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Scenic Byways

The Highland Scenic Highway - great for motorycle touring, colorful fall  drives or just a nice easy cruise to see the awesome views.

The roads less traveled are roads to the heart and soul of America.  Regional byways and backways help connect us to our country’s beauty, history, and culture.

The National Scenic Byways Program, created to preserve and protect the nation's scenic byways, was established by Congress in 1991.

To receive a National Scenic Byways designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant and have one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road or highway must also be considered a “destination unto itself.”  The road must provide an exceptional traveling experience so travelers will make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip.

Highland Scenic Highway
Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful drives in all of West Virginia, the Highland Scenic Highway (Route 150) in Pocahontas County offers breathtaking vistas with glimpses of azure colored mountain ranges off in the distance. 

Over sixty-percent of the Highway is above 4,000 feet elevation, making it the highest major roadway in West Virginia and one of the highest in the East.  The Highway runs from the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center on Route 39/55 to U. S. 219, north of Marlinton at the summit of Elk Mountain. 

Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway
The Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway (Route 39) is a beautiful drive through five counties in Virginia and West Virginia.  The eastern boundary of this popular, scenic route is Lexington, Virginia in Rockbridge County.  Richwood and Summersville in Nicholas County, West Virginia are its most western points.  In between these two areas, you’ll discover Bath County, VA and Pocahontas County and Greenbrier County, WV.

The byway is appropriately named due to the many lakes, rivers, streams, and fresh-water springs that greet you along your journey.  You’ll see the beauty of nature and the quiet country living that defines the byway.  Majestic mountains and forests, historic treasures and natural wonders also line its path.

Staunton - Parkersburg Turnpike National Scenic Byway
This historic byway was one of the first major roadways over the Alleghenies into Virginia’s western mountains. Today, the 43-mile byway on Route 250 provides scenic mountain views of the Monongahela National Forest.

The Turnpike completed in 1856, was a vital link between the heart of Virginia and its western counties during the Civil War.  Today, the Turnpike offers spectacular scenery and several historical battle sites to commemorate the history of the Civil War.

Camp Allegheny Backway
This Backway connects Camp Bartow with Camp Allegheny by going east on County Road 3 over to Highway 250.  The width and condition of this road (CR 3) is much like the original Staunton - Parkersburg Turnpike. 

Back Mountain Byway
Though short compared to other byways, this route goes from Durbin across the West Fork of the Greenbrier River and then turns back south to Durbin.  Keep your eyes peeled on the river for fish and for wildlife in the woods.  

Williams River Scenic Backway
One of the region’s most exciting backway drives, this 24-mile stretch of County Road 86 from the Highland Scenic Highway to the little town of Cowen is full of adventure in the form of rocky roads, wildlife and one of the best known trout streams in the state, the Williams River.