Best Rides

More than 57,000 miles of highway in Virginia means great rides are waiting almost anywhere you go. The trick is picking one. Here are a few to get you started.

Illustration by Caroline Martin

Route 17’s Back of the Dragon is 32 miles spanning three mountains and more than 300 curves between Tazewell and Marion in Southwest Virginia.

A meander along Skyline Drive from Front Royal to Waynesboro offers 105 miles of breathtaking scenery and awe-inspiring lookouts in the heart of Shenandoah National Park.

Eastern Virginia bikers have a sweet 188-mile westward stretch of Route 40 from Homeville to Rocky Mount, with cotton and tobacco fields giving way to wooded areas and hillier terrain.

The Five-and-Dime follows a circular route, along Route 5 from Richmond to Jamestown, where riders hop a short ferry across the James and then cruise back to Hopewell or Chester on Route 10.

The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses 469 miles of the Appalachian Highlands from Afton to Cherokee, North Carolina, and features a mix of long-distance vistas and close-up views of muscular mountains and placid landscapes. For a shorter ride, start halfway in Fancy Gap, just off I-77.

A robust 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway traverses a variety of topography of the Appalachian Highlands from Afton to Cherokee, North Carolina, and offers a mix of long-distance vistas and close-up views of muscular mountains and placid landscapes. For a shorter ride, start halfway in Fancy Gap, just off I-77.

Multiple switchbacks, tight cornering and elevation changes feature on the 107-mile route on VA 250 from Staunton to Elkins, West Virginia. Stop for provisions in rider-friendly Monterey before crossing the border.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground spans 175 miles of US-29 and US-15 from Charlottesville to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It includes historical sites Monticello, Montpelier and Gettysburg Battlefield.


For even more inspiration on where to ride and why to ride, don’t miss our feature in the August 2017 issue, with portraits of motorcyclists from around the state by photographer Adam Ewing.

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