Illinois River Road recognized during Scenic Byway Week

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

Oct. 6-13 has been designated as Illinois Scenic Byway Week.  The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism has designated Scenic Byway Week as a way to encourage public use of the state’s seven historic routes including the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway. 

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway director, Anaise Berry, says this designation is a great way to shed light on the byways and highlight the unique characteristics and contributions they provide our region.  “With the fall color change nearly upon us, this is the perfect time of year to explore our Scenic Byways.  All seven Byways provide glimpses into our state’s rich history, extensive natural resources and recreational opportunities, while taking travelers through many unique communities along the way.”  The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway will soon be launching its newly renovated website that will feature a section dedicated to small businesses and will highlight local growers and producers along the route.  Visit www.illinoisriverroad.org to explore more. 

The state of Illinois has upgraded its website to include a new interactive feature to help travelers plan their trips along the byway routes. Visitors can now plan their byway trips and explore what each scenic route holds through the new interactive website feature.  From quirky roadside attractions and photo opportunities to historical sites and natural wonders, the new website feature will help visitors discover the unique culture found along each of Illinois’ seven byways.  The seven scenic byways of Illinois are nationally recognized and are full of natural beauty and nostalgia.

The Illinois River Road was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, which recognizes roads having outstanding archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.  It stretches 291 miles alongside the Illinois River from Ottawa to Havana and is notable for its natural and historic qualities. The Byway covers ten counties including Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam, Marshall, Stark, Fulton, and Mason.  The Byway has six gateway communities including Ottawa, Princeton, Peoria, Pekin, Canton, and Havana. Learn more at www.illinoisriverroad.org. If you have questions or would like more information please contact Byway Director Anaise Berry at 495-5909 or aberry@edc.h-p.org.