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Hit the road: Best bike routes in WV

August 29, 2012
Graffiti

NORTHERN

- Parkersburg Area Ride (170 miles) Start in Parkersburg, where you'll ride parallel to the Ohio River on the first leg of this ride before winding your way southeast on scenic State Route 20 toward Clarksburg. If you like Italian food, Clarksburg has several authentic restaurants supported by a large Italian-American population. Afterwards, walk off your meal at North Bend State Park (just off U.S. Route 50) on your way back to Parkersburg. Once you're back in Parkersburg, be sure to visit the Blennerhassett Museum, and take the ferry to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. Stop by the Oil and Gas Museum to view interesting Civil War artifacts and find out about the early beginnings of the state's oil industry.

- Mountaineer Country Tour (133 miles) Stop at Coopers Rock State Forest for a commanding view of the terrain or catch a wave on the rapids of the Cheat River. Along this ride you'll also pass through Philippi, site of the first land battle of the civil war. In Grafton, take a break to stretch at Tygart Lake State Park.

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SOUTHERN

- Coal Heritage South (131 miles) This ride takes you into the heart of the West Virginia coalfields and through historic coal towns. Be sure to note the interesting architecture of the buildings and the old company houses the miners called home. Along the route, you can enjoy the waterfalls of Twin Falls State Park, or take a side trip to the historic Ashland Company Store for a bite to eat.

- Farm Country Ride (111 miles) Along U.S. Route 219 you'll find sweeping turns, rolling hills, scenic vistas and an abundance of historical sites. This is the area where Delaware, Seneca and Cherokee Indians hunted for hundreds of years before the arrival of English settlers. You'll also find Civil War sites, caverns and charming small towns throughout the region. Near Union, be sure to check out the Indian Creek Covered Bridge one of two remaining covered bridges in Monroe County.

- National Forest (195 miles) Travel through scenic plateaus and dense forests to an elevation of over 4,500 feet. This route takes you across the New River Gorge Bridge, the second largest steel arch bridge in the world, and to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, one of the most unique natural settings in North America. Descend from the highest road in West Virginia into the lush farm country of Greenbrier County.

WESTERN

- Metro Valley Tour (161 miles) In Charleston, take a guided tour of the beautiful West Virginia State Capitol. Visit the downtown area where you'll find an assortment of restaurants to grab a bite to eat before hitting the road west to Huntington. Along the way, you'll pass through small towns with big attractions like South Charleston with its Adena Indian Mound. From Huntington head to Point Pleasant, the site of what many historians consider to be the first battle of the Revolutionary War that took place in October 1774.

EASTERN

- The Washington Heritage Trail is characterized by old homes, towns, farms and rolling hills- the perfect backdrop for the many historical events that have taken place here. As you ride this trail, you'll trace the footpaths of George Washington, John Brown, Frederick Douglas and Civil War Spy Belle Boyd.

- Berkeley Springs Motorcycle Rides -Visit the website of the Berkeley Springs Convention and Visitors Center to find seven great rides they have mapped-out around the Berkeley Springs area of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. These scenic rides feature exciting roads, tasty restaurants and historic sites along the Washington Heritage Trail.

CENTRAL

- Mountains and Streams Ride (150 miles) When you arrive at Seneca Rocks rising out of the South Branch of the Potomac River, you'll want to stop and walk to the top. Between Seneca Rocks and Elkins you'll travel over mountain chains up to 4,000 feet, and then drop down to 1,984 feet in Elkins. You'll cross an estimated thirty mountains and twenty streams on your way back through Durbin to Bartow.

- High Road Tour (177 miles) Begin high atop Snowshoe Mountain and wind your way down a beautiful, twisting highway. Along the way, stop at Point Mountain Lookout for breathtaking views, travel through the quaint town of Webster Springs and visit the West Virginia State Wildlife Center near French Creek. Enjoy the unique small city of Buckhannon where you'll find great food, antiques and craft shops.

- Canaan Valley Tour (151 miles) - Wide open valleys dotted by old logging towns builds the character of this landscape. This region is an outdoorsman's paradise. Visit Blackwater Falls State Park for a magnificent waterfall, Canaan Valley State Park for wildlife and Dolly Sods Wilderness for its fauna and scenic vistas. Along the way, you can take a ride on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Train or take a side trip to visit the Nancy Hanks Memorial; birthplace of Abraham Lincoln's mother.

- Mountain Lakes Tour (163 miles) - Along this ride you'll enjoy recreational lakes, Civil War sites and quaint towns. Flatwoods offers shopping at the factory outlet stores and entertainment at the Mountain State Amphitheater. In Weston, take a historic tour of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (original historic name from 1858); formally a Civil War and state mental hospital. This ride is full of long sweepers and tight turns for a fun ride.

Information from the WV Department of Commerce.

 
 

 

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