One hundred years ago, when roads were muddy and unmaintained, the fastest way to cross America was by train. In 1913, that all changed when the Lincoln Highway, of which the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway in Iowa is a part, was completed.
The Lincoln Highway spanned 14 states to take travelers from New York to San Francisco. In the early days, driving the road was a real adventure.
Traversing the Lincoln Highway through Iowa means you’ll be following the original route fairly closely. In fact, as much as 85% of the original route in the state is drivable, although some is gravel.
There are 17 must-stops, carefully preserved locations to see along the way, including the “Seedling Mile,” the first paved mile in Iowa located halfway between Marion and Mount Vernon.
The rest of the route covers Iowa from river-to-river through 13 counties, plus Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown, Ames, Boone, Jefferson, Carroll, and Denison. Along the way, your route will be marked with historic Lincoln Highway markers, painted telephone poles and the Lincoln Highway red, white and blue “L” logo.