About Scenic Byways

National Scenic Byways Program

The Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byways Program promotes the recognition and enjoyment of America's memorable roads.

The National Scenic Byways (NSB) Program was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, and reauthorized in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Reauthorization is currently pending in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 96 such designated Byways in 48 states. The Federal Highway Administration promotes the collection as the America's Byways™.

This program is founded upon the strength of the leaders for individual Byways. It is a voluntary, grassroots program. It recognizes and supports outstanding roads. It provides resources to help manage the intrinsic qualities within the broader Byway corridor to be treasured and shared. Perhaps one of the underlying principles for the program has been articulated best by the Byway leader who said, "the program is about recognition, not regulation."

Funding for Byways

The National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grants program provides funding for byway-related projects each year, as part of the Federal Highway Administrations Discretionary Grants Program. Projects to support and enhance National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads and State-designated byways are eligible. Applications are prepared online but submitted through the State's byway program agency.

Becoming an America's Byway

America's Byways™ are a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories and treasured places. They are roads to the heart and soul of America.

Joining this unique collection is a non-trivial task which involves much more than simply taking a few photos and filling out the online application. It can take months to prepare a byway and its organization for this process. Travelers can know that Byways that have successfully negotiated the program requirements will offer a truly exceptional experience.

Citizens and byway supporters considering submitting their byway for national recognition should explore the documents available on the online nomination system. Questions such as "What is designation all about?", "Why become an America's Byway?" and "How do I nominate my byway?" are answered there.

For more information, go to www.byways.org