To ensure Frederick County’s historic scenic rural roadways are preserved for future generations, Frederick County recently announced the creation of a new Rustic Roads Program. The program’s goal is to balance the competing interests of ensuring safe travel with protecting roadways.


“We know that preservation is crucial to maintaining our community’s unique characteristics,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “By launching this Rustic Roads Program, we can preserve Frederick County’s rustic roads in their natural and historic settings so future generations can understand and appreciate our rich agricultural history.” The Rustic Roads Program incorporates all 80 miles of lanes that are currently in the 20-year-old Rural Roads Program, designating them as “Exceptionally Rustic.” An additional 287 miles are identified as “Candidate Roads.



“No matter how historic, a road through a modern subdivision is no longer scenic and has lost much of what makes it unique and worthy of preservation,” said Preservation Maryland’s President & CEO, Nicholas Redding. “We are pleased to see Frederick’s Rustic Roads Program come together, a model that has worked successfully in other Maryland counties and for which our program, Smart Growth Maryland, had advocated and supported.”

To be listed as a Candidate Road, a roadway must: have a posted speed limit of no more than 35 miles per hour, or have no posted limit at all; average fewer than 1,000 vehicle trips per day; and be located outside Community Growth Areas and outside major subdivisions. Roads also may be eligible if there are scenic or natural features along them, or if they have historical or cultural significance. Special signs will be designed and posted on Exceptionally Rustic roads. The signs will be part of a larger branding effort to market the scenic roadways to tourists and to educate the public on the significance of this network of roads and the cultural and historic value they offer.