The Historic National Road Byway is lined with "pike towns" that grew up around stopping points for foot and horse powered traffic in the early 19th century. In Ohio, the byway extends from the West Virginia state line at the Ohio River to the Indiana state line, 225 miles long.
The road began to decline by 1850 as the feeling in the country and in Congress was that railroads made roads and canals obsolete for long distance transportation. The invention of the first recognizably modern bicycle and the modern automobile, both in 1885, sparked a renewed interest in roads, including the National Road. Most of the alignment of the National Road was incorporated into US 40 when the national route system went into effect in 1926.