There’s something invigorating about hitting the open road on a bike knowing that adventure is ahead. A big part of motorcycle road trips is being able to experience the travel on a machine you are in full control of while appreciating the splendor of the roads running through classic American landscapes. Scenic motorcycle routes in Virginia are emblems of the rolling hills and small towns we picture when describing the beautiful diversity you can access on a cross-state trip. Get ready to hop on to a highway of inspiration as we outline our 10 favorite routes in the Old Dominion.
Our Top Choice Motorcycle Routes in Virginia
The ‘Birthplace of a Nation’ is known for its rich land and natural splendor that allowed it to be the first English settlement in the United States. Cruising through this terrain can act as a history lesson of sorts, and a great reminder of what it’s like to connect with your surroundings. Picking just 10 rides was difficult, but we narrowed it down to a group we think will do any style of ride justice:
- George Washington Memorial Parkway: Tapping into the historical element of our country early, this famed parkway traverses multiple landmarks while running parallel to the Potomac River. You can find national monuments, including the Lady Bird Johnson National Grove or the Navy and Marine Memorial. This ride can serve as a great reminder of the development of a nation and the different eras of growth we have experienced. Did we mention it’s also an awesome ride with well-maintained roads? Sign us up.
- Blue Ridge Parkway: This ride is nature-intensive and technically demanding, which brings great appeal to riders who are also outdoor enthusiasts. There are overlooks and rest stops with wondrous elevated views, as well as picnic and campsites throughout the sweeping vistas. We highly recommend this route for soloists or small groups looking to make a weekend of it.
- Back of the Dragon: Virginia’s famous designated motorcycle route in Tazewell County is truly a majestic beast. With 32 miles of spectacular curves through rolling hills, this is one you’re not going to want to miss. The technical riding involved for its slaloms and hairpins can be your focus, or you can just enjoy a ride unlike any other in the nation. Whichever you choose, you’re going to love it.
- Appalachian Mountain Routes: A broader set of scenic roads set both in Virginia and West Virginia, these routes are the ones that harken us back to the development of a nation. Peppered with small towns and historical developments, the mountain range, and natural beauty provides an exclamation point on every ridge you crest.
- Skyline Drive: Taking your ride through scenic Shenandoah National Park is a no-brainer if you have the opportunity. Cruise through the forgiving but dynamic roads with the crisp mountain air swirling around you. This is a great example of old and new riders making a pilgrimage- it is one of the most heavily trafficked motorcycle routes (and popular for cars), meaning there might be some traffic here and there, but this 100+ mile stretch beginning at Front Royal will show you a part of Virginia you may never have known about.
- Route 250: This ride is famous in West Virginia, and for good reason. It provides an element of adrenaline with its top-to-bottom hill action, and is preferred by many veteran riders. This doesn’t mean newer travelers shouldn’t experience it, but there is an element of caution necessary if you aren’t used to the action of the road. Once you’ve reigned in the excitement from the ride itself, you can appreciate the numerous Americana stops, including George Washington National park and a slew of classic diners.
- Colonial Parkway: A history buff’s ride, you can make a quick pass through the Historic Triangle, which is made up of Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Historic Jamestowne. This is a quick jog with some scenic byways, allowing you to make the experience a bigger part of the journey than the 23-mile route itself. There’s even a theme park should you really want to make a day of it!
- Nelson Scenic Loop: This 50-mile mixed-use road is one of the most beautiful rides in Virginia. Sure to provide serene moments as you go from Route 151 to Route 664 and connect to the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are overlooks among massive arbors that will provide you exclusive access to the natural beauty of Virginia. As a bonus, the craft beer and food scene throughout these routes is amazing these days.
- Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel: This ride is not for the faint of heart, but is perfect for those looking for a quick adventure. This ride takes you over the entire width of the bay, and you can feel the wind influencing your trip while getting an overhead view. Described as one of the ‘manmade wonders’ of the United States, this ride will bring exhilaration and a feeling of accomplishment when you’re finished.
- Route 39: Making your way from Shenandoah Valley and through George Washington National Forest, this ride is all about the verdant countryside of Virginia. With waterways and woods juxtaposed next to the Allegheny Mountains, you’re going to want to take your time through this 60-mile stretch. Pack a lunch and some drinks and enjoy this ride solo or with a group, but make sure you treat this ride as a field trip. We highly recommend the spring and fall for the colors of the scenery.
While we could easily make ten more lists like this, this is a great place to start. The beauty of Virginia provides for a combination of roads and countryside that is almost unmatched anywhere else in terms of ride quality.
Adventure With Law Tigers on Your Side
Seizing the day is what motorcycle riding is all about. Starting an adventure knowing you’re protected in the event of an accident, personal injury, or other mishaps will provide you a level of confidence to focus on the important parts of the ride.
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