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Scenic Byway Week

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Monday, October 08, 2012by millie.lange

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism announced the 2012 Illinois Scenic Byway Week will take place October 6-13. Illinois Scenic Byway Week encourages the public to experience one of the state’s seven historic routes.

The National Road Association of Illinois (U.S. Route 40) is one of those seven byways. The National Road rose from dust and prairie grass to become the blue print for an ocean-to-ocean highway also known as U.S. Route 40. Regardless of how
travelers identified it, its place in history remained constant: It was the road that built a nation. For more historical information on the National Road Association of Illinois, visit or call 888-268-0042.

During this byway week, the population is encouraged to travel the 164 miles of the National Road in Illinois. The highway will take the traveler from the border of Indiana to the Mississippi River and back again. Along the way, travelers will pass through seven counties: Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Bond, Madison, and St. Clair. In each county, there will be communities that offer shops, restaurants, parks, museums, and people.

Around the turns and along the miles, those traveling will always know they're on the right road because there will be red, white, and blue shields for guides. Visitors can also check out a new interactive website at, where individuals can plan their trips through the road.

The National Road Association of Illinois offers several quirky, unique, and/or historical buildings. As part of the Illinois Scenic Byway Week, the National Road created a new brochure, “Art & Architecture.” Through this guide, visitors will explore
the art and architectural treasures located in communities along the National Road. The sites for this self-guided tour were selected by a committee of local scholars and historians in an effort to highlight the past. Some of these treasures include:
Harlen Hall in Marshall, Race Horse Shoe in Martinsville, World’s Largest Wind Chimes in Casey, National Road Covered Bridge in Greenup, Cross at the Crossroads and Effingham County Courthouse in Effingham, Dr. Charles M. Wright House in
Altamont, Old State House in Vandalia, and Cahokia Mounds and Brooks World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville.

During Illinois Scenic Byway Week, travelers are invited to explore. Take photos. Make notes. Uncover memories in the life of a highway that built a nation. Build memories of your own. Savor the miles, savor the moments, and be safe. In other words, enjoy your time on the National Road.

For more information on the “Art & Architecture” brochure, please contact the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-772-0750 or National Road Association of Illinois in Vandalia at 888-268-0042. Feel free to stop by either location to pick up a free copy of the brochure.