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Northwestern Turnpike

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Quick Facts
Designation: West Virginia State Scenic Byway
Fees: No fees.
Length, One-Way: 54 Miles (90.0 Kilometers)
Time: Allow 1.5 hours.

General Information

Description - This byway includes the section of US 50 traversing Preston and Taylor Counties. The original route chosen for US 50 was deemed too difficult, so in 1830 a new route was devised and commissioned as the Northwestern Turnpike. The completed thoroughfare was a vital link to the West for freight and settlers. Today, US 50 follows the basic route of the Northwestern Turnpike, also known as the George Washington Highway, as originally designed, and upgrades and alterations have done little to change the mileage of the road.

Because of the rugged terrain, construction of the road was quite a challenge. Two of the biggest barriers were Cheat and Laurel mountains, with the Cheat standing at 2,746 feet and a 9% grade for three miles and 28 curves, and the Laurel at 2,602 feet and an 8% grade on both the east and west faces.

The many small communities that dot the landscape along US 50 owe their existence to the commerce along the old Northwestern Turnpike and the industry spurred by the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad that parallels the route.

Attractions - The Northwestern Turnpike is known for it's Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.

Directions from : The byway includes WV State Route 50 between I-79 near Clarksburg on the west and Route 24 near Cathedral State Park on the east. The route is in northern West Virginia.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Scenic Driving Northwestern Turnpike
ICON Viewing Scenery Northwestern Turnpike

More Information

Additional Information:
West Virginia Scenic Byways - West Virginia offers seven state and National Forest byways as well as four National Scenic Byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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