Featuring the Commonwealth's expansive waterways, Kentucky's new road maps will create quite a splash in the upcoming travel season.

The 2017 Official Highway Map – now available at rest areas, welcome centers, local convention and tourism offices and all Kentucky state parks– provides more than directions for its readers.

This year’s map highlights the wealth of recreation and relaxation opportunities presented by “Kentucky’s Great Lakes.” Known internationally for its scenic lakeside shorelines, Kentucky’s vast lake system offers over 360,000 acres for individuals to play and unwind.

The 2017 highway map also celebrates the quasquibicentennial, or the 225th anniversary, of the Commonwealth’s statehood. Founded in 1792, Kentucky boasts a rich history with an exciting, prosperous future.

In his invitation to visit and explore all that Kentucky has to offer, Governor Matt Bevin spoke of the 225 years of memories captured in the Commonwealth.

“Kentucky travelers have long enjoyed the endless opportunities awaiting them along the Commonwealth’s highways and byways,” said Gov. Bevin. “As we celebrate our 225th anniversary this year, we invite residents and visitors alike, to join the fun in exploring all the Bluegrass State has to offer. We extend a warm Kentucky welcome to all who seek arts, history, culture, discovery and adventure—from our western waterlands to our eastern mountains, and all points in between. Thank you for exploring the most beautiful state in America!”

Published annually, the highway map highlights popular travel destinations:

—    Berea: Channel the inner artist at the Kentucky Artisan Center.

—    Bowling Green: Experience the thrill of the corvette at the National Corvette Museum.

—    Danville: Enjoy live stage action at the Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky's oldest outdoor dinner theatre.

—    Hodgenville: Visit the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln.

—    Louisville: Hear the rumble of charging horses at the home of the Kentucky Derby.

—    Paducah: Admire the wall-to-wall murals down by the riverside.

—    Slade: Scale the soaring wonders of Natural Bridge State Park.

For individuals with an artistic flair, the map features stopovers like Covington and Somerset where budding artists can get a “behind the scenes” look as artisans demonstrate their craft and bring their ideas to life. For adventurists with a bent toward hiking, bicycling or horseback riding, the map details numerous Kentucky trail towns and pathways ready to be explored.

Other notable attractions highlighted on the highway map include The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the newly-opened Ark Encounter in Williamstown and the numerous horse farms that solidify the beauty of the Bluegrass.

New to the map this year is a logo promoting Kentucky’s updated portal for online traffic and roadway information: Goky.ky.gov. Having replaced the traditional 511 travel and weather phone system in November 2016, the improved, user-friendly platform provides travelers access to reliable, up-to-date information regarding traffic conditions, construction activity and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) response to weather-related events.

KYTC also boasts its signature roadside assistance program, Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) Patrol, in a familiar spot on this year’s map. Alongside SAFE Patrol, Sammy the Safety Squirrel and Chip the Click-Munk, the Team Booster duo, add a fun reminder for parents and children to observe Kentucky’s booster seat law.

With the completion the of the Louisville­Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, the Abraham Lincoln and Lewis and Clark bridges now appear on the official highway map. Information regarding RiverLink, the tolling system for the new bridges, is provided on the Louisville inset maps.

Accompanying the inset maps of the downtown and greater Louisville area, 13 additional inset maps detail Lexington, downtown Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Paducah, Elizabethtown-Radcliff, northern Kentucky, Covington-Newport, downtown Frankfort, Richmond-Berea and Ashland.

To view or download an electronic version of Kentucky’s 2017 Official Highway Map, county maps or city maps, visit http://transportation.ky.gov/Planning/Pages/Official-Highway-Map.aspx.

For helpful trip-planning information, Kentucky residents and visitors are invited to check out http://www.kentuckytourism.com and are encouraged to use #KYshines when sharing snapshots of their Bluegrass travels.

For information regarding the 225 years of Kentucky, visit http://www.ky225.com/.

More From WBKR-FM