If you haven’t seen a scenic byway, the time is coming when you’ll be urged to do so.Annual Scenic Byways Week is coming up, Oct. 6-13. Illinois has four scenic byways and three national history routes that will be showcased during the week.
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The Great River Road, 550 miles along the Mississippi River between Cairo and Galena
The Illinois River Road, between Havana and Ottawa
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway, a 33-mile stretch between Hartford and Grafton, where the Missouri and Illinois rivers join the Mississippi
The Ohio River Scenic Byway, 188 miles along the Ohio River
National Historic Routes:
The National Road, now U.S. 40, which runs 164 miles between Marshall and East St. Louis. This route was commissioned in 1806, and it opened the area to settlement.
Lincoln Highway, 179 miles between Ford Heights and Fulton. This was the first trans-continental highways built for the automobile, dedicated in 1913. It is U.S. 30 across much of the nation. In Illinois, it’s U.S. 30 from the Indiana border to Aurora, then Illinois 31 to Geneva, Illinois 38 to Dixon, Illinois 2 to Sterling, and then U.S. 30 to Fulton, and Illinois 136 to the Mississippi River.
Historic Route 66, 436 miles between East St. Louis and Chicago. This is no longer an official state highway, but “Historic Route 66” is marked with brown signs.
Scenic Byway Week is being promoted by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.