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The original 26 miles of Highway 79 was dedicated in April of 1999 as Missouri’s very first scenic byway.
Since that time, the byway has jumped to national status and stretches of Routes W and WW have been added.
A goal of the byway was to bring more tourism to Pike County, strengthen existing businesses and to give reason for new ones to move here.
And, by design, the byway would be educational, informative, and simply fun.
Missouri now has 10 state byways and two national byways. The national distinction, gained in 2002, gives Pike County prime exposure on national maps, tourism information, and other publications. Studies show that many people seek out such byways before making vacation and travel plans.
There are only 126 national byways in the country, and Pike County is home to one of the best.