Motorcycle Rides Near Roanoke, VA

Motorcycle Ride Near Roanoke, VA

Motorcyclists can find some of the most scenic views in the country on motorcycle rides through Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley as well as neighboring valleys. Don’t miss out on any of these stunning motorcycle rides near Roanoke, VA.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

This 216-mile Virginia section of this famous route along the eastern ridgetops of the Appalachian Mountains is part of “America’s Favorite Drive.”

For the splendors of the Parkway, you can head along the Parkway from Roanoke north to the Ridge Region or south to the Plateau Region for some stunning natural and cultural landscapes. Heading south, don’t miss Mabry Mill, Puckett Cabin, and the Blue Ridge Music Center. Just past Fancy Gap to the South, the Parkway crosses into North Carolina and continues all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway will take you along the mountain crests past waterfalls, hills, valleys, and gorgeous views of fall leaves in September and October. The route is dotted with pull offs and scenic overlooks, with many hiking trails and historical sites along the way where you can stretch your legs. Visit the Peaks of Otter, Humpback Rocks, and restored pioneer farms along the way. You’ll find no shortage of natural wonder on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Nelson County Scenic Loop

This 50-mile ride near the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway includes stretches of four different scenic byways, including the Parkway, Route 151, Route 56, and Route 664. Along the way are hundreds of points of interest, including hiking trails, historic sites, waterfalls, museums, orchards, overlooks, wineries, breweries, and more in the Rockfish Valley.

The ride is twisty and curvy, with altitude changes, and offers several additional spurs to extend your exploration of the area.

Back of the Dragon (Route 16)

Deep in Southwest Virginia, enjoy over 400 mountain twists and turns on the Back of the Dragon, the 32-mile stretch of Route 16 between Marion and Tazewell. This is Virginia’s only designated motorcycle route, offering switchbacks, hairpins, and slaloms.

This section is part of the “Heart of Appalachia” riding trail, which includes 14 routes connecting multiple historic and scenic towns and sights across the western edge of Virginia. Don’t miss the color change in the foliage during the fall, as entire mountainsides turn yellow, orange, and deep shades of red.

Near Lexington: Route 39 and the Maury River

Take Maury River Rd. (Route 39) out of Lexington, which is at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 64 West. Route 39 will take you over mountains and through valleys to Virginia’s western border. Stop for a bit and stretch your legs on a hiking trail rich in wildlife and pristine natural views. Don’t miss the George Washington National Forest or Goshen Pass.

Route 250 (Staunton to Monterey—and on to Elkins, WV)

Not too far north of Lexington on I-81, you’ll come to Staunton, VA. Staunton offers a host of cultural and historical entertainment options, including the Frontier Culture Museum, the Camera Heritage Museum, Gypsy Hill Park, and the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse.

The ride west on Hwy 250 into West Virginia is an exhilarating ride over mountains and through valleys that includes some technically challenging curves. You’ll pass through George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Halfway to Elkins is Monterey, VA, dubbed the “most rider-friendly town” with a large population of motorcycle riders, owners, and enthusiasts. The route to Elkins, as one reviewer noted, is more like an amusement park ride than a U.S. highway, with “high-banked turns and thrills a minute.”

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