US 40 Featured During Upcoming Illinois Scenic Byway Week

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Published on September 26 2013 3:29 pm
Last Updated on September 26 2013 3:29 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism have announced the 2013 Illinois Scenic Byway Week will take place October 5 – 12.

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 blue print 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, organizers encourage you to travel the 164 miles of the National Road in Illinois. They are offering a “National Road Art & Architecture Traveling Tour” that will bring travelers on consecutive tours either East to West or West to East. The East to West tour starts at Harlan Hall in Marshall, then travels to Martinsville Agricultural Fairgrounds in Martinsville before heading to Casey Country Club. Travelers can then make a stop at the Genealogical and Historical Museum in Greenup before ending the day at the Effingham County Courthouse Museum in Effingham. The West to East tour starts off at Collinsville History Museum in Collinsville, then moves over to Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville; travelers can then make a stop at Mersinger Pioneer Cabin in Troy, then head to Kaeser Park in Highland, followed by Hoiles-Davis Museum in Greenville before ending the day at the National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia.

Each site will give a tour and explanation of the community, along with other activities. A marked map will be given to each driver indicating where to find some interesting sites in the area. The map will also lead the driver to the next community.

While on the Art & Architecture Traveling Tour, you may want to stop at additional sites along the way like Casey’s “World’s Largest Wind Chimes, Golf Tee, Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook,” Greenup’s Covered Bridge designed by Thomas Jefferson, Collinsville’s “World’s Largest Catsup Bottle,” and Illinois’ oldest Capital building in Vandalia.

Around the turns and along the miles, you’ll always know you’re on the right road because signs with 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.

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.