Old Frankfort Pike made Scenic Byway; Great River Road given ‘All-American Road’ status


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) –Two of Kentucky’s most scenic and historic roadways have been selected by the Federal Highway Administration for inclusion in the America’s Byways collection.

Fifteen and a half miles of the Old Frankfort Pike in Woodford and Fayette counties was designated a National Scenic Byway. Woodford County Judge-Executive James Kay nominated it on behalf of Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor Inc., a nonprofit group.

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Kentucky’s Great River Road, which runs along the Mississippi River through four counties of the Jackson Purchase, and which previously was named a National Scenic Byway, was additionally designated an All-American Road.

It is a critical link in the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, which runs along the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles, through 10 states. Carlisle County Fiscal Court submitted the nomination for the Kentucky Mississippi River Parkway Commission.

“To be designated a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road, a route must offer something unique in terms of its nature, history, culture, archaeology, or its recreational and scenic qualities,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “We appreciate that the Federal Highway Administration recognizes the exceptional nature of these two roadways. These designations offer even more reasons for residents and visitors alike to visit and explore Kentucky.”

“Early in the fight against COVID-19, some Kentuckians reclaimed the joys of a simple, leisurely drive to take in the sights Kentucky has to offer,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “These designations are a great example of how our transportation network not only connects Kentuckians but can improve the quality of life.”

Old Frankfort Pike was singled out as a rare example of traditional, diversified agriculture thriving alongside the international equine industry in a landscape of rich soil and limestone springs.

The 15.5 miles of designated byway features a nearly unbroken canopy of hardwood trees and passes through six National Register Historic Places. It begins at Duckers Station Road in Woodford County and runs east to Wolf Run Creek in Fayette County.

Kentucky’s Great River Road, part of the 10-state Great River Road National Scenic Byway, follows the Mississippi River through Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and Fulton counties.

It begins at the Illinois-Kentucky state line on U.S. 51 and runs to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line at the north end of Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge.

t was singled out for its geographic features, including the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers; its Native American prehistory, and the region’s significance as a springboard for exploration and settlement of much of North America.