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Featuring North America’s Leading Travel Destinations

Great American Roads The Alaska Highway, U.S. 395 in California, Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway, The Natchez Trace, Parkersburg-Staunton Turnpike, Blue Ridge Parkway, Newport’s Famous Cliff Walk, and more!

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PREVIEW By Steve Kirchner, Editor & Publisher

It took World War II and 30,000 U.S. commemorated by the Natchez Trace Parkway, and the Army engineers and Canadian civilians Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. get it done, and the accomplishment Traveling further east, the Staunton-Parkersburg remains as one of the most unusual proj- Turnpike National Scenic Byway witnessed some of the ects ever undertaken. But the construc- great Civil War battles that determined the future of tion of a 1,500+ mile highway through western Virginia. But its history goes back much further. some of the most difficult terrain in The area once considered Virginia was much larger durNorth America is one of legend. ing the Colonial Period, extending west to include much The feat was construction of the Alaska Highway, a of the other current states of Kentucky, Indiana, and plan to defend the West Coast against attack by tieing the Illinois, as well as parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania before contiguous U.S. States with Alaska. the American Revolutionary War. This amazing story of that construction through one of The toll road was an engineering marvel, and opened the still unspoiled regions through Northern British up western Virginia to settlement and commerce. Columbia is detailed here. The Alaska Highway leads off The Blue Ridge Parkway in Viginia and North the annual Great American Roads issue of Byways. Carolina is a National Parkway and All-American Road From British Columbia and Alaska, we head south to noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles, mostly one of the most beautiful roadways in the country, U.S. along the Blue Ridge, part of the Appalachian Route 395 in California (and partially Nevada). Mountains. Its southern terminus is on the boundary Nowhere else can you view both the highest point in between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the the contiguous United Cherokee Indian States, Mount Whitney, Reservation in North Construction along the Alaska Highway. and the lowest point in Carolina, from which it North America, Death travels north to Valley. For more than 500 Shenandoah National miles, U.S. Route 395 travPark in Virginia and els from Southern offers access to the California to the Oregon Skyline Drive. border, with a brief foray What’s the most into Nevada to serve famous transcontinental Carson City and Reno. highway you have never Colorado’s Million heard of? Well, take a Dollar Highway, U.S. 550, look at our coverage of is primarily a two-lane Route 6 - yes, 6 - not 66, mountainous highway borand you’ll be in for a big dering beautiful countrysurprise. side. It is really the twelve miles south of Ouray through Also in this issue are the highlights to be found along the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Route 66 in Missouri’s Pulaski County, and Durbin, Pass which gains the highway its name. West Virginia’s historic railroads and history. It is challenging and potentially hazardous to drive, The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is one of characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of the most well known walking trails in North America. guardrails. It’s famous as a public access walk that combines the Traveling into the South, the Natchez Trace, an histor- natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the archiical path, extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez, tectural history of Newport’s gilded age, and in 3.5 Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the miles, you’ll marvel at 64 of Newport’s most famous Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. homes. The Natchez Trace dates back many centuries. As the What’s Happening continues our road theme by feaUnited States expanded westward in the late 1700s and turing the many facets of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country early 1800s, growing numbers of travelers tramped the Roads, an area linked together by culture and history. rough trail into a clearly marked path. Today, the trail is We hope you enjoy this issue of Byways. 4 • Byways

Watch or order our video. Email Dawn or call 845-463-5444. Click on sites below for group tour info.

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Byways Magazine yways is published bi-monthly by Byways, Inc. and distributed electronically throughout North America. Byways is emailed to more than 4000 tour operators and 13,000 travel agencies through the internet. Subscriptions are complimentary for internet viewing. An iPad App version is available for consumers in iTunes and Newsstand in the App Store. Follow this link for details on how to download the free App:

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Byways Magazine 42 Cabin Hill Lane Mount Jackson, VA 22842 Telephone 540-477-3202 Fax 540-477-3858 800-469-0062

Volume 29, Issue No. 5, 2012


On the cover. Hwy. 395 begins at Hesperia, off Interstate 15, and crosses the Mojave Desert. The view here is across the Mojave towards the northeast, with Sierra Nevada Mountains in background. The highway is used as an access for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, and the lowest point in North America, Death Valley. Photo by Dr. John A. Kirchner. For more on Great American Roads, see page 10.

Great American Roads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Alaska Highway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 U.S. Route 395 in California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Natchez Trace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Route 66 in Missouri’s Pulaski County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Durbin’s Historic Railroads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Blue Ridge Parkway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Cruising Route 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Newport, Rhode Island’s Famous Cliff Walk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48


Byways Instant Connect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Byways Preview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Advertisers Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Free Byways Subscription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

What’s Happening

Experience the Many Facets of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country Roads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Coming in future issues of Byways… North America’s Top Group Tour Destinations, Great American Railroads, The Southern Touch, Beautiful Gardens, and Western States.

New Tygart Flyer This ride on the Durbin & Greenbrier RR in West Virginia features two separate mountain grades, an “S” curve tunnel, passage into a 1,500 feet deep canyon with steep, densely forested slopes, and a high bridge over the rushing Shavers Fork of the Cheat River.

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The view is ever changing along the Alaska Highway. Here, mountains near Stone Mountain Provincial Park in Northern British Columbia. Photo by JF Bergeron, EnviroFoto.

