The National Scenic Byway program has been around since 1991; it designates certain U.S. roads as scenic byways if they are particularly historic or particularly scenic. If you’ve been driving through the state and at any point thought to yourself, “Wow! The scenery is great from this highway!” chances are you’ve found yourself on a scenic byway, maybe without even realizing it. Pennsylvania is home to 20 such roads — here are 10 of the most beautiful.
1. Bucktail Trail
Running along PA 120 near Lock Haven, the Bucktail Trail byway runs through gorgeous forested areas of Pennsylvania state parks, including the Bucktail State Park Natural Area and Kettle Creek State Park.
2. High Plateau
Follow PA 144 in order to enjoy the High Plateau Scenic Byway, which runs between Snow Shoe, Centre County and Renovo, Clinton County. You'll see such sights as Sproul State Forest and be able to stop at cool landmarks along the way, like the historic St. Severin's Old Log Church in Cooper Settlement.
3. Longhouse National Forest
This particular byway follows a loop, perfect for a scenic drive. Located in Warren and McKean counties, it passes the Allegheny Reservoir on PA 321, PA 59, and Forest Road 262.
4. Viaduct Valley Way
This is not only a beautiful drive, but also a perfect way to admire two of Pennsylvania's most impressive viaducts: the Tunkhannock Viaduct and the Starrucca Viaduct. The byway is along PA 92 between Tunkhannock in Warren County and Lanesboro in Susquehanna County.
5. U.S. Route 202 Parkway
Running between Bucks County and Montgomery County, U.S. Route 202 also contains a bike path.
6. Blue Route
The Brandywine Valley is famous as one of the most gorgeous spots in Pennsylvania and the Blue Route is the perfect way to appreciate its landscape. You can stop at various landmarks along the way, like the Brandywine River Museum and Tyler Arboretum.
7. Gateway to the Endless Mountains
The name might sound epic, but it won't disappoint. Running along US 6 in Tunkhannock, this byway runs through one of the most strikingly beautiful mountain regions in Pennsylvania.
8. Grand View
Most of the scenic byways on this list will take you through incredible views of Pennsylvania's mountains, forests, or valleys, yet the most striking part of the Grand View Scenic byway is Pittsburgh's skyline. The view will stun you.
9. Lebanon Cornwall
The Lebanon Cornwall Scenic Byway is an ideal way to tour Pennsylvania Dutch County in southeastern Pennsylvania. It follows PA 419 and will take you to such landmarks as the Cornwall Iron Furnace (pictured above) and Middlecreek Wildlife Preserve.
10. Lake Wilhelm
Running along Creek Road in Mercer County, the Lake Wilhelm Scenic Byway will bring you straight to its namesake, the beautiful Lake Wilhelm. Be sure to enjoy the surrounding Maurice K. Goddard state park while you're there.
Have you had any fun experiences in these places? Are there any others you’d suggest?