The Town of Liberty Grove started steering the bus in February 2009 to apply and create a State of Wisconsin Scenic Byway. By summer of 2009, 8 municipalities and the County of Door supported and worked with Liberty Grove on the quest for designation of the route. The Phase I aspect of the application is a driving assessment to rate the route. Assessments are done of scenic, historic, and cultural assets, and any distractions noted along the route. Photo are taken to accompany this part of the application. On December 8, 2009, Door County received unanimous approval of the route by the WI Scenic Byway Advisory Board.
During the application process, the committee chose the name Door County Coastal Byway. This trademark name represents the Highway 42-57 loop that provides travelers a 66-mile journey along the Niagara Escarpment, the shores of Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay.
Phase II was immediately launched and the Corridor Management Plan (CMP) was developed using the County of Door 2030 Comprehensive Smart Growth Plan as a basis, with input from committee members, local organizations and citizens. The CMP outlines out a 10-year plan with timeline goals to address protection and preservation, promotion and enhancement of the route. This plan and extensive supporting documentation for Phase II and Scenic Byway Status were submitted, and approved on April 6, 2010, by then Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Frank J. Busalacchi.
On February 26, 2021 unanimous governmental resolutions of support from local member municipalities, County of Door Board of Supervisors, Wis DOT Secretary of Transportation Craig Thomson and finally FHWA National Scenic Byway Board of Review and FHWA Secreatary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg helped to establish the byway as a National Scenic Byway.
The progress of the Door County Coastal Byway is possible due to a team of diligent, passionate, hard-working people from local governments, organizations and communities. Their vision and goals provide Door County Coastal Byway visitors with unforgettable experiences. Come explore the Door County Coastal Byway and let it guide you around this place we call home.
Ribbon Cutting Celebrating our National Scenic Byway Designation
Colleen Harris, Regional Director WisDOT NE - Randy Halstead, Chairman Town of Jacksonport - Event Venue Hosting - Ann Miller, Door County Coastal Byway Chairman - Jon Jarosh, Destination Door County - David Brooker, District Director, Office of US Congressman Mike Gallagher - David Lienau, Chairman, Door County Board of Supervisors - Joel Kitchens, Wisconsin State Assembly Representative 1st District