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WARM OR COLD FOR WINTER – BEST SCENIC DRIVES ALONG BYWAYS ACROSS AMERICA

In both warm and cold climates, December brings Santa sightings, parades, carolers, tree lightings, firework displays, Christmas crafts, and special events at boutiques and wineries. The magic of the season is perfect for making memories in a Small Town along a Scenic Byway!

California Historic Route 66 Needles to Barstow National Scenic Byway (CA)

The gateway town to California Route 66 is Needles, where the average WINTER high temperature is 73 degrees. Among the many historical sites is the restored El Garces Harvey House, the “Queen Jewel” of the Fred Harvey chain. Brightly painted murals, old gas stations, motels and the Needles Regional History Museum greet the traveler. Visit the Bureau of Land Management Needles Field Office for information and maps for outdoor adventures.

Heading north, visit Camp Ibis, with vestiges of the Desert Training Center established in 1942 to prepare US troops to enter World War II.

Nearby is the town of Goffs with its beautifully restored 1914 schoolhouse and outdoor museum.

The next 150+ miles of Route 66 are virtually undeveloped desert. Check for road conditions at the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Works because portions of the road are closed due to bridge damage from heavy rains.

Midway along the route is the town of Amboy, with much to see including the iconic “Roy’s Café with its neon sign, gas station, small motel cottages. Winter is the perfect time to hike nearby Amboy Crater, a National Natural Landmark.

Route 66 continues as the National Trails Highway to the popular Ludlow Café. Newberry

Springs is the next town, home of the famous Bagdad Café, popularized in the movie of the same name with a cult-like following among international visitors.

The town of Daggett once prospered because of its proximity to the Calico Mines. Several historic buildings remain.

The western gateway town for the byway is Barstow. The town has always been an important transportation hub dating back to Native American trade routes and the Santa Fe Trail.

Barstow highlights its history through a series of murals along Main Street/Route 66. The restored Fred Harvey Casa del Desierto houses the popular Route 66 Mother Road Museum and the Western America Railroad Museum. The Mojave River Valley Museum is nearby.

Points of interest

Old Trails Bridge at the Colorado River

Bureau of Land Management Needles Field Office

Needles Regional Museum & El Garces Harvey House

Wagon Wheel Restaurant

Goffs Cultural Center & 1914 Schoolhouse Museum

Desert Training Center

Road Runner’s Retreat

Amboy Crater National Historic Landmark

Ludlow Café

Bagdad Café

Daggett Historical Society

Casa del Desierto Harvey House  

Route 66 Mother Road Museum

Western America Railroad Museum   

NASA Goldstone Visitor Center  

Desert Discovery Center

Bureau of Land Management Barstow Field Office

 

 

Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway (MN)

Map

Get to know Paul Bunyan and his namesake National Scenic Byway. Spend a day or two exploring the lore along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway!

This 54-mile route, is brimming with year-round recreational opportunities. Located entirely on county roads in northern Crow Wing County and poking into the southeast side of Cass County, it’s much more than just a beautiful drive. 14 interpretive panel kiosks dot the byway route offering a little truth and a little lore about the history of the area, as seen through the wink and wit of Paul Bunyan.

Resorts, restaurants, golf courses, shopping, local events, and four-season fun abound in and around the Byway communities of Breezy Point, Crosslake, Jenkins, Pine River, Manhattan Beach and Pequot Lakes. The route passes through eight townships as well. Keep your eyes sharp for the seven sets of Paul Bunyan’s giant footprints. Here’s a hint: look in Barclay Township, Ideal Township, Breezy Point, Pequot Lakes, Pine River, Jenkins and Crosslake. Can you find them all?

Walk, stroll, hike, or run on the route’s wide paved shoulders, in the many walking trails, and through the parks along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway. Enjoy scenic trails for nature walks and photography. Those footprints of Paul Bunyan’s can be elusive seen from a distance in several of the Byway parks. The Veterans Walking Trail on County Road 16 features nearly 1.5 miles of forested trail boasting a Wetlands Walk, an island trail and resting bench, a footbridge over a navigable creek, trailhead kiosk and easy parking.

Several public accesses and three public beaches provide easy room to park and head out on the water. Ask for a Tour Map and Tour Guide Brochure from any local Chamber of Commerce offices or contact us.

During the winter, the Byway community welcomes silent sporters like – bird watchers, hikers, skiers and even those out for a peaceful walk. And since ‘ole Babe has a soft spot in his heart for the tingles of exhilaration he gets when he thunders along the lakes on his BIG blue ‘Babesled’… well, we welcome snowmobilers too. Keep an ear out for his bellerin’ through the channels. Watch for Paul Bunyan himself at upcoming community events, festivals, and parades. Visit the Paul Bunyan Exhibit Room at Crosslake’s Corps of Engineers Campground. While you’re there, grab a copy of the popular Birds of the Byway brochure and find the best locations along the route for viewing everything from ospreys to hawks.

Winter Recreation on Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway (ME)

Map

The Rangeley Lakes Region is a Winter Paradise! Especially for those who enjoy playing in the snow! Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered in Rangeley Village. Free skates and the opportunity to skate on a local pond await you every day!

Ride Rangeley with the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, which maintains hundreds of miles of perfectly groomed trails. Our region’s conservation lands have ensured that your favorite ride will be there for your grandchildren. Our neighbors are also generous by allowing trail access across their private lands. Join us in January for Snodeo; an entire weekend all about snowmobiling.

