The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism, announce the 2013 Illinois Scenic Byway Week will take place Saturday through Oct. 12. Illinois Scenic Byway Week encourages the public to experience one of the state’s seven historic routes.
The National Road is one of those seven byways. The road rose from dust and prairie grass to become the blueprint for an ocean-to-ocean highway also known as U.S. 40. During the week, organizers encourage people to travel the 164 miles of the National Road in Illinois. The “National Road Art & Architecture Traveling Tour” will bring travelers on consecutive tours either east to west or west to east.
The east-to-west tour starts at Harlan Hall in Marshall, Ill., then travels to Martinsville Agricultural Fairgrounds before heading to Casey Country Club. Travelers can then make a stop at the Genealogical and Historical Museum in Greenup before ending the day at the Effingham County Courthouse Museum.
The west-to-east tour starts off at Collinsville History Museum, then moves over to Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville; travelers can then make a stop at Mersinger Pioneer Cabin in Troy, and head to Kaeser Park in Highland, followed by the Hoiles-Davis Museum in Greenville before ending the day at the National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia. Each site will give a tour and explanation of the community, along with other activities. A marked map will be given to each driver indicating where to find some interesting sites in the area. The map will also lead the driver to the next community.
Red white and blue shields will guide drivers. Visitors can also check out a new interactive website at EnjoyIllinois.com, where individuals can plan their trips through the road.
While on the Art & Architecture Traveling Tour, people may want to stop at additional sites like Casey’s “World’s Largest Wind Chimes, Golf Tee, Knitting Needles and Crochet Hook,” Greenup’s Covered Bridge designed by Thomas Jefferson, Collinsville’s “World’s Largest Catsup Bottle,” and Illinois’ oldest Capital building in Vandalia.
For more information contact the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-772-0750 or the National Road Association of Illinois in Vandalia at 1-888-268-0042. Or, stop by either location to pick up a brochure.
For more historical information on the National Road Association of Illinois, visit www.NationalRoad.org or call 888-268-0042.