The National Road in Illinois

Become a Member

The Historic National Road...

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.