September 19, 2019 - 11:46am --

COLUMBUS (September 19, 2019)Ohio’s newest Scenic Byway, The Appalachian Byway of Ohio was approved this week by The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways Advisory Committee.

The Appalachian Byway’s routes are State Route 78 from Clarington (in Monroe County) through Noble, Morgan and Athens Counties ending in Nelsonville; there is also a short portion north on SR 284 to The Wilds in Muskingum County. Visit the byway online.

“There is so much culture and beauty in Appalachian Ohio,” said Thomas Barrett, Ohio Byways Program Coordinator. “Our scenic byways offer unique experiences and a different view for travelers in our state. This byway invites visitors to southeast Ohio to enjoy the region’s natural and cultural heritage.”

The journey features the beauty and history of Appalachian Ohio with a route that features abundant natural resources, museums, historic landmarks and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Ohio Scenic Byway Program is a grass-roots effort to heighten awareness of Ohio’s historical and intrinsic resources: cultural, historical, archaeological, recreational, natural and scenic—which collectively enhance the overall traveling experience.  Program participation provides subsequent benefits to the community as well, such as resource preservation, enhancement and protection.

The Appalachian byway project, a renaming and expansion of the Morgan County byway, was awarded official Ohio Scenic Byways Program designation at the program’s quarterly review committee meeting, Sept. 10, 2019. There are 27 state-designated byways in Ohio’s program and 5 of the routes are also nationally recognized as America’s Byways.

Committee chair Chris Sieverdes said he was pleased to have the new byway as part of the state’s program.

"The Ohio State University Extension Community Development program was pleased to be a partner on this byway project," said Gwynn Stewart, Community Development educator. "We look forward to sharing more details and helping bring guests to our beautiful part of the Ohio!"

Partners in the byway planning include the Community Development program at Ohio State University Extension – Noble County; the Noble County Chamber & Tourism Office; the Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB); the Monroe County Arts Council & CVB as well as the Monroe Parks District and the Athens Co. CVB.