Saddleback Maine is our local alpine skiing heaven and offers the region’s finest piste and off-piste skiing. Get on the snow, take a tune-up lesson, and make some memories! It’s a family vibe. When you’re here, you’re family.

Rangeley Lakes Trails Center is nestled below Saddleback Mountain and along the shore of Saddleback Lake. RLTC offers 35 miles of recreational trails for Nordic skiing, fat biking, and snowshoeing. Have a dog? Bring them along for the adventure!

Points of Interest

Ski Saddleback! Endless terrain for all ages and abilities.

Snowshoeing under the Milky Way! Take advantage of these long nights. Strap on a pair on snowshoes and take a walk on one of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust’s conservation lands.

Set a Trap! Try your hand at ice fishing. Use the link to check local regulations for waterbodies.

Ice Skate on Haley Pond! Take advantage of free ice skates at Haley Pond Park. The – Ride Rangeley! Trailer your sled or rent one when you get here. The Rangeley Lakes Region has hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails – many of which are conserved.

Cross-Country Ski! Visit the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center for miles and miles of terrain. Learn more at

Moose Sightseeing! Spy a moose along the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway from dusk to dark on Route 17 to Coos Canyon or traveling Route 16 to the New Hampshire border.

Winter Travel News along Byways – Read More

*****

We welcome you to engage with Byways across America at www.travelbyways.com and learn about the National Scenic Byway Foundation at www.nsbfoundation.com.

 

The National Scenic Byway Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as The National Voice of Scenic Byways and Roads, dedicated to strengthening Byways through education, training and shared expertise. It is the vision of the National Scenic Byway Foundation that our nation’s designated Byways will be recognized and valued worldwide for their distinctive experiences, stories, and treasured places. For more information visit  www.travelbyways.com; www.nsbfoundation.com; or email: info@nsbfoundation.com.

America's Byways Bucket List
Travelbyways.com - America's Byways Collection

Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road. – Walt Whitman

America’s Byways offers so many travel options, telling the stories of American culture, history and geology along the way. And did we mention Scenic yet?

National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads are designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  In much of the same way Congress set aside lands to be protected as national parks, the Department of Transportation has designated a network of spectacular drives that are protected as part of the America’s Byways collection.

To become part of this exclusive collection, a road must have: 1) features that don’t exist anywhere else in the United States; and 2) be unique and important enough to be destinations unto themselves.

Qualifying roads must also have one or more of the following six intrinsic qualities:

    • Scenic
    • Historic
    • Archeological
    • Recreational
    • Cultural
    • Natural

Designated byways in states are most frequently designated by their State Department of Transportation but, can also be designated by federal agencies such as the US Forest Service, NPS, BLM, USACE, US Fish & Wildlife as well as tribal organizations.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

Discover byway itineraries, multiple points of interest and byway stories for each of the 213 America’s Byways collection – here: travelbyways.com.

For byway leaders who want to update (or correct) some of the information presented for your byway, you can update the information presented by pressing the “Update this byway information today!” button at the bottom of each byway page. A representative from the National Scenic Byway Foundation will be in touch with you to verify the updated information before it is posted.  For a revision of the content posted for your byway, please use and submit the downloadable word document update sheets posted here:  Update sheet for a FHWA nationally designated byway.   Update sheet for a state/tribal/federal designated byway.

Not all those who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkien

For information on how you can get involved and support the America’s Byways collection, visit NSBFoundation.com.

2024 NSBF Membership Campaign Showcase Your Byway Winners

Jan 24 Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway – CO
Feb 24 Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway – LA
Mar 24 Katahdin Woods & Waters National Scenic Byway – ME
Apr 24 Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin All-American Road – WY
May 24 Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway – NY
Jun 24 Strait of Juan de Fuca 112 National Scenic Byway – WA
Jul 24 Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway – CO
Aug 24 Cascade Loop National Scenic Byway – WA
Sep 24 Indiana’s Historic Pathways National Scenic Byway
Oct 24 West Elk Loop National Scenic Byway – CO
Nov 24 Route 66 National Scenic Byway – IL
Dec 24 Battle Pass Scenic Byway – WY
Jan 25 Great River Road All-American Road – KY

NSBF Memberships for 2024 received by December 18, either by mail or by paypal, were entered into our "Showcase Your Byway Contest."
Date of the Facebook Live Drawing was Tuesday, December 19 at 2pm ET, 1pm CT, Noon MT, 11am PT and 10am AK time.
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The National Scenic Byway Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as The National Voice of Scenic Byways and Roads, dedicated to strengthening Byways through education, training and shared expertise. It is the vision of the National Scenic Byway Foundation that our nation’s designated Byways will be recognized and valued worldwide for their distinctive experiences, stories, and treasured places. For more information visit www.travelbyways.com; www.nsbfoundation.com; or email: info@nsbfoundation.com.

Byways across America - travelbyways.comCheck out the latest Byway News

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Information and collaboration are essential to continued byway success. The National Scenic Byway Foundation offers numerous ways for byways to be knowledgeable and up-to-date including quarterly webinars on relevant topics, byways related conferences and Byway Leader Training. Become an NSBF member today!

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The National Scenic Byway Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as The National Voice of Scenic Byways and Roads, dedicated to strengthening Byways through education, training and shared expertise. It is the vision of the National Scenic Byway Foundation that our nation’s designated Byways will be recognized and valued worldwide for their distinctive experiences, stories, and treasured places. For more information visit  www.travelbyways.com; www.nsbfoundation.com; or email: info@nsbfoundation.com.