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The Alaska Highway – The U.S. Army Meets the Canadian Wilderness

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A typical cause of a traffic jam on the Alaska Highway. Photo byJF Bergeron, EnviroFoto.


o avid RVers and history aficionados, the Alaska Highway is synonymous with grand adventure. Built as a U.S. war effort in less than nine months in 1942, the Alaska Highway winds through some of North America’s last unspoiled wilderness. Elk, moose, Stone’s Sheep, mountain goats, caribou, bears and bison are all common sights along the historic route, which runs from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the trigger that shot plans for the Alaska Highway (or Alcan Highway) into action. The route was already under consideration, but with the need to defend the exposed West Coast and connect Alaska to the contiguous U.S., President Roosevelt quickly approved plans and costs, and deployed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their lofty goal – to punch a 1,523-mile highway through some of North America’s untamed wilderness, and do it quickly! Despite the rough terrain and grueling conditions, the road builders accomplished their mission, and completed the road in just 8 months and 12 days. It began as a brutal nine-month build in 1942, backed by a crew of 30,000 U.S. Army engineers and 14 • Byways

Canadian civilians. Dubbed the Alcan Highway, a.k.a. the Alaska Highway, this 2,451-kilometre (1,523-mile) feat of innovative engineering carved its way through a rugged, unforgiving landscape. Dawson Creek marks “Mile 0” for the Alaska Highway; it also offers keen insight into the struggles faced daily by relentless construction crews. See firsthand how the highway’s creation 70 years ago changed the face of local Northern British Columbia communities

One of the almost-lost stories of the Alaska Highway is the signcant African American contribution. Of about 11,000 U.S. Army Engineers sent north to build the road, over 4,000 were African American. In May 2011, a formal celebration was held at the Sikanni Chief Bridge, which was hand built in less than 4 days by one regiment. Photo by Simon Ratcliffe

Construction of the Kiskatinaw Bridge. Photo courtesy South Peace Historical Society.

at Alaska Highway House, or pause for a picture (a rite of passage, if you will) during a  walking tour  that includes Mile 0 Post and Mile 0 Cairn, the latter marking the highway’s official starting point. Post shot, stow the camera and head north. Forget license plate bingo; spotting wildlife, including moose, buffalo, bears, caribou and Stone’s sheep, along the highway’s expanse promises to be far more entertaining. And when I Spy is played out, put it in park at the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum, a draw that features, fittingly, a transportation theme, with vintage cars and trucks, and Alaska Highway equipment and memorabilia.

For an additional pit stop, make tracks of the short-and-sweet variety along the Erosion Pillars Trail, 154 kilometres (96 miles) west of Fort Nelson, near Summit Lake. This one-kilometre (0.6-mile) jaunt will get the blood pumping, and reward your efforts with views of nearby Mt. St. George. More challenging, multi-day treks, including the Wokkpash ValleyMacDonald Creek Loop Trail’s twists and turns, promise a change of pace. Prefer to sit back and soak?  Liard River Hot Springs, the country’s second largest hot spring, further northwest, offers yearround bliss in a lush boreal forest setting. Today’s travelers may not be aware of the amazing history of the route as they

Mile 0, Dawson Creek, British Columbia

travel the fully paved road through prairie, mountain and forest, and take in the landscape and wildlife. However, at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek and at the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum, one can’t help but get drawn into the fascinating stories of the people who built the highway, and the people who live along it today. The Alaska Highway truly is a bucket list destination for all highway travelers! is the official travel website for the province of British Columbia. Byways • 15

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Muncho Lake along the Alaska Highway is part of Muncho Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The mirror smooth surface of the lake reflects everything around it. Photo courtesy Kelly Donaldson. Byways â&#x20AC;˘ 17

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U.S. Route 395

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U.S. Route 395 descending from the Sierra Nevada into Owens Valley and Bishop.

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.S. Route 395 traverses some of the most beautiful scenery in North America along its 557-mile route. The road begins at Interstate 15 near the southern city limits of Hesperia, and travels north to the Oregon state line in Modoc County near Goose Lake. The road slips into Nevada, serving the cities Carson City and Reno, before returning to California. The highway serves as a connection to the Los Angeles area for the communities of the Owens Valley, Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lake. The highway is used as an access for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, and the lowest point in North America, Death Valley. The corridor has been used since the California gold rush. From Hesperia at a partial interchange with Interstate 15, the road heads north. It enters into Adelanto, on the western edge of Victorville. Victorville was founded by the Santa Fe Railroad to take advantage of water along the Mojave River. From Victorville the scenery changes, as suburban neighborhoods disappear and the highway traverses the Mojave Desert. While crossing the desert, the route clips the northeastern corner of Edwards Air Force Base. US 395 crosses the Rand and El Paso Mountains, where the highway crosses the San Bernardino–Kern county line. U.S. 395 follows the valleys along the eastern edge of 22 • Byways

U.S. Route 395 over Deadman’s Summit in the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Lakes.

the Sierra Nevada mountains and gradually increases in altitude. The mountains reach their peak at over 14,000 feet near Lone Pine. After passing by three small lakes, Little Lake, North and South Haiwee Reservoirs, the highway enters the Owens Valley. Lone Pine is noted as an access for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, and the lowest point in North America, Death Valley. Both Mount Whitney and the mountains surrounding Death Valley are visible from U.S. 395. U.S.  395 traverses the entire length of the Owens Valley, entering the valley near the former site of Owens Lake. The valley, named for one of explorer John C. Fremont’s guides, was primarily home to Timbisha and Paiutes before European settlement. Formerly a fertile lake and valley, Owens Lake and the southern portion of the valley are now dry. Water from the valley is channeled for use by the City of Los Angeles, via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. At the north end of the valley sits Bishop, the largest city in the Owens Valley. Bishop serves as a gateway for the recreation areas of the Sierra Nevada, including Mammoth Mountain. U.S. 395 scales the Sierra Nevada on a ridge between the canyons of the Owens River and Rock Creek. Sherwin Summit, at 7,000 feet, is the first of five mountain passes crossed by U.S.  395 in the Sierra Nevada.

