Six roads in Prince William County recently received the scenic byways designation from the state of Virginia. Aden, Bristow, Joplin, Waterfall and Antioch roads, plus John Marshall Highway are the first in the county to receive the designation, adding 40 miles to Virginia's Scenic Byways network.
The Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA) and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) worked with the Board of County Supervisors to gain the designation for the roads that include views of 11 nationally recognized and two state-listed historic sites.
According to Kim Hosen, PWCA executive director, the roads take travelers through the County's most cherished places: forests, working farms, mountains, historic homes, churches and cemeteries. "These new scenic byways are an important step in showcasing and protecting our unique natural and cultural resources, a legacy for future generations," Hosen said in a press release.
The Board of County Supervisors, alongside representatives from the PWCA and CTB, unveiled a scenic byways sign at the corner of Joplin and Bristow roads. Vice Chairman Jeanine Lawson said the sign should remind people to take the time to enjoy the county's scenic sites. "Let this sign serve as a reminder to the folks that drive by that it's OK to slow down and really enjoy this scenery that's a treasure in this county."
Supervisor Maureen S. Caddigan noted that some of the roads pass by county landmarks that include Quantico National Cemetery, The National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico Marine Corps Base and Prince William Forest Park. She said she's pleased that some of the roads are in the Potomac district. "I'm very happy that we can be a part of it."
"These roads have always been scenic byways," noted Supervisor Marty Nohe. "Now we're acknowledging that reality in a formalized way. We're not changing these roads. We're protecting them for what they are. This is a really exciting day."
Designating the roads as scenic byways aligns with the board's goals of protecting cultural resources, property values, water quality, natural beauty, quality of life and ecological diversity.
F. Gary Garczynski, CTB vice chairman, said the county board's vision dovetails with the intent of the scenic byways system. "There's a lot of construction going on throughout Northern Virginia and here in Prince William County. We can't forget to balance that with the scenic byways that make Virginia, Virginia."
Hosen said she believes Prince William County is unique among states that are included in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. "I am reasonably sure that Prince William is the only locality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that stretches from the tidal shore to the mountains. And that makes Prince William County special."
Visit the Prince William Conservation Alliance's website for more information on the scenic byways program in Prince William County.