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Thread: Road recommendations in VA and WVA

  1. #1
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    Road recommendations in VA and WVA

    Hi All,
    My uncle wants to celebrate his 50th birthday by going on a motorcycle ride. I'm in Chicago he's in Florida. We agreed to meet in VA. He's going to put his bike on the train and I'll be riding out from Chicago. We'll meet in Lorton, VA and spend 7 days riding and camping in the area. For those of you familiar with the area, do you have any suggestions of places to ride and/or camp?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Order a VDOT map online here: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/maporder.asp
    Look for the "scenic byways". Also ride Skyline Drive from Front Royal south. This is the northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway. And you can put your question to the great folks at BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington at bmwbmw.org. They will tell you everything you need to know; and who knows, maybe someone will become a guide.
    best regards,
    Mark
    Fairfax, VA

  3. #3
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    What kind of roads are you looking for? Relaxed country roads or the tight, edge of your envelope stuff? Personally I tend towards the former with a little of the latter thrown in. With that said I would head west on Rt. 211 to Skyline Drive, head south on that and the Blue Ridge Parkway (check out Peaks of Otter or one of the other lodges/campgrounds for the overnight) to Rt. 16 North - a great road with lots of up and down and all around. From there I would head north to Rt. 42 north/east to Rt. 311 in New Castle (great hot dog stand.) Then Rt. 311 to Rt. 18 to Rt. 220. North on 220 to Rt. 39 (take a relaxing dip in the Jefferson Pools) west, then a right onto 92 (awesome, lonely road) up to Rt. 28 through Cherry Grove (stop and see the huge radar arrays) up towards Petersburg (look for camping or motels in Seneca Rocks, beautiful area.) I would then hang a right onto Smoke Hole Road and bisect the smoke hole canyon to Rt. 220, then 220 again up to Rt. 50, then east to Winchester.

    Fill in lots of side roads, the ones down near Burke's Garden/Rt. 16 are all just awesome, as are the ones bounded by the Rt. 220, 250, 39 and 42 box.

    Great campsites are the Smoke Hole Canyon Campground (just stayed there last year, bring a bathing suit as the river running alongside is so clear you can see fish on the bottom 30' down), the ones on the BRP and Skyline Drive are all decent and many have great views like the awesome site I got at Loft Mountain Camground last year, Hungry Mother Park on Rt. 16, and the Highland Inn in Monterrey (inexpensive and moto friendly old-school place).
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the map suggestion queretaro.

    Ted, I think we are on the same page as far as the kind of riding we enjoy. I much appreciate the detailed suggestions. That is exactly was I was hoping for! Cheers and happy 4th!

  5. #5
    The Big Red One sgtbill's Avatar
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    When will you be in the area? There are some great roads for riding just west of the Lorton and Metro-DC area. Give us some details and we can suggest some good rides. The local BMWBMW forums have many ride suggestions. Plus lots of us are available for riding during the summer as well.
    sgtbill
    Duty First!
    86 K100RS EML
    2007 F800ST & 2014 F800GS & 2014 F700GS

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Lorton, VA

    I used to live in Springfield, VA (way back in the day!) ... Lorton is right in the middle of History Central. There are numerous "MUST SEE" places if you haven't been there before! One could easily spend a week in downtown D.C. just visiting the museums and historic government buildings. In addition to ALL of the Smithsonian Museums, the U.S. Capitol, and The White House, there is the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. There is also the WW-II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the U.S.M.C. "Iwo Jima" Memorial. For me personally, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery and Robert E. Lee's Arlington Mansion should be seen. Getting outside the I-495 beltway, George Washington's Mount Vernon is worth a stop. Great Falls on the Potomac River is cool. This weekend of the 8th-10th of July is the 150th Anniversary reenactment of the 1st Battle of Manassas (1st Bull Run) somewhere in the area on non-US Park property. The actual 150th anniversary is the 21st of July, and a stop at the actual Battlefield Park would be warranted. Fredricksburg is a really cool town along the Rappahannock River. There are plenty of places in and around the town that relate to both the Colonial era and the Civil War era. Just east of Fredricksburg is "Wakefield" George Washington's Birthplace (my ancestors sold that property to the Washington's). You'll have to drive right past "Strattford Hall" Robert E. Lee's Birthplace to get there. Richmond has the Museum of the Confederacy and several other worthy places to stop. The "Colonial Triangle" south east of Richmond includes the Jamestown Settlement where America as we know it was born in 1607; the fully restored Colonial Williamsburg 1699-1780 Capitol of Virgina is awesome; and the Yorktown Battlefield is where America's Independence was won! If you run west from there you can visit Appomattox Courthouse where Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant and cemented the Union as we know it. From Appomattox, you can ride to Lexington, VA where there is the Lee Chapel and Museum where several of the Lee's are entombed, and Robert E. Lee's horse "Traveler" is buried just outside the Chapel. Lexington is a beautiful college town with both Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. From Lexington, I'd ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive up into the Winchester area. From there I would definitely check out Harpers Ferry, WV. From there, you could cruise through Fredrick Maryland to Baltimore to check out Ft. McHenry where the Star Spangled Banner earned her name. After that, it is a short run back into D.C. to see the real Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian. And when you're done with all that, you can drop your uncle off back at Lorton.

  7. #7
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    and if you don't have enough yet go to: http://www.motorcycleva.com/rides.cfm

    best regards,
    Mark

  8. #8
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    By far the best riding in Virginia is the southwestern end.

    These roads are excellent:http://www.motorcycleva.com/rides_list.cfm?Cat=6 which includes http://backofthedragon.com/

    I've lived and ridden all over the state but I retired to mountain roads. If you want easy rides, you need to go elsewhere.
    Last edited by osbornk; 07-09-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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