The road cuts across the Long Valley Caldera to serve the ski resort area of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain via SR 203. The highway crests the second summit, Deadman Summit, at 8,036 feet. This summit separates the Owens River watershed from that of Mono Lake, a salt lake with approximately three times the concentration of salt as the ocean. Just before arriving at Mono Lake, U.S. 395 has a brief concurrency with SR 120; the two routes separate at the southern end of Lee Vining. At this junction U.S. 395 is 12 miles from Tioga Pass, along SR 120, the highest paved route in California, and the eastern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Visible for miles, the highway finally passes Mono Lake, squeezed between the lake and the Sierra crest. The next geographic feature is Conway Summit. At 8,138 feet in altitude, this is the highest point along U.S. 395, and the highest point along a U.S. highway in California. The highway descends Conway Summit via the tributaries of the East Walker River, heading towards Bridgeport and Bridgeport Reservoir. Along the descent the highway passes by Bodie, a ghost town which the state park system has preserved, including items still on the shelves in the abandoned stores. The fourth summit crossed by U.S. 395 in California is Devil’s Gate Pass, elevation 7,519 feet, which separates the East and West Walker Rivers. The winding descent from Devil’s Gate follows the West Walker River, exiting near the towns of Walker and Coleville in the Antelope Valley, a few miles south of Topaz Lake which is on the California-Nevada State Line. Topaz Lake is where U.S.  395 leaves California, to serve the Reno and Carson City metropolitan areas. The highway runs for 87 miles in Nevada. While in Nevada,

U.S. Route 395 in California following the Walker River.

the highway crosses one more pass, Simee Dimeh Summit, before exiting the mountains. U.S. 395 returns to California as a freeway, but is soon downgraded to a divided highway just past the state line. The road follows Long Valley Creek along the edge of the sierra towards Honey Lake. The highway enters the state in a corner of Sierra County, entering Lassen County just 3 miles later. The highway proceeds towards and around the west side of Honey Lake while en route to Susanville. North of Susanville, the highway bends around Shaffer Mountain and crosses the Modoc Plateau. While en route, the highway serves the towns of Ravendale, Termo, and Madeline in Lassen County, as well as Likely in Modoc County. Here U.S.  395 parallels the South Fork of the Pit River until the confluence with the north fork in Alturas. Past the confluence, the highway follows North Fork Pit River across Modoc County toward Goose Lake. U.S. 395 travels in a north-northeast direction for some last 50 miles in California, paralleling the east shore of Goose Lake just before crossing the Oregon state line at New Pine Creek, Oregon. In Oregon, U.S. Route 395 traverses the desert and rural areas on the eastern side of the state. The largest cities that U.S. 395 passes through are Pendleton, the county seat of Umatilla County, and Hermiston. U.S. Route  395 (U.S.  395) is a major roadway in Washington, that includes a long overlap with Interstate 90 between Ritzville and Spokane. The southern piece, from I-82 near the Tri-Cities to I-90 near Ritzville, is a high-speed four-lane divided highway. From Spokane to the Canada – United States border at Laurier, U.S. 395 is mostly two lanes, with some wider sections near Spokane.

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The Million Dollar Highway between the Red Mountain Pass and Ouray.

Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway

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.S. Route 550 is a spur of U.S. Highway 50 that runs from Bernalillo, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado. The section from Silverton to Ouray is known as Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway. Most of U.S. 550 in Colorado is a two-lane mountainous highway. It is one of only two north–south U.S. highways in Colorado which runs west of the Continental Divide. Byways • 25

The Million Dollar Highway stretches for about 25 miles in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray. It is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Between Durango and Silverton, the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. This stretch through the gorge is challenging and potentially hazardous to drive; it is characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails. The ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for trafficâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;many cut directly into the sides of mountains. Travel north from Silverton to Ouray allows drivers to hug the inside of curves; travel south from Ouray to Silverton perches drivers on the vertiginous outside edge of the highway. Large RVs travel in both directions, which adds a degree of excitement (or danger) to people

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in cars. The road is kept open year-round. The snow season starts in October, and snow will often close the road in winter. Chains may be required to drive. North of Durango, the highway passes by Trimble Springs, hot springs that have been open for visitors since the late 19th century. The highway runs north along the Animas River, under the Hermosa Cliffs. It enters the San Juan National Forest and goes past Haviland Lake and Elektra Lake. Drivers pass by Engineer Mountain and Twilight Peak before crossing Coal Bank Pass. The Molas Pass offers a panoramic view of Molas Lake, the Animas River Gorge, and Snowdon Peak. Northbound travelers then pass through the town of Silverton, elevation 9,320 feet, surrounded by 13,000 foot peaks Sultan Mountain, Kendall Mountain, and Storm Peak. The highway leaves Silverton and proceeds up Mineral Creek Valley before ascending to Red Mountain Pass. The ruins of the Longfellow Mine are visible along the way. The highway then goes through a series of steep grades and hairpin turns before reaching Lookout Point, which offers a view of the town of Ouray.

