The Florida Scenic Highway Program is a FDOT-sponsored grassroots program designed to showcase the state’s historical and intrinsic resources found along Florida’s roadways. The program encourages volunteers to protect, preserve and enhance their community’s resources. Partnership efforts with state parks, the byway organization, and local communities result in an economic boost to many of the small towns that exist along Florida’s Scenic Highways. There are 25 designated Scenic Highways with more than 1,500 miles of roads designated in the State! Six highways covering 300 miles are located in Northeast Florida. These designated roads inspire the traveler to explore parts of Old Florida that only exists beyond the interstate highway system.
Old Florida Heritage Highway
Located along US 441 in Alachua County from US 331 to the Marion County line, the Old Florida Heritage Highway totals approximately 48 miles of loop and spur roads and offers a glimpse of well-preserved Florida. Resources along the corridor include the Paynes Prairie State Preserve, Florida’s first state preserve established in 1971 and is now designated a National Natural Historic Landmark; Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park, named for famed author of the Pulitzer Prize winning “the Yearling” and is one of Florida’s most important sites in literary history. The Gainesville- Hawthorne State Trail provides an off road trail that traverses the Preserve and the northern edge of the Old Florida Heritage Highway Corridor. The trail is set upon the historic railroad bed.
Travelers can also explore the Micanopy National Historic District, designated in Florida’s oldest inland town, Micanopy. The community includes 39 historic sites and is filled with antique shops. In nearby Evinston, the Wood & Swink Old Store and Post Office has been in continuous operation since 1882 and has been owned by the Wood family since 1906.
J.C. Penney Farms Scenic Highway
Located in Clay County, the J.C. Penney Farms Scenic Highway, a 3-mile segment of SR 16 (James C. Penney Memorial Boulevard) passes through a series of natural and majestic features, including oak and magnolia canopies, and a variety of bottomland hardwoods, commercial forest, mesic hammock, and wetlands landscapes.
The corridor allows travelers to experience Penney Farms community by experiencing its cultural, historical, and scenic resources, such as Penney Memorial Church, Penney Retirement Community’s French Norman architecture, and the New Hope community. The J.C. Penney Memorial Scenic Highway is a unique area for tourists and visitors to walk or ride a bike along the scenic highway to view Penney Farms’ natural and historical resources and the oasis “garden spot” within the community.
William Bartram Scenic Highway
The William Bartram Scenic Highway spans 17 miles of SR 13 along the St. Johns River from the Julington Creek Bridge to the county line in St. Johns County. Named for the famed naturalist, illustrator, and explorer William Bartram, the Byway encompasses exceptional archaeological, historical, scenic, cultural, and recreational resources and the opportunity to enjoy the St. Johns River estuary by canoeing and boating along the creeks and river. Most apparent are the views provided by the immense live oak canopies along the route and splendid vistas of the St. Johns, an American Heritage River. Located between the Scenic Highway and the River is Alpine Groves Park with recreational opportunities such as fishing, picnicking, historical/archaeological interpretation, and a visitor center.
Florida Black Bear National Scenic Byway
The Florida Black Bear National Scenic Byway spans two FDOT Districts: 2 and 5. The Byway’s total length spans 120 miles of SR 40 from Silver Springs to Ormond Beach in Lake, Marion, and Volusia Counties, and along SR 19 from Pittman to Palatka in Marion and Putnam Counties. This National Scenic Byway boasts pristine forested landscapes of the Ocala National Forest, in addition to 12 managed conservation areas to provide a continuous corridor for wildlife across the entire Byway corridor. The Byway also takes the traveler on a journey to recreational and natural places such as Pat’s Island and Salt Springs Recreation Area.
A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway
The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway spans 72 miles navigate nature’s beauty, history, and true serenity along Florida’s northern Atlantic coastline. The Byway is located in two FDOT Districts: 2 and 5, comprising Volusia, Flagler, and St. Johns Counties. This uniquely historic Byway cruises through St. Augustine, America’s oldest city, and offers several historic parks and national monuments including Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine Lighthouse, Fort Matanzas National Monument, and the Flagler Beach Historical Museum. The Byway also hosts annual events such as the A1A 72-Mile Super Scenic Garage Sale and the Spoonbills & Sprockets Cycling Tour.
A1A Ocean Islands Trail Scenic Highway
Located in Duval and Nassau Counties, the A1A Ocean Islands Trail spans over 40 miles of historic A1A along Florida’s northeast Atlantic coast. The highway traverses six barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean and features a stunning diversity of natural and historic assets. Travelers can experience Big and Little Talbot Islands State Parks, as well as historic Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, and Mayport Village. Unique to this scenic highway is the St. Johns River Ferry, the “floating bridge” over the St. Johns River from the southern portion of Fort George Island Cultural State Park to historic Mayport Village.