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6 Iconic Roads to Outdoorsman Paradise

Generations of Americans have escaped on these less traveled roads. Do you hear the call?

Do you hear “Route 66” and yawn? If yes, these breathtaking open roads, tucked away in some of America’s most treasured lands, are calling your name.

These are our six favorite beautiful and solitary roads. Can you see yourself cruising down some of these in a truck?

Michigan: River Road Scenic Byway Along AuSable River

Along the AuSable River from Oscoda, this seriously underrated drive features timeless, high-up scenic views and also connects you to the area’s historic roots as a cornerstone of Michigan’s timber industry. Hiking trails and elaborate staircases provide access to the water?s edge, so bring your hiking shoes.

Don’t miss: Lumberman’s Monument, dedicated in 1932 to the hardworking men of the early logging industry.


Texas: Lonesome Highway

Texas is home to a strikingly beautiful road known only as “lonesome highway.” To get there, drive west on highway 285 until it reaches highway 180. There, turn left and continue into the mountains.

Don’t miss: The opportunity to listen to “Lost Highway” by Hank Williams while driving here.

lonesome highway
Mark Goebel

California: Highway 395 to Topaz Lake

The southernmost stretch of road, at the Nevada border, will lead you to one of the nation’s loveliest reservoirs, a sanctuary for many generations of anglers, boaters and campers.

Don’t miss: The fishing on Lake Topaz (season runs from January 1 through September 30).

topaz lake
Topaz Lake

Georgia: Foothills Drive

The North Georgia Mountains are famous for their beauty, but despite the popularity of the surrounding Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Foothills Drive in Blue Ridge is one of the better-kept secrets of Georgia’s rich mountain wilderness. You will never forget seeing the lush forests, best in Spring or Fall, framed by the majestic mountains.

Don’t miss: Amicalola falls (drive South, then loop around to see it just before sunset, or camp or lodge the night).

blue ridge GA

Illinois: Illinois River Road

This one just has to be seen to be believed. Those not local to IL will be kicking themselves for having overlooked this state for so long!

Don’t miss: The chance to plan your trip based on your interest (hunting, fishing, equestrian trails, camping, and more) with this interactive map.

Experience Emiquon
Experience Emiquon

North Carolina: Hanging Rock Scenic Byway

This is the perfect trip for veteran travelers ready to skip Asheville in favor of this more isolated (and, as far as we’re concerned, more interesting) choice. Although this byway is named after Hanging Rock State Park, the hanging rock is just there to whet your appetite. This area is sometimes called “the mountains away from the mountains” because of its unpopularity compared to the Blue Ridge and Asheville area.

Don’t miss: Pilot Mountain trail, one of the USA’s most beautiful trails to travel on foot (rated “moderately challenging”).

hanging rock

Where will you head next? Hopefully, this gave you some inspiration.


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6 Iconic Roads to Outdoorsman Paradise