Favorite Local Motorcycle Routes: West Virginia
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 22, 2021
West Virginia is known as the Mountain State and there are plenty of routes that traverse the countless mountains in the region. The state holds the Appalachian Mountain range and has a higher average elevation than any other state east of the Mississippi. The mountain scenery is great, but there are also Civil War historical sights, scenic railroads, coal industry museums and plenty of other things to experience. Here are some of the best routes to give you a place to start in exploring West Virginia by motorcycle.
Take US-33 for 100 miles starting in Harrisonburg, Virginia and take the path to Elkins, West Virginia. You get to see the best of both states on this enchanting ride. There are things to see around every corner and you will want to drive the path more than once because you can’t possibly see it all in one pass. You get to see the valley floor in one instance and a mountain peak in another. You will cross over trout streams, national forests, and a host of other scenery. Plan on taking it slow so you can see as much as possible each time you ride through.
Peterstown to Sweet Springs
This path can take less than an hour and you will pass through rolling hills, peaceful countryside, farms, mountains and more. There are some nice sweepers and rolling hills as well as a few twisties to keep things interesting. You can stop at small towns for shopping and food along the way. There aren’t many fancy establishments, but the good home cooking is prevalent. Some riders say this path is their favorite.
George Washington Highway
Start in Grafton and head East on Hwy 50 through the western tip of Maryland. You’ll get mountains, rivers, valley and more along the way. You will go through the beautiful Monongahela National Forest and enjoy more views than you thought possible in this short 54-mile ride. There are several other great mountain routes at the end of this path so if you get to the end of the route and want to do more, you can pick up another right after. This highway can be a wild ride with tight turns, rustic knick-knack shops, and peaceful stretches.
This route truly has it all. With 112 miles on US Highway 60, you start in Charleston and head to While Sulphur Springs. You get to go over the Appalachian Mountains, follow the Kanawha River, and see the falls near Glen Ferris. There are narrow towns in the area that sit right against the river. And as you get to the East, you climb up into the mountains on narrow roads with great river valley overlooks. Take the road slow, as there are steep grades. Watch for slippery conditions if there is any wetness on the road. All of the towns along the road are charming and the people are friendly.
Coal River Route
This 80-mile route huge the Coal River in the southern part of the state. You travel over mountains and through coal mining turns. The roads are curving and mountainous and while there are a few 4-lanes roads, most are 2-lane. You can stop to kayak on the Coal River and find some great amenities at surrounding cities.
This short, 23-mile road is anything but boring. In fact, it’s quite exciting and worth the trip over to this area. The scenery is standard since there are just hills and valleys with woods and no mountains. But the roads are incredibly fun. You will drive through one small town, but there is nothing else along the way.
West Virginia has plenty of opportunities foe beautiful, fun rides for any motorcyclist. Whether you want mountains, woods, history or other elements, you can find them all in West Virginia in one route or another.