Twilight Peak from the Million Dollar Highway.

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The Natchez Trace


Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi, courtesy Library of Congress and Carol M. Highsmith.

he Natchez Trace is an historical path that extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. The natural travel corridor that became the Natchez Trace dates back many centuries. It bisected the traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. As the United States expanded westward in the late 1700s and early 1800s, growing numbers of travelers tramped the rough trail into a clearly marked path. The ”sunken” sections you can walk along today are clear signs of historic use. In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson designated the Trace a national postal road for the delivery of mail between Nashville and Natchez. Gen. Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809), and Ulysses S. Grant are among the famous Americans to have traveled the Natchez Trace. Today, the trail is commemorated by the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the approximate path of the Trace, as well as the related Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. 28 • Byways

The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is the nation’s concrete arch bridge. It is in Williamson County, T above Highway TN 96 and 1,648 feet long. Cou

The Natchez Trace Parkway commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail. It is administered by the National Park Service. The Natchez Trace provides a near-continuous greenway from the southern Appalachian foothills of Tennessee to the bluffs of the lower Mississippi River. Along the way are sites like Emerald Mound, a national historic landmark and one of the largest American Indian mounds in the United States; and Mount Locust, one of only two surviving stands. Larger cities along the route, in addition to Natchez and Nashville, include Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, and Florence, Alabama. Even before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson wanted to connect the distant Mississippi frontier to other settled areas of the United States. To foster communication with what was then called the Southwest, he designated a postal road to be built between Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road, the southern branch of the road ended at Nashville, Tennessee, and the Mississippi River. To emphasize American sovereignty in the area, he decided

first segmentally constructed Tennessee. It is 155 feet high rtesy National Park Service.

to call it the Columbian Highway. Critical to the success of the Trace as a trade route was the development of inns and trading posts, referred to at the time as stands. Many early United States settlements in Mississippi and Tennessee developed along the Natchez Trace. Some of the most prominent were Washington, the old capital of Mississippi; “old Greenville,” where Andrew Jackson plied his occupation as a slave trader; and Port Gibson, among others. By 1816, the continued development of both Memphis, with its access to the Mississippi River, and Nashville, which with Jackson’s Military Road had a direct line to New Orleans, Louisiana, began

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The Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee. Courtesy

shifting trade both east and west away from the Trace. historic and scenic landscapes at a leisurely pace. With the rise of steamboat culture on the Mississippi, Contact: the Trace lost its importance as a national road, as goods could be moved more quickly and cheaply, in greater quantity, on the river. The development of the modern roadway was one of the many projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The road was the proposal of U.S. Congressman T. Jeff Busby of Mississippi, who proposed it as a way to give tribute to the original Natchez Trace. Inspired by the proposal, the Daughters of the American Revolution began planting markers and monuments along the Trace. In 1934, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration ordered a survey. President Roosevelt signed the legislation to create the parkway on May 18, 1938. Construction on the Parkway began in 1939, and the route was to be overseen by the National Park Service. Its length includes more than 45,000 acres and the towering Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Williamson County, Tennessee. The bridge was completed in 1994 and is one of only two post-tensioned, segmental concrete arch bridges in the world. There are numerous historical sites on the Parkway, including the Meriwether Lewis Museum, the refurbished Mount Locust stand, and the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland, Mississippi, which focuses on promoting Mississippi’s native art. Nestled between the Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Parkway and Old Port Gibson Road is the ghost town of Expedition, was governor of the Upper Rocky Springs that thrived in the late 19th century. Louisiana Territory when he died on the The history of the Parkway and that of the entire Trace Natchez Trace in 1809, at Grinder’s Stand in are summarized at the Natchez Trace Visitor Center in Tennessee.  A monument was erected in his Tupelo, Mississippi. honor in 1848 and can be seen today. Photo As a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, courtesy National Park Service. the parkway encourages modern travelers to experience 30 • Byways

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oute 66, the “Main Street of America,” was commissioned November 11, 1926. It rolled and weaved through eight states, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, a ribbon of pavement 2,400 miles long. The “Mother Road” raced through ten counties in Missouri, a 300 mile span. In Missouri, the road was often referred to as “Bloody 66”. Originally a graveled state road, 66 follows an ancient ridge that was trod by migrating mastodon. Indians traveled the trail in

Wayne, which was demolished after the war. The Old Courthouse Museum in downtown Waynesville is near the Old Stagecoach Stop. Three bridges cross the Big Piney River at Devil’s Elbow: the modern Interstate 44 bridge; the later U.S. Route 66 alignment on Highway Z that was made possible by the Hooker Cut through a steep hillside; and the original U.S. Route 66 align-

s ’ i r u o s s i M n i 6 6 e t u y t n Ro u o C i k s a l Pu

search of game. Before the Civil War, white settlers knew the route as the St. Louis to Springfield Road. Strategically important during the Civil War for moving men and material, it became a communication nerve center when a telegraph line was strung along its length. It was then locally known as the Wire Road until its designation as U.S. 66. Americans heeding the call of the open road spawned business enterprises along the road; handmade Ozark basket shops, tourist courts (the first motels), and the hillbilly store. The romance of the road and charm of the small towns the “main street” bisected can still be felt and seen in preserved sections of this internationally famous highway in Pulaski County. Get your kicks on our 66! Major attractions along U.S. Route 66 include the Old Stagecoach Stop in d o w n t o w n Waynesville, which is now a museum but began as a tavern and boarding house and is the oldest standing structure in the county. It was used as a Civil War hospital for Union troops who were garrisoned above the city in Fort 32 • Byways

