LANSING —A North Carolina Department of Transportation Scenic Byway designation proposed for Ashe County will be shorter than originally planned — but it’s still expected to help put Lansing on the map for travelers.
That’s according to Lansing Town Clerk Marcy Little, who said the NCDOT recommended the scenic byway the town applied for in August, be shortened to help keep the route as scenic as possible.
“They wanted to pinpoint where the scenic byway is mostly being heralded and that is in the Warrensville, Lansing area,” Little said. “That is the most scenic part of the byway.”
Originally, the proposed scenic byway was an extension of the New River Valley Byway, beginning at the intersection of N.C. 88 and N.C. 194 in West Jefferson and continuing through Warrensville and Lansing to the Virginia State line.
But now, if approved, Lansing’s scenic byway would be it’s own standalone route called Big Horse Creek Scenic Byway. It would begin at the N.C. 88/N.C. 194 intersection in Warrensville and take travelers through Lansing on to South Big Horse Creek Road, to Ripshin Road, to Whenlin Ridge road, to Farmers Store Road, to the Virginia state line.
The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the creation of the Big Horse Creek Scenic Byway during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 4, after previously adopting a resolution in support of the extension of the New River Valley Byway in June of 2015.
According to Little, the town of Jefferson and other members of the community have also shown support for the proposal.
In April of 2015, the town of Lansing asked community members and business owners to submit letters to state transportation officials showing their support of the scenic byway — and they came through. Little says that more than 100 letters were submitted.
Bring on the tourists
According to the resolution approved by West Jefferson Aldermen, the NCDOT has developed a system of designated scenic byways across the state with the purpose of identifying and highlighting scenic roads with unusual, exceptional or unique intrinsic qualities.
The resolution also states that scenic byways help provide rural areas with additional tourism opportunities, potentially increasing the number of visitors to local businesses and sites.
“It is more or less a tourist, economic development push to help bring people to this area,” Little said.
According to Little, the state will put the new scenic byway on a map that is displayed at rest areas, letting people know that Lansing and the surrounding areas are great, scenic places to visit.
“That will actually show the scenic byway routes and people actually plan their trips using those routes,” Little said.
Little also said that the scenic byway will take tourists right by the Lansing Creeper Trail Park expansion which is currently underway.
According to Little, the Big Horse Creek Scenic Byway could be approved as early as March when the information is proposed during an annual report to the NCDOT.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.