Scenic Texas to host event for scenic byways and national destinations

Staff Report

Scenic Texas announced its first-ever “Ride for Scenic Texas,” a 21-mile loop bike ride and fundraiser to build awareness about the nonprofit’s work to designate Texas roads as official state scenic byways and to protect the Lone Star State’s visual environment.

This ride will take place on Saturday, April 10 in conjunction with the Driftwood Historical Conservation Society event to dedicate a stretch of road as the Travis Heritage Trail under state law. The event will be co-hosted with locally owned Vista Brewing.

Scenic Texas wants to build awareness about the need for a statewide Scenic Byway Program. Texas is the only state in the nation that does not currently have one.

“In the current legislative session, two companion bills are being considered to create a State Scenic Byways Program that would finally get scenic and historic highways and byways on the national tourism map,” said Sarah Tober, executive director of Scenic Texas. “This legislation would bring in federal money to protect our roads, not to mention tourism dollars from out of state that would help create jobs and boost our economy.”

Rep. Eddie Morales (D-Eagle Pass) and Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) authored the companion bills. Buckingham’s SB 941 passed unanimously out of the Senate Transportation committee and out of the full Senate last week with a 30-1 vote. HB 1908 has been referred to the Transportation committee.

Currently, the Driftwood community is working with local commissioners and Texas legislators to place the Travis Heritage Trail under the state Transportation Code. This would ban junk yards, sanitary fills and billboard placement on the Heritage Trail, and preserve the beauty and historic significance of this roadway for future generations. This is directly related to the work Scenic Texas is doing to advocate for scenic highway designations.

This scenic ride will feature lead rider Aaron Chamberlain, Texas Monthly freelance writer and co-founder of the Austin Beer Guide. Last year, Chamberlain was the first person to circumnavigate the state of Texas — more than 3,000 miles — on a bicycle.

  • WHO: Scenic Texas and Vista Brewing
  • WHAT: Ride for Scenic Texas
  • WHEN: April 10, 2021 from 8:00AM—1:00PM
  • WHERE: Vista Brewing

The Ride for Scenic Texas is a 21-mile open format from 8:00AM to 12:00PM, beginning and ending at Vista Brewing. Vista Brewing has invited riders to enjoy a socially distanced brew outside in the Vista Brewing beer garden after their rides. Ticket and sponsorship information as well as covid-19 guidelines for the event can be found at https://www.scenictexas.org/events.

For more information on the Scenic Byways program, visit scenictexas.org/advocate-for-stronger-scenic-policies. The site includes an interactive map demonstrating the 30 stretches of road that are currently protected by state law and would fall under this program.

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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