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Scenic and Cultural Byways

kancamangus scenic byway Welcome to the Scenic and Cultural Byways website!

New Hampshire has over 1,000 miles of designated scenic and cultural byways. Each of our byway tours offers something different for everyone. From the ocean views and sandy beaches of the Coastal Byway to the impressive scenic vistas and recreational opportunities found along the White Mountains Trail National Scenic Byway, you are sure to enjoy the trip.

Lucy A. St. John, Senior Planner
Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance
(603) 271-3344 or 8732

scenic byways logo

Updated April 8, 2022

Important update - NSBP Grants Application and Letter of Intent Deadline extended by FHWA.

Scenic Byways Grants Available

  • Important Deadlines and Milestones:

    Tuesday, April 19, 2022-Letter of Intent (LOI) must be received by NHDOT if you would like NHDOT to submit it to FHWA (this is optional, not required). NHDOT will then submit it to FHWA.
    Friday, April 22, 2022- Date that all entities that intend to submit an application to NHDOT, must submit their Letter of Intent (LOI) to NHDOT. If you do not submit a LOI to NHDOT by this date you are not eligible to submit a formal application to NHDOT.
    Monday, April 25, 2022- Date which NHDOT must submit LOI to FHWA (if NHDOT received it by April 19th.
    Friday, May 6, 2022- All completed applications materials must be submitted to NHDOT. Note- NHDOT is the applicant to FHWA.
    Monday, June 20, 2022- NHDOT deadline to enters selected applications entered into

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the 2022 National Scenic Byways Grants (NSBP) Program. The NSBP is established in Title 23, Section 162 of the United States Code (23 USC 162). FHWA conducted a webinar on Thursday, March 31, 2022 to provide details about the application process and requirements of the program. All applications must be submitted through the NHDOT. The grants are made available to States and Indian Tribes to implement projects which meet the eligibility requirements. Under 23 USC 162 the following 8 project types are eligible for NSBP grants: State and Indian Tribe Scenic Byways Program, Corridor Management Plans, Highway Safety Improvements, Construction of Byway Facilities, Access to Recreation, Resource Protection, Tourist and Interpretive Information and Marketing Programs. A total of $22 million dollar is available in a highly competitive nationwide application process. To help both FHWA and NHDOT gauge interest in the application process specific deadlines and requirements are established regarding the submission a Letter of Interest (LOI). FHWA does not require a LOI, but applicants are strongly encouraged to submit one.

New Hampshire DOT has prepared the following document to assist potential applicants:
NH-DOT NOFO Guidance Document.

For additional information and resources on the NSBP Grants, please visit the National Scenic Byways Program website and All questions shall be emailed to: Lucy St. John, Senior Planner at


Touring New Hampshire's Byways

For more information about planning a trip along New Hampshire's Scenic Byways, please visit the New Hampshire Department of Business & Economic Affairs, Division of Travel and Tourism Development at Visit NH : Scenic Drives

Organization Information

Byway Information

Scenic Byway or Scenic Road?

What is the difference between a Scenic Byway and a Scenic Road? Are Scenic Roads a type of Scenic Byway? These questions have come up quite often in the past couple of years. With this in mind, the following is a summary of the main points of each designation. Also, check out the State of New Hampshire's Web site for links to the legislation for each program.

Scenic Byways

The New Hampshire Scenic and Cultural Byways Program was established in 1992 under RSA 238:19, "… to provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to travel a system of byways which feature the scenic and cultural qualities of the state within the existing highway system, promote retention of rural and urban scenic byways, support the cultural, recreational and historic attributes along these byways, and expose the unique elements of the state's beauty, culture and history." The legislation established the program and the Scenic and Cultural Byways Council to serve as an advisory body for the Scenic and Cultural Byway System. The administration of the program is through the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance. The New Hampshire Scenic Byway program manager is Lucy A. St. John and she can be reached by e-mail at

New Hampshire's Scenic and Cultural Byways program is one of many now in place nationwide. These statewide programs are tied directly to the National Scenic Byways Program. There are three categories of byways under the National Scenic Byways Program; two are nationally designated categories, the third is a state designation.

All-American Roads are the cream of the crop, representing a handful of the Nation's top roadways. National Scenic Byways, the second group of nationally designated byways, represent roadways that are destinations in themselves and deserve national recognition for the intrinsic values they feature. There are about 53 National Scenic Byways in all, three located in New Hampshire (White Mountains Trail, Kancamagus Highway, and Connecticut River Byway). The third group consists of state designated byways (i.e. Coastal Byway, Moose Path Trail, Lakes Tour). These byways fit requirements set by the Scenic and Cultural Byway Council for inclusion in the statewide network. Some state designated byways go on to become National Scenic Byways as efforts progress along the byway. The White Mountains Trail was originally listed as a State Scenic and Cultural Byway, and after a great deal of effort, was nominated and accepted as a National Scenic Byway in 1998.

Scenic Roads

Scenic Roads are substantially different from Scenic and Cultural Byways. Refer to the provisions of New Hampshire’s RSA 231:157-158. Scenic roads are local, town designations. Any road in a town, other than a class I or class II highway, may be designated a scenic road. Local scenic roads may be designated upon petition of 10 persons who are either voters of the town or who own land which abut a road mentioned in the petition. You are advised to contact the local Town Office with specific questions.


Updated 4/8/2022

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire