District of Columbia
District of Columbia

District of Columbia Byways

The District of Columbia’s Byway Program was developed and administered by the District Department of Transportation and includes a variety of roads primarily located within National Park Service lands in DC. One prominent byway is Canal Road, an extension of the C&O Canal Scenic Byway which follows the Potomac River into the center of the city. The George Washington Memorial Parkway, an All-American Road, is also partially located in DC.

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

DC byways provide access to the District’s most spectacular public lands, including 25 national park service sites, 74 national historic landmarks, four national trails, and 652 national register of historic place listings.


About the National Scenic Byways Program

The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991, recognizes historic, scenic, and culturally important roads, all of which promote economic development and tourism in communities around the U.S. There are more than 1,200 byways in all 50 states.

All scenic byways exhibit one or more of six core intrinsic qualities — scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological, or natural. For a road to be named a national scenic byway, it must first be designated a state, tribal, or federal agency scenic byway. Once achieving that, a road may apply for national scenic byway designation, but its intrinsic quality must be of regional significance. All-American Roads are the very best of the national scenic byways, demonstrating at least two intrinsic qualities of national significance.