NYS ROUTE 97 – The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) was voted as the top choice in the Northeastern United States and ranked #2 in the entire country in USA TODAY’s “Best Scenic Autumn Drive” Readers’ Choice contest.
Results were announced on Oct. 2 following four weeks of on-line voting.
The honor comes as no surprise to those who drive the nearly 70-mile route which links the City of Port Jervis in Orange County to the Village of Hancock in Delaware County, with the majority of miles traversing Sullivan County communities and paralleling the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
“New York State Route 97, originally known as Delaware River Highway Route 3-A, was built as a scenic road to open up the southern tier counties. The Roosevelt New Deal construction project took nine years to complete at a cost of around $4.1 million. At its grand opening ceremony held on August 30, 1939, it was officially dedicated as ‘The Most Scenic Highway in the East’,” said Nadia Rajsz, chairperson of the volunteer committee which oversees administration of the UDSB Enhancement Concept Plan.
It is an area characterized by stunning scenery, a rich history, communities both lively and quaint, and an abundance of recreational opportunities.
USA TODAY’s ‘10Best’ travel experts emphasized Route 97’s spectacular fall foliage beauty by naming it as the only New York State highway on its list of 20 nominees for the Best Scenic Autumn Drive contest.
The experts extolled its “breathtaking vistas and hiking trails, panoramic views, side roads to explore, fishing banks and the Elks Brox Memorial Park. On the way, visitors can stop in small towns and check out shops, museums and art galleries, and choose from local restaurants to grab a bite to eat. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is popular among motorcyclists and road bikers, as well as visitors in cars wanting a glimpse at the changing of seasons.”
The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway came in just behind Michigan’s M-22 and ahead of the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire on the top 10 voting list.
For information on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. or to request a brochure, please visit www.upperdelawarescenicbyway.org or call toll-free (866) 511-UDSB (8372).