Byways 101

Part 1: Program Overview

USDI National Park Service – Park Roads And Parkways Program

The National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for the planning and maintenance of approximately 8,000 miles of roads located entirely within National Parks, National Monuments and other park units. The NPS does not have a formal scenic byways program, but most park roads are managed as scenic routes, emphasizing scenic values, recreational features, wildlife viewing, cultural and historic features. The NPS has a long tradition of providing scenic overlooks and interpretive services such as visitor centers and wayside exhibits. A number of roads within National Parks have been designated as National Scenic Byways such as the Natchez Trace Parkway National Scenic Byway in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and the Blue Ridge Parkway located in North Carolina and Virginia.

USDI National Park Service – National Trails System

In addition to its Park Roads and Parkways Program, the National Park Service administers the National Trails System, created by the National Trails System Act of 1968 ( The Act authorizes four categories of trails: national scenic trails; national historic trails; national recreation trails; and connecting (or side) trails. Many of the national scenic and historic trails have extensive overlap with roads designated as America’s Byways. In total, there are 57 crossings in 20 States and 16 congruent routes in 15 States that link to national scenic and historic trails associated with America’s Byways.

< Previous | Next >