When John Denver wrote his ode to country roads, he was singing the praises of West Virginia's many rural, winding, and rolling routes. Riders who get the chance to cruise these state’s wild and wonderful asphalt stretches soon learn why he felt compelled to write a tribute to West Virginia's awesome roadways.
Though it’s hard to narrow down a few of the best rides out of the many that spider-web across West Virginia’s mountainous landscape, SR-150 is considered by those in the know to be one of this state’s most scenic roads. An approximately 25-mile road, SR-150 -- which is also known as the Highland Scenic Highway -- cuts through the beautiful Monongahela National Forest, as well as natural cranberry glades. SR-150 is the highest major road in West Virginia and is also a National Forest Scenic Byway. This road is a pleasurable cruise with easy turns and stunning views of the valleys and the mountains. It is especially captivating in the fall when the surrounding hills are ablaze in colors. This road can be reached from US-219 going northbound or, if you are heading southbound, from US-219 via Route 39.
For those bikers seeking more of a challenge, two roads in the same general area, SR-15 and SR-39 are popular rides that not only have great scenery, but are also enhanced with excellent sections of twisties, as well as nice long sweepers. SR-15 travels from I-79 around Sutton to US-219 in Valley Head.
SR-39, which carves through the George Washington National Forest and boasts over 3,500 feet of elevation change, can be picked up from Route 55 in Marlinton and ridden all the way into Virginia. Rider Magazine selected this fun and scenic road as one of its top 25 routes in the United States.
Riders looking for a nice twisty ride in the north-central part of West Virginia will enjoy Route 20 from Buckhannon to the Webster Springs area.
US-33, is a favorite with motorcyclists in West Virginia because it offers just about everything a rider could wish for out of a road -- elevation changes, twisties, sharp switchbacks, sweepers, horseshoes, as well as simply gorgeous scenery, for those brave enough to take their eyes off the road. This road, which actually begins in Virginia in Harrisonburg, crosses through the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Some cyclists end this thrill ride in Elkins, an approximately100-mile ride, while others prefer to continue on for another 100 or so more miles.
For riders who happen to be in the New River Gorge area, ogling its impressive monster of a bridge -- the western hemisphere’s longest steel arch span -- there is an extremely challenging white-knuckle road that should only be attempted by very experienced bikers. It is called Fayette Station Road, and it is the old route that motorists used to have to negotiate in order to cross the gorge area before the bridge was built. Some compare this road to Tennessee and North Carolina’s famous and terrifying Dragon’s Tail road. Hairpin curves, schizophrenic grade changes, sheer drop-offs without guardrails and occasional sprays of dangerous gravel on the asphalt make this route the ultimate test of a biker’s skills.
West Virginia is also home to a number of rallies rides and other motorcycle-related events, including two large ones that occur during the summer. These are the West Virginia State HOG Rally, which has been held in Charleston recently, and the Wild and Wonderful Mountain Fest Motorcycle Rally, which is held in Morgantown.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.
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