ment on Teardrop Road that includes a historic bridge that’s in the process of renovation. The Elbow Inn is a biker bar that’s a frequent stop on the original U.S. Route 66 alignment. The U.S. Army’s Fort Leonard Wood is located in the Missouri Ozarks in Pulaski County. The main gate is located on the southern boundary of St. Robert. The post was created in December 1940 and named in honor of General Leonard Wood, former Chief of Staff, in January 1 9 4 1 . Originally intended to train infantry troops, in 1941 it became an engineer training post with the creation of the Engineer Replacement Training C e n t e r. During World War II Italian and German POWs were interned at the fort. In 1984, as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, most of the U.S. Army Engineer School’s operations were consolidated at Fort Leonard Wood.

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The StauntonParkersburg Turnpike

A fall drive along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike is an exciting journey through vibrant reds, bright oranges, and golden yellows. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Transportation


panning the width of the state of West Virginia, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike National Scenic Byway witnessed some of the great Civil War battles that determined the future of western Virginia. Begun in 1838, the turnpike followed ancient Indian paths from Staunton, Virginia to the Ohio River port at Parkersburg, (present-day) West Virginia. Engineered by Claudius Crozet through the mountainous terrain, it was a toll road partially funded by the Virginia Board of Public Works. Control of this road became crucial during the Civil War. This road, traveling over the high mountains near the birthplace of rivers, was an engineering marvel, and opened up large sections of western Virginia to settlement and commerce. In the 20th century, much of the road became U.S. Route 250. Also called the “Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike” in modern times, it includes the only covered bridge in the U.S. Primary Highway System, on the Tygart River at Philippi, West Virginia. The area which was once considered Virginia, was much larger during the Colonial Period, extending west to include much of the other current states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as parts of Ohio and 36 • Byways

Pennsylvania before the American Revolutionary War. Of the many people who helped build Virginia’s transportation infrastructure, the most important individual may have been French-born civil engineer Claudius Crozet (1789–1864). Crozet served in the military forces in France under Napoleon and emigrated to the United States with his wife. Also an educator, he helped found Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Crozet settled on a route that passed west of Staunton through the tiny village of Monterey, in Highland County. Virginia’s least-populated county, it is called “Virginia’s Switzerland,” in reference to the steep mountains and valleys. The route crossed into what is now Pocahontas County, West Virginia at Allegheny Mountain. Whether it’s the Union trenches alongside the Swecker House, or the beautiful covered bridge in Philippi, motorists will enjoy this glimpse into the Mountain State’s past. Any one of the sites along this roadway could easily be a day trip by themselves. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank is one of the largest radio telescopes in the world and is helping scientists discover things about our universe unimaginable even 20 years ago. To the north, visitors can ride one

of three trains offered by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. These three greatly different trains offer both unique sights and a chance to ride some railroading legends. For over 30 miles, the turnpike passes through the Monongahela National Forest, a beautiful expanse of trees and mountains. This gigantic protected forest is ideal for camping, sightseeing, hiking, biking, railroading, and spelunking. Further west, the North Bend Rail Trail stretches for 72 miles from Parkersburg to Wolf Summit. Once part of the CSX rail line, this rail-trail is now open to hiking, biking, and horseback riding. This is no ordinary trail; there are 10 tunnels and 36 bridges! At Blennerhassett Island State Historical Park outside Parkersburg, visitors can learn about the fascinating lives of Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett. Their palatial mansion burned to the ground in 1811, but over the years, the mansion has been restored to its original grandeur. At Beverly, the turnpike turned almost due west once again, crossing Rich Mountain and the site of the 1861 Battle of Rich Mountain. Continuing west, it passed through Buckhannon, Weston, Troy, and Burnt House. The final western stretch generally followed the route of the Little Kanawha River to reach its goal of Parkersburg on the western bank of the Ohio River. During the American Civil War, some of the earliest campaigns of the Civil War were fought for control of the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike, as well as the

Beverly Street in downtown Staunton, Virginia.

adjacent portion of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad . The Battle of Rich Mountain gave the Federals control of the turnpike, of the Tygarts Valley, and of all of the territory of western Virginia to the north and west, including the railroad. Union General George McClellan’s victory brought him promotion to command the Army of the Potomac. The Federals then fortified at Cheat Summit, and the Confederates established fortifications at Bartow and Allegheny. There they faced each other over the turnpike through the fall of 1861 and over the winter. General Robert E. Lee’s attempt to attack Cheat Summit Fort, and Federal attempts to attack Camp Bartow and Camp Allegheny, all failed to dislodge the enemy. The harsh winter conditions in the mountain climate convinced the leaders of both armies to move on, and they were soon involved in Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Mountain campaign. The region essentially remained under Union control for the remainder of the War. A portion of the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike was named a National Scenic Byway in 2005. The state and local communities have developed resources to assist travelers and tourist attractions to appeal to a wide range of interests. Today, in addition to many local amenities close by, there are no tolls on the turnpike.

