 34 of the former and 15 of the latter earlier in 2021; if you’ve been thinking of taking a road trip, you may have found your ideal inspiration.

Andrea Sachs at The Washington Post has written an excellent overview of what the newly-named byways are all about and what you might get from the experience. They include arts and cultural destinations on the Mohawk Trail in western Massachusetts, going from Minnesota to Louisiana on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway and traveling through the Pinelands National Reserve (and perhaps re-enacting your favorite Sopranos episode) on the Pine Barrens Byway.

What led to these designations? “To be considered for the designation, the route must satisfy a few prerequisites,” Sachs wrote. “It must be a state scenic byway, possess regional importance and exhibit one (Scenic National Byway) or two (All-American Road) of six ‘intrinsic qualities.’” Those qualities are, as she phrased it, “cultural, natural, historical, recreational, archaeological and scenic.”

Some of the newly-designated byways offer travelers stunning vistas of national parks, or seeing sites that were important to the Hopewell people on the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway. These newly-designated spaces offer trips that can be accomplished in the span of a day or a weekend along with those that might involve longer journeys. If you’ve been looking for a reason to go on a road trip, this might just do the trick.