The following is an article authored by Dave Caldwell appearing in the New York Times Travel section highlighting the National Scenic Byways Program.
A shaded two-lane road — narrow, bumpy and without lines in stretches — hugs the Delaware & Raritan Canal as it meanders through virtually unspoiled countryside no more than 10 miles west of the wide and rumbling New Jersey Turnpike corridor.
This road from Kingston, N.J., to East Millstone, N.J., is meant to be taken at no more than 30 miles an hour as it passes a stable and picnic spots near the village of Griggstown. To the north is Blackwells Mills and a rustic canal house that has stood since 1835 or so.
Much faster north-south thoroughfares slice through the central part of the state, but this road, part of what has been designated the Millstone Valley Scenic Byway by the United States Department of Transportation, remains an antidote, truly a pleasure drive. Since the National Scenic Byways Program was established 20 years ago, 150 roadways in 46 states have been recognized for their cultural, historic and scenic qualities.
“The interstates are great for getting from sea to shining sea, but there’s nothing in between,” said Derrick Crandall, president of the nonprofit American Recreation Coalition. Of the byways, Crandall said, “They’re like necklaces, or a charm bracelet, adorned with great places to stop.”
An annual survey of 1,000 Americans commissioned by Goodyear determines 50 scenic byways that are the most aesthetically pleasing and fun to drive. The Millstone Valley Scenic Byway was one of nine starting within 250 miles of New York City to make the most recent list.
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