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National Road (IL)

“The road that built the nation”

Also known as the "Road That Built the Nation", was created in 1806 by legislation signed by President Thomas Jefferson. Sometimes called "The Cumberland Road" and "The Old Pike", it was the only road completely built with federal funds.Originally winding from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois, the National Road opened Illinois to settlement. Today, the Illinois National Road stretches 164 miles from Marshall to East St. Louis and is mirrored by U.S. Route 40 and Interstate 70.Visitors can see where Lincoln’s political career began, marvel at a giant catsup bottle, and enjoy the food, festivals, and fun that make the Historic National Road a relaxed journey through Americana.

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  • 3 Reviews
  • 4 Helpful
November 24, 2015
Rated 4.0

If you're starting at the Marshall end the welcome center is no longer at a rest area, it is located in a restored building in Marshall. The welcome center is worth stopping in to check out. The first floor has pamphlets and information for sites along the road, the second and third floors showcase artifacts pertaining to the history of the road and the restoration of the building. The two staff members that were there were very friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.The scenery is beautiful on the road. Unfortunately for us, we passed through too early and some of the stops we wanted to make weren't open yet. The road can also be difficult to follow in some places, I recommend having a second person to help watch out for road markers.

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National Road (IL)

  • 150mi
  • 03h 21m
  • $15