The Scenic Byways program is a cooperative effort between local communities and WisDOT to identify and promote state highway corridors with scenic and/or historical attributes that provide travelers an enjoyable visual, educational and recreational experience.
1999 Wisconsin Act 9 directed the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to develop and administer a state scenic byways program.
Currently, there are five state designated scenic byways:
The Scenic Byways program is similar but separate from WisDOT’s Rustic Roads program. Typically, Rustic Roads are lightly-traveled town or county roads that offer bikers, hikers and other travelers a leisurely opportunity to see native terrain and wildlife in a rural setting.
In contrast, a scenic byway is a numbered state highway system route (other than interstate highways), at least 30 miles long, that offers travelers numerous scenic and/or historical attributes whose promotion can serve to boost a region’s attractiveness as a tourist destination.