Pawhuska, Ok. – September 5, 2019, the Osage Nation (ON) Heritage Trail Scenic Byway debuted with a special ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. The ceremony took place approximately one half mile northeast of the state Highway 60 and Highway 99 intersection north of Pawhuska. Vann Bighorse was asked to say the traditional prayer. Speakers included Chief Standing Bear, Congressman R.J. Walker, and Congressman Joe Tillman.
The ON Heritage Trail Scenic Byway is an effort to promote tourism and economic development. The byway is US Highway 60 stretching 65 miles across the Osage Nation from the western border through Pawhuska to the eastern border. There are multiple turnout locations along the byway with informational panels highlighting four principal themes: Osage Heritage, Oil Heritage, the Tallgrass Prairie, and Ranching Heritage in the Osage.
The Osage Nation applied for and received a National Scenic Byways Planning Grant to prepare an Interpretive Master Plan and Corridor Plan. As a result, the Osage Nation Heritage Trail received an Oklahoma Scenic Byways Designation. Utilizing the plans and Byway designation, the Osage Nation was awarded a federal scenic byway grant for construction. A committee was formed with various Osage Nation departments to ensure cultural and historical accuracy. Construction started in spring of 2019 with contractor Bright Lighting, Inc.
For more information about the Osage Nation Road Department, please visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/roads-department