Illinois Scenic Byway Week

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Published on October 4 2012 1:57 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Department ofCommerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism announced the 2012 Illinois Scenic Byway Week will take place October 6 – 13.

Illinois Scenic Byway Week encourages the public to experience one of the state’s seven historic routes.

The National Road Association of Illinois (U.S. Route 40) is one of those seven byways. The National Road rose from dust and prairie grass to become the blueprint for an ocean-to-ocean highway also known as U.S. Route 40. Regardless of how travelers identified it, its place in history remained constant: It was the road that built a nation. For more historical information on the National Road Association of Illinois, please visit www.NationalRoad.org or call 888-268-0042.

During this byway week, we encourage you to travel the 164 miles of the National Road in Illinois. The highway will take you from the border of Indiana to the Mississippi River and back again. Along the way, you’ll pass through seven counties: Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Bond, Madison, and St. Clair. In each county, you’ll find communities that offer shops, restaurants, parks, museums, and people who make you feel like their hometown is your hometown.

Around the turns and along the miles, you’ll always know you’re on the right road because red, white, and blue shields will be there to guide you. Visitors can also check out a new interactive website at EnjoyIllinois.com, where individuals can plan their trips through the road.

The National Road Association of Illinois offers several quirky, unique, and/or historical buildings. As part of the Illinois Scenic Byway Week, the National Road created a new brochure, “Art & Architecture.” Through this guide, you will explore the art and architectural treasures located in communities along the National Road.

The sites for this self-guided tour were selected by a committee of local scholars and historians in an effort to highlight the past. Some of these treasures include: Harlen Hall in Marshall, Race Horse Shoe in Martinsville, World’s Largest Wind Chimes in Casey, National Road Covered Bridge in Greenup, Cross at the Crossroads and Effingham County Courthouse in Effingham, Dr. Charles M. Wright House in Altamont, Old State House in Vandalia, and Cahokia Mounds and Brooks World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville.

For more information on the “Art & Architecture” brochure, please contact the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-772-0750 or National Road Association of Illinois in Vandalia at 888-268-0042. Feel free to stop by either location to pick up a free copy of the brochure.