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Durbin’s Historic Railroads

n its heyday, Durbin, West Virginia was a bustling town where people strolled the streets and patronized the many shops. Passenger and freight service on the line boomed, and agency stations and flag stops sprouted up all along the line.There were so many stops in the early days, the saying was “a train had to backup in order to have whistling distance for the next station.” By the 1920s, the logging boom was over, the mills were closing and passenger service on the line was reduced to a crawl. Freight service continued to thrive due to a 1923 agreement between the C&O and Western Maryland Railroad for the interchange of rail cars at Durbin. Traffic passing through Durbin was so steady at one time there were eight employees at the Durbin Depot. The line experienced another boom during World War II when gas rationing curtailed automobile travel. However, following the war passenger travel declined dramatically. Passenger service on the Greenbrier Branch was terminated on January 8, 1958. Freight service continued for almost 21 more years, and the last freight train rolled the rails on December 28, 1978. For the next quarter century the train whistles were

38 • Byways

quiet in Durbin. In 1996, the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad incorporated to bring back rail excursion service to Durbin. The new owners, John and Kathy Smith, avid rail devotees, began to make repairs on the line. The Durbin Rocket

Eventually, all was made ready and operations commenced. Today, rail fans both young and old flock to Durbin to ride the trains back into history.

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Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook. Scenic beauty along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Photo courtesy Bruce Henderson and Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. 40 • Byways

The Blue Ridge Parkway

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A spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the famous Roanoke Star.

eandering 469 miles from Shenandoah Park in Virginia and offers access to the Skyline Drive. The two All-American Byways are separate and disNational Park in the northern Shenandoah tinct. The Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect Valley of Virginia to the Great Smoky Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Mountains National Park. Ridge Parkway follows the Appalachian Mountains and The Parkway, while not a “National Park,” is the most boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful roads in visited unit of the National Park System. Land on either North America. The Blue Ridge Parkway experience is side of the road is owned and maintained by the National unlike any other, a slow paced and relaxing drive reveal- Park Service and, in many places, parkway land is boring stunning long range vistas and close-up views of the dered by United States Forest Service property. mountainsides and farm landscapes of the Appalachian highlands. The Parkway is free to travel, and open yearMabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. round except in times of inclement weather. A hundred species of trees, a variety of flowering shrubs and wildflowers as well 54 different mammals and 59 species of birds live along the Parkway - more than the entire European continent! The parkway travels along the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Its southern terminus is on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National 42 • Byways

Begun during the administration of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the project was originally called the Appalachian Scenic Highway. Work began on September 11, 1935, near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina; construction in Virginia began the following February. On June 30, 1936, Congress formally authorized the project as the Blue Ridge Parkway and placed it under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Some work was carried out by various New Deal public works agencies. Construction of the parkway took over 52 years to complete, the last stretch (near the Linn Cove Viaduct) laid around Grandfather Mountain and opening in 1987. The Blue Ridge Parkway tunnels were constructed through the rock â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one in Virginia and twenty-five in North Carolina. Sections of the parkway near the tunnels are often closed in winter. This is primarily because the North Carolina mountains are more rugged than those in Virginia. The highest point on the parkway (south of Waynesville, near Mount Pisgah in North Carolina) is 6053 feet above sea level on Richland Balsam Mountain at milepost 431, and is often closed from November to April due to inclement weather such as snow, fog, and even freezing fog from low clouds.

The view of the Blue Ridge from Sharp Top Mountain.

Mileposts along the parkway start at zero at the northeast end in Virginia and count to 469 at the southern end in North Carolina. The mileposts can be found on the west side of the road. Major towns and cities along the way include Waynesboro, Roanoke, and Galax in Virginia; and in North Carolina, Boone and Asheville, where it runs across the property of the Biltmore Estate. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located in Galax, and Mount Mitchell (at 6,684 feet the highest point in eastern North America) is only accessible via a state road from the parkway at milepost 355.4. The Blue Ridge Music Center is part of the Blue R i d g e Parkway system and is located at milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia. The center celebrates the history and performance of the old time

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The D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. Flags of all participating countries in the D-Day landing are displayed.

mountain music of Virginia and North Carolina, and most often showcases local artists, who celebrate this history. The Roanoke Valley, Capital of the Blue Ridge, allows you to experience all four spectacular seasons in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia located on Interstate 81 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Roanoke Valley is recognized for its railroad heritage, many festivals and historic farmers’ market area with nearby shopping, including hand-made crafts and Virginia specialty items. Railroad History and the Virginia Museum of Transportation – The Valley boasts its railroad heritage at the remodeled historic Norfolk & Western freight station housing the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The Museum is home to the largest collection of diesel and steam locomotives in the United States, including the Class J No. 611 and 1218 steam engines, with over 50 pieces of rolling stock in the Museum yard. Also on display are antique carriages, cars, trucks, buses and trolleys and more. O. Winston Link Museum - Through his stunningly artistic, often-surreal photography and audio recordings, the vision of internationally acclaimed photographer O. 44 • Byways

Winston Link comes to life! Discover the rich culture and heritage that surrounded America’s last major steam railroad, the Norfolk & Western Railway. Enjoy galleries of Link’s work, listening stations, and interactive displays. Historic Farmers’ Market and the Downtown Roanoke/Center in the Square – The Market is the oldest such market in continuous use in Virginia. In 1882 licenses were issued to 25 hucksters around the same time the city was chartered. Today, the Market includes unique shopping, produce, art galleries, country stores, and restaurants. Taubman Museum of Art – Opened in 2008, the museum features significant selections of American art, modern and contemporary art, design and decorative arts, folk and visionary art, works on paper, and features a changing array of both regional and national exhibitions. Tours, gallery talks, family days, special events, classes, and camps are part of the Art Museum’s regular programming. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Attractions – Additional attractions include Mill Mountain Zoo, Dixie Caverns, while regional sightsee-

