national scenic byway plan

A strategic plan for South Carolina’s four National Scenic Byways was released in early 2013 thanks to funding from Duke Energy. The plan investigates the economic potential of the byways and outlines recommendations for comprehensive management and marketing of the byways, which have operated separately since their inception.

“It’s about bringing all the byways together and moving forward after the initial designation process,” said SCNHC President & CEO Michelle McCollum. “For any successful community, there is a clear connection between place-making, quality of life, community vitality and economic sustainability. These are also the key elements to protecting and promoting our national and state scenic byways, ultimately generating more tourism dollars for South Carolina.”

There are 150 National Scenic Byways in the United States. The designated routes in South Carolina span over ten counties from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the island coastline through mainly rural roads dating back to Native American trading paths and Colonial settlements. South Carolina National Scenic Byways are comprised of Ashley River Road (Charleston and Dorchester Counties), Cherokee Foothills (Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg Counties), Edisto Island (Charleston County) and Savannah River (Anderson, Abbeville, McCormick and Oconee Counties).

The SCNHC partnered with the University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail & Sport Management for a portion of the plan that statistically details current and future economic impact of the byways.

"This strategic plan shows how the state's flagship university, leading heritage development organization, and largest energy provider can collaborate to provide tourism and economic development solutions for all South Carolinians,” said Rich Harrill, Research Professor and Acting Director for USC School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. “The economic impact data in this plan show conclusively that state's byways can become important sources of revenue for local communities if enhanced through effective marketing and branding."

As the first step in implementing the plan, the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway Design Guidelines were developed in 2014.