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Mining for gems in WV


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#1 stevec677

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:56 AM

In May, our small group of riders will be heading down to WV for the forth year in a row. I was elected to plan the route this year. We have run all the biggies (ie. 219, 220, 250, 33, 20). Last year someone suggested Smoke Hole Road (thanks, it was great). What other hidden gems are out there? Any smaller less traveled fun roads? Also, I was thinking of adding a theme to this years ride, "Tunnels". Does anyone know any neat/interesting roads with tunnels? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 El Toro Joe

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

When in May are you going? You should come camping at Breaks Interstate Park May 18-20...Great roads in that area. They also have cabins...if your not a camper

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#3 wheatonFJR

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:34 AM

Also, I was thinking of adding a theme to this years ride, "Tunnels"...



I think you should change your theme to "goats". Plenty of goaty roads in WV that are fun to ride I bet. :)

I'll be watching the thread responses...as I'm looking for new gems west of US 250 near SE Ohio.

#4 luvtoride

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

In May, our small group of riders will be heading down to WV for the forth year in a row. I was elected to plan the route this year. We have run all the biggies (ie. 219, 220, 250, 33, 20). Last year someone suggested Smoke Hole Road (thanks, it was great). What other hidden gems are out there? Any smaller less traveled fun roads? Also, I was thinking of adding a theme to this years ride, "Tunnels". Does anyone know any neat/interesting roads with tunnels? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Have you already ridden Rte 250? Well, in all actuality, the best part of 250 is in western VA... but there is good parts in WV. That's one of my favorites in the area... besides Smoke Hole. there's a backroad off of 250 just west of Durbin. It's called Back Mountain Rd. Following BMR will dump you out in Cass on Rte 66. We did that road in October while leaf peeping in the area. Good road! Definitely goat pathish, though.

Have you looked @ or already ridden Rte 50? There are sections of it that are sooo fun! Hopefully, they've repaved it the next time that I'm on it. The asphalt was pretty chopped up in places.

Also, if you wander into western VA, I'd highly recommend Rte 56 between Vesuvius & Massie's Mill.

If you are riding strictly in WV, in my opinion the riding in the southern half of the state beats the hell out of the northern part. & that is only my own opinion.
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#5 Intech

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:11 AM

Check out 72 out of Parsons off 219 south to 32. There are two roads. the high road and river road. The high road is almost totally goat pathish, but it is paved. the last time I was on it they had chip sealed the southern end just south of where river road dumps back out on it. Made for some pucker moments. The turn off of river road back onto 72 can be a bit of a pucker moment too! Both roads are scenic.

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#6 stevec677

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:58 AM

Thanks for the great responces, this is just what I was looking for. We have ridden parts of 250 and yes the part near VA is better. The middle is not so great, but in 2009 the northern section (above Littleton)was fantastic. We went back in 2010 and it was wrecked due to gas drilling trucks. We have not been back north since. We do want to stay in the southeastern part of the state. We might jump over to VA based on the recomendations above.

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#7 El Toro Joe

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:11 PM

Thanks for the great responces, this is just what I was looking for. We have ridden parts of 250 and yes the part near VA is better. The middle is not so great, but in 2009 the northern section (above Littleton)was fantastic. We went back in 2010 and it was wrecked due to gas drilling trucks. We have not been back north since. We do want to stay in the southeastern part of the state. We might jump over to VA based on the recomendations above.


That northern part of 250 is quite goat path like in many areas. If yer lookin to stay in SE WV, check out...

http://www.watoga.com/

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#8 luvtoride

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:17 PM

Thanks for the great responces, this is just what I was looking for. We have ridden parts of 250 and yes the part near VA is better. The middle is not so great, but in 2009 the northern section (above Littleton)was fantastic. We went back in 2010 and it was wrecked due to gas drilling trucks. We have not been back north since. We do want to stay in the southeastern part of the state. We might jump over to VA based on the recomendations above.


Steve, if you decide to ride the southern part of WV do give us a shout. Likely we can point out some really good roads.

& I hear ya' about rte 250. I've heard in the past that out towards Ohio the road is in bad shape. I've never been out that far.

If you do head into the Virginia area, keep in mind that roads that cross the Blue Ridge Parkway are usually VERY fun. It'll be in your best interest to do research & make sure they're paved, though. The recommendation that I made earlier... Rte 56, is one of those roads that goes up & down the sides of the BRP. Awesome road!
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#9 stevec677

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:31 PM

" It'll be in your best interest to do research & make sure they're paved, though."

I definitely prefer paved roads. Last year we were traveling at a high rate of speed on Squirrel Gap Road (that might not be the correct name) when it turned to dirt. It was an exciting stop. PS. ABS is a great thing.

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#10 BwanaDik

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:36 PM

What they said...

Plus, this is from a RR I did when we came back from Ohio to Texas. The roads were exceptional

"Monday night was in Bristol after riding down from Charleston, WV along 60, 20, 1, 16, and 58. We had rain for much of the morning ride, but things turned out nice after we had lunch in Bluefield. The ride along 19 was nice – divided highway until we reached Tazewell where we picked up 16. The weather was clear and cool after lunch – great day for riding. 16 was more technical than 58—some gravel and branches along the road. 16 intersected with 58 and took us through the Mount Rogers National Recreation area – the road was great – some more gravel, leaves, and branches kept things interesting. The combination of afternoon sun and shadows played havoc with our view of the road. Stopped for coffee in Damacus and decided to head to Bristol for the night. You guys that live around here have some world class stunning roads!"

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#11 Intech

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:23 PM

What they said...

Plus, this is from a RR I did when we came back from Ohio to Texas. The roads were exceptional

"Monday night was in Bristol after riding down from Charleston, WV along 60, 20, 1, 16, and 58. We had rain for much of the morning ride, but things turned out nice after we had lunch in Bluefield. The ride along 19 was nice – divided highway until we reached Tazewell where we picked up 16. The weather was clear and cool after lunch – great day for riding. 16 was more technical than 58—some gravel and branches along the road. 16 intersected with 58 and took us through the Mount Rogers National Recreation area – the road was great – some more gravel, leaves, and branches kept things interesting. The combination of afternoon sun and shadows played havoc with our view of the road. Stopped for coffee in Damacus and decided to head to Bristol for the night. You guys that live around here have some world class stunning roads!"

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North on 16 out of Tazwell is outstanding all the way to 52 in Welch, WV too!

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#12 lonerider

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:53 PM

If you happen to ride 250, one of my personal favorites is 654 (Doe Hill Rd.) at the west end of McDowell, VA (turn north at the Stonewall Grocery). It runs north to Rt. 33 at Brandywine, WV and has a little bit of everything. Rt. 150 (Highland Scenic Highway) is another good one. It runs between Rt. 219 at Edray, WV and Cranberry Glades at Rt. 33/55. Similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway, peak elevation is around 4500 ft. Rt. 39 is another good east-west road; I rode through Goshen Pass some years back