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

ing includes Natural Bridge and Smith Mountain Lake. The Peaks of Otter - Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill - have dominated the view in this region of Virginia for centuries, first attracting the attention of Native Americans who saw the area as a rich hunting ground. Famous naturalists and such notable historic figures as Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee wrote about or visited the Peaks of Otter during their lives. The summits of Flat Top and Sharp Top offer a unique opportunity to enjoy spectacular scenic vistas and sun-

rises. Interpretative programs, wildlife exhibits, walking trails, self-guided wildflower walks, picnic areas, campground, restaurant and lodge are available in this developed area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shuttle bus service close to the summit of Sharp Top is available. Located near Bedford, the Parkway is just a short ride to the World War II D-Day Memorial, a must see on your journey. Why was the D-Day Memorial built here? Because the town of Bedford, whose population was then just over 3,300, sustained the largest number of D-Day casualties per capital - 18 - than any other community in the United States. Not far away is Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest estate, another must see in the area. Although not as well known as Monticello, this Jefferson designed home served as Jefferson’s private residence following his two terms as President. A stop at the Bedford Visitor Center, one of the most unique and helpful anywhere, will set the stage for your visit to Bedford. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a catalyst for travel and tourism in the region through which it passes, fostering a shared regional identity, and providing a major contribution the the region’s economic vitality. To learn more about the Blue Ridge Parkway, visit

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Cruising Route 6


The 3,652 Mile Transcontinental Highway You’ve Never Heard Of!

Historic Route 6 begins and ends in flamboyant, artsy, alerie Yolen-Cohen has just released the first mile-by-mile guide to the longest contiguous touristy, entertainment-rich oceanside towns. Provincetown, MA on the Atlantic Ocean draws playU.S. Highway, Route 6. “Stay On Route 6, Your Guide to All 3,652 Miles of wrights, activists of all stripes and tons of tourists every Transcontinental Route 6” is jam-packed with advice on the best attractions, shops, restaurants and lodgings through fourteen U.S. states. U.S. Route 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, has been virtually ignored (and often confused with Route 66) until now. Cruising the mostly two-lane U.S. Route 6, road-trip enthusiasts and historians will discover the real America; from the Technicolor gardens and forests in the East to the sepia tones of the Western desert through some of the friendliest cities and towns in the country’s midsection. Most are not tourist destinations; but for road-trippers, that’s part of the joy of discovery. And in many of these locales, inhabitants welcome strangers with open arms, introducing travelers to the places where they themselves eat and shop.

46 • Byways

summer. Long Beach, CA on the Pacific Ocean, an outer-borough of Los Angeles, is rich in glitz of a similar sort. What’s in between (in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada) is a virtual timeline of American history. Revolutionary War sites in New England give way to pioneer homes in the plains and prairies of Iowa and Nebraska, and eventually to the stark silver and gold mining camps in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Route 6 travels through two towns called Brooklyn, and neither are in New York. It touches two oceans, runs along the shore of one Great Lake (Erie), crosses most of the country’s major

rivers, traverses five state capitals, climbs, exhilaratingly, up and over the Continental Divide, meanders through land both barren and lush, and rewards drivers, bikers, RVer's and even walkers with Route 6 begins in the best that Provincetown, MA America has to on its way to Long offer. Beach, CA . Discover long ignored U.S. Route 6 through the Stay On Route 6 Website or through Stay On Route 6 or In addition, you can contact nonprofit Route 6 Tour Association director, Russel Lombard through the Route6tour website.

About the Author With credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Newsday, Sierra, Paddler, and dozens of other publications, freelance

travel writer Malerie YolenCohen has been writing about the most exciting and unique places to see, stay and eat in the USA for over 20 years. Byways • 47

s ’ d n a l s I e d o h R , t r o p w k e l a N W f f i l C s u o m a F

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The Cliff Walk in Newport. Photo courtesy Preservation Society of Newport County and Rhode Island Tourism Division.


The Breakers in Newport. Photo Courtesy The Preservation Society of Newport County.

And here you will find the Cliff Walk, one of the most hirty miles south of Providence, Rhode Island lies Newport, the fabled resort city of America’s Cup famous walking trails in North America. yacht racing and magnificent Gilded Age mansions. At the turn of the 20th century, one needed a blueblood pedigree and millions in the bank to be invited inside the palatial Bellevue Avenue dwellings owned by America’s elite. Today, nearly one dozen of these remarkable “summer cottages” are open to the public for touring, and Newport has opened wide its gates to welcome all who desire a leisurely, fun-filled and enriching vacation. You’ll access Newport via two bridges, traverse the brilliant blue of Narragansett Bay to arrive in legendary Newport, whose stunning coastline, glittering harbor and charming Colonial seaport have lured the world’s Mansions are decorated for Christmas in Newport. wealthiest people for more than 150 Photo courtesy Rhode Island Tourism Division. years. Byways • 49

The Cliff  Walk along the eastern shore of Newport is world famous as a public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport’s gilded age. Wildflowers, birds, and geology all add to this delightful walk. The Cliff Walk is a mostly paved pathway that winds behind the Newport mansions for a 3.5 mile distance. It runs behind 64 Newport homes, and the ocean, so the walk is a beautiful combination of nature and astonishing architectural structures. Some of the homes are from the late 19th century, while some are less than 50 years old. In 1975 the walk was designated as a National Recreation Trail, the 65th in the nation and first in New England. About two-thirds of the walk is in easy walking condition. What makes Cliff Walk unique is that it is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District. The walk is one of the top attractions in Newport and is taken by people of all ages. The walk starts at the western end of Easton’s or First Beach at Memorial Blvd. and runs south with major exits at Narragansett Ave., Webster St., Sheppard Ave., Ruggles Ave., Marine Ave., 50 • Byways

Interior of Rosecliff. Photo courtesy Preservation Society of Newport County and Rhode Island Tourism Division.

