If I go to Mapquest and ask for directions from Syracuse, NY to Gibertsville, NY, it sends me south on I-81 almost to Binghamton, northeast on I-88 to Sidney, and thence to Gilbertsville. Total distance, 116 miles. Time, 2 hours 0 minutes.
If I then check the “avoid highways” box it sends me southeast on local roads. Total distance, 73 miles. Time… 1 hour 58 minutes.
Oh, but it is so much fun and such a novelty to drive on I-81!