The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently announced that the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway in Chester and Delaware counties has received a National Scenic Byways (NSB) Designation.
"We are thrilled that another one of our Pennsylvania's Byways has achieved National Scenic Byways status," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "The beautiful, historic Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway is more than deserving of this honor."
The Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway directly adjoins a national scenic byway of the same name in the state of Delaware and extends the route into Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley. The history encompassed within the Byway spans from the settling and early development of the nation through the Revolutionary War, the struggle for freedom on the Underground Railroad, to the creation of world class cultural institutions by the families who had made the Brandywine Valley their home. The scenic qualities arise from the land itself, which fortunately has been protected due to its fine agricultural assets and the forward thinking and means that the residents possessed to protect and conserve the landscape.
The 25-mile route in Pennsylvania, when joined with the Delaware Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway, forms a figure eight encompassing Route 52 starting at the Delaware state line, traveling north to Route 162, and returning via Creek Road back to the Delaware state line.
Commenting on the designation, John Haedrich, Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission chair said, "The vision for the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway is that it will continue to be a place with a deep and varied history recognizable in the landscape and intertwined with a distinctive natural environment and pastoral scenic vistas—vibrant threads which together make a rich tapestry for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike."
The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991, recognizes historic, scenic, natural, archeological, cultural, and recreational qualities and promotes tourism and economic development in nearby communities. Pennsylvania created its own Byways Program in 2001 - as a local grassroots program - and is managed by PennDOT. Pennsylvania boasts 21 byways, four of which now are FHWA National Scenic Byways.