Byways strengthen Wisconsin tourism along Mississippi River and Great Lakes
Release date: February 16, 2021
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) today celebrated cooperative efforts along three of the state’s major waterfronts that won Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designations for their national importance as tourism destinations.
The FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program declared the Wisconsin Great River Road (previously recognized as a National Scenic Byway) an All-American Road. Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Byway and Door County’s Coastal Byway both gained National Scenic Byway designations. The routes are selected based upon the archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities they offer.
“It is a well-deserved honor for these three routes to gain National Scenic Byways titles, which help guide travelers from around the world,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “I want to thank all those who worked on these designations and welcome anyone to enjoy the spectacular beauty and recreation these routes offer in Wisconsin.”
“Wisconsin is filled with unexpected memories waiting to be discovered at every turn and these three scenic routes show off some of the best of what Wisconsin has to offer,” said Acting Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Anne Sayers. “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.”
The designated routes are:
Wisconsin Great River Road (All American Road) – covers 250 miles in Wisconsin and passes through 33 river towns along WIS 35. It had been Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway and was often called “The best drive in the Midwest.” The route connects to 10 other state routes as it follows the Mississippi River from its headwaters to its mouth.
Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Scenic Byway (National Scenic Byway) – follows 70 miles of WIS 13 along the southern shore of Lake Superior along the Bayfield Peninsula through quaint harbor towns and historic fishing villages, near dozens of orchards and fruit farms, along miles of sand beach and the home of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Densely forested lands provide a spectacular backdrop to the year ‘round recreational opportunities that abound with hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, snowmobile, ATV and cross-county ski trails.
Door County’s Coastal Byway (National Scenic Byway) – stretches over 66 miles along WIS 57 and 42 from Sturgeon Bay to the tip of the peninsula and back. The route offers scenic vistas of Lake Michigan, the Niagara Escarpment bluffs, dense forests, agricultural lands and quaint shore-side towns and villages.
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Established in 1991 and reauthorized and expanded significantly in 1998, the program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States.
For more information, contact:
WisDOT Office of Public Affairs