You’ve probably seen a Nebraska Byway sign if you’ve traveled around the state. Think of it as a shout-out to you, bragging about the highway’s great features!
A byway designation means you’re among scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archeological, or other natural features that are unique, irreplaceable, or distinctly characteristic of an area. That’s a lot of appeal, and a great way to show off some history!
The Nebraska Scenic Byways program began in 1998. The first one was the Western Trails Historic and Scenic Byway. It includes US Hwy 26 and NE Hwy 2 from Ogallala to the Wyoming stateline near Henry. Since then, eight other highway segments have joined. You can learn more about them at VisitNebraska.com/scenic-byways.
A Scenic Byway designation brings opportunities for Promotion, Preservation, Partnerships, and Pride. Individual byway groups and the statewide program combine to build a strong byway community. Local organizations rely on grassroots people from communities along the byways (including many volunteers). These are the folks who do the important work of securing visibility, marketing their unique history, and increasing travel (which increases the economic impact) along their byways.
Byway organizations are always looking for more volunteers to help in their efforts. It is truly up to local grassroots efforts to continue the sustainability of Nebraska’s Scenic Byways. For a wonderful weekend or weeklong getaway, check out the Byways websites, and plan a trip to explore and enjoy Nebraska!
Thanks to Twyla Witt, with the Nebraska Tourism Commission for contributing this article. Contact Twyla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.645.9566.