Marble House on the Cliff Walk. Photo courtesy The Preservation Society of Newport County.

Exterior of Rosecliff. Photo courtesy The Preservation Society of Newport County.

Ledge Rd., and ends at Bellevue Ave. at the east end of Bailey’s Beach, locally referred to as Rejects Beach. There are benches situated sporadically along the Cliff Walk, so if you need to rest, or just want to sit and enjoy the scenery, in the warm sunshine, you are able to do so. Walkers, hikers, families with children, and pet owners with their leashed dogs can all be seen enjoying the Cliff Walk. This is the home of fabled Gilded Age mansions, world-class yachting, renowned music and film festivals, fine dining, spirited nightlife and shopping galore. Newport is home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, where the greatest players in the history of the sport are enshrined. You are invited to tour and view High Society’s summer playground, encompassing more than 250 years of social and architectural history in the city that was America’s First Resort.

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An Amish buggy in Lancaster County. Photo courtesy /Terry Ross 

Experience the Many Facets of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country Roads


Variety of Offerings Linked Together by Quality, Culture, and History

he south central area of Pennsylvania known as Dutch Country Roads is a region woven together by many strands, from its hearty cuisine to its artistic culture to its rich history. Yet this deep-rooted tapestry encompasses a refreshing mix of old and new, where the traditional ways of the Amish and heady scent of fresh-mown hay meet the thrilling sensation of a roller coaster and rhythmic sounds of symphonies and factory tours. Delighting in this combination of the comfortable and the contemporary, it’s no wonder that travelers have made Dutch Country Roads the leading tourist region in the state, one that they enjoy returning to again and again. Bounded by Chambersburg in the west and Reading in the east, visitors discover the essence of this land and the diversity of its offerings along roads that lead to towns and cities like Hershey, Carlisle, Gettysburg, Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg – a region that has played a vibrant role in America’s story, and continues to do so today. 52 • Byways

Guests can find out alot about who we are and what we do – and have a good time doing it – at many of our annual and periodic festivals and events, such as the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, which is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the U.S. The same can be said for the Kutztown Folk Festival celebrating Pennsylvania Dutch and early American folk life, as well as Chambersburg’s IceFest every January. We bring folks side-by-side with the past at numerous history and heritage attractions as well, from the sacred ground of Gettysburg National Military Park to a captiDukes-Bar-and-Grille along the Susquehanna River. Photo courtesy Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

vating ride through the Lebanon Union Canal Tunnel. Visitors can learn about U.S. involvement in various wars through the life-sized exhibits along the Army Heritage Trail in Carlisle, or explore our nation’s early Revolutionary period in York’s Colonial Complex. All this activity is sure to build up an appetite. Fortunately, Dutch Country Roads is home to a delicious culinary tradition, full of signature

year-round recreation offered at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg. The nine counties comprising the Dutch Country Roads region – Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York – offer

g n i n e p p a H s ’ t a Wh

dishes, as well as flavorful experiences like the Gettysburg Fruit & Wine Trail and the farmers markets that are dotted throughout Lebanon County and the rest of the region. Adding to this shared bounty is an inherent creativity that’s bursting with top-notch shows, eye-catching artistry, and pitch-perfect music in places like the Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs and the city galleries and Amish craftsmanship of Lancaster County. If it’s family fun you want, just head in any direction and you’re sure to be rewarded in Dutch Country Roads, from the exciting rides and dazzling entertainment of Hersheypark to the Harley-Davidson plant and other fascinating factory tours in York County. Or head for varied activities in the great outdoors, like the exhilarating speed of the Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton and the

Sachs Covered Bridge. Photo courtesy Gettysburg CVB.

visitors an inviting mix of urban chic and rural beauty, as well as a convenient central location for your Pennsylvania getaway. For more information, visit

Union Reenactment in Gettysburg. Photo courtesy GettysburgCVB/Paul Witt.

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Byways is published bi-monthly by Byways, Inc. and distributed electronically throughout North America. Byways is emailed to more than 4000 tour operators and 13,000 travel agencies through the internet. Subscriptions are complimentary. An iPad version is available for consumers in iTunes and Newsstand in the App Store. Byways’ distribution includes motorcoach companies, tour operators, travel agents, bank travel managers, school band and athletic planners, and meeting planners. For advertising rates, editorial deadlines, or to place advertising insertions, contact: Byways Magazine, 42 Cabin Hill Lane, Mount Jackson, VA 22842. Telephone 540-477-3202. Fax 540-477-3858. Toll-free 800-469-0062. ©Copyright 2012 by Byways, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be duplicated in any form without express written permission of the publisher. Editor and Publisher Stephen M. Kirchner

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