Route 97 Route 97 once known as 3A has always been a pictuesque ride.
The Delaware River Watershed provides water to over 17 million people and supports a world-class trout fishery and bald eagles.

Byway History

Route 97 passes within several hundred feet of one of the landmarks that was involved in the largest colonial land dispute. Surveyors for East Jersey, West Jersey and New York all used a large boulder in the river at Cochecton to mark the northern most boundary of New Jersey in 1719.

In 1920, a road construction project along the New York side of the Delaware River was initiated to link the many settlements along the river. This same road, Route 97, now defines the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway as recognized by New York State. The scenic byway boundary is a linear corridor along Route 97 in Orange, Sullivan and Delaware Counties that encompasses the Upper Delaware River and its river communities. The byway corridor extends along 71.35 miles between and including the city of Port Jervis and the village of Hancock (but does not include the towns of Fremont or Hancock).

Route 97 is classified as a major collector from Orange County to Route 52 and a minor arterial from Route 52 to its terminus at Route 17. In the city of Port Jervis, Route 6 or East Main Street is considered a connector road. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is on the following roads:

Orange County - The byway begins in the City of Port Jervis near the I-84 exit ramp at the southeastern city boundary on Route 6 (East Main Street) to the Sullivan County line for 6.8 miles

Sullivan County - Route 97 from the Orange County line to Delaware County line for 49.30 miles*(See note below)scenic byway in Tusten, NY.

Delaware County - Route 97 from the Sullivan County line through the Village of Hancock and under Route17 to the entrance ramp to the north of Route 17 for 15.25 miles

Governor George Pataki officially designated the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway as a component of the New York State Scenic Byways System on August 6, 2002. The legislation´s approval came after a grassroots process which began in February 2000 when individuals representing communities along Route 97 formed a committee in partnership with non-profit organizations and governmental agencies in the Upper Delaware River Valley to work on an application to the state. Funding was obtained to hire professional consultants to help draft the Enhancement Concept presented to the New York State Scenic Byways Advisory Board. Copies of that plan outlining goals and objectives are available.

The vision of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway is to “highlight what is already an exceptional feature of the region´s appeal to residents and visitors alike — the highway itself. The most significant and attractive aspects of the byway will continue to be its spectacular highway vistas, access to the Delaware River and its resources, and the uniqueness of the communities along the byway.”

It is important to note that the final approved byway plan included two phases. The first phase begins in Port Jervis and ends at the Town of Fremont line. The byway then picks up again in the Village of Hancock.

This phased approach was meant to allow the Town of Hancock and the Town of Fremont to continue discussions as to whether they wanted to be included in the scenic byway. If either town chooses to become part of the byway it will be able to join when it wishes. If either town chooses to not be included in the scenic byway then it will be excluded and will not have the byway forced upon them.

Upper Delaware Scenic Byway - Sections color chart Southern Gateway Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Lower Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic BywaysMid Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic BywayUpper Section of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Northern Gateway of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway