Blue Ridge Parkway

Virginia’s Scenic Byways

The Virginia General Assembly passed the State Scenic Highway and Virginia Byways Act in 1966 in response to the Virginia Outdoors Plan (officially the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan). Since the program’s creation, over 3,500 miles of road have been designated. Virginia’s byways include both state and national designations. The extensive byways system is managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Byways Provide Access to Public Lands

Virginia byways provide access to the Commonwealth’s most spectacular public lands, including one national park, 24 state parks, three national historic parks, two national forests, and two national monuments.


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.