Florida's Scenic Highway program was started in the mid-1990s through the state Department of Transportation to recognize roadways that show Florida's history, culture and resources. Since then, 24 roadways have been designated as either scenic or heritage roadways.
Any resident, group or municipality can propose a roadway or corridor for the designation through the state DOT. Roadways designated as Florida Scenic Highways are eligible to apply for grants and or for the National Scenic Byways program under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.
These Central Florida roads are designated as Florida Scenic Highways.
A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway
Also designated as a National Scenic Byway, it's made up of three parts along State Road A1A between Volusia and Duval counties: The A1A Ocean Shore Scenic Highway begins at the Volusia-Flagler county line and heads north to Beverly Beach. The A1A River and Sea Trail Scenic Highway continues north to St. Johns County. Scenic and Historic A1A extends from St. Johns County to Duval County.
Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway
Federal officials designated this one a National Scenic Byway in October. And it's not just about black bears. Travelers shouldn't be surprised if they also see deer, foxes, red-cockaded woodpeckers and other wildlife. The byway is State Road 40 between Silver Springs and Ormond Beach, along with two spurs and a loop. The first spur is State Road 19 from S.R. 40 in the Ocala National Forest north to Palatka. The other spur is S.R. 19 at County Road 445 south to the southern boundary of the Ocala National Forest. The Alexander Springs Loop starts at S.R. 40 and S.R. 19.
Green Mountain Scenic Byway
This one lives up to its name, giving drivers spectacular bird's-eye views of Central Florida. It begins at county roads 455 and 561 in Lake County and winds south along C.R. 455 through some of the highest points in Florida. It then heads east along Old Highway 50 through Oakland and ends at Oakland Avenue and County Road 545 in Orange County.
Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway
Beach lovers and fishermen appreciate this one. It's also designated as a National Scenic Byway. The 150-mile drive journeys mostly along State Road A1A and U.S. Highway 1 on both sides of the Indian River between Wabasso in Indian River County and Cape Canaveral in Brevard County.
Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Known to locals as "The Loop," it starts on State Road A1A near the Flagler County line and extends south to State Road 40, then west to North Beach Street and Old Dixie Highway, and east along Walter Boardman Lane and Highbridge Road. An alternative loop is on the east side of the Halifax River along John Anderson Highway and S.R. A1A. It's also a National Scenic Byway.
River of Lakes Heritage Corridor Scenic Highway
Old-Florida history buffs will love this one: The scenic corridor runs through west Volusia County from the Seminole County line at Lake Monroe to the Putnam County line near Seville. Travelers will find 15 distinctive communities along the way, according to Volusia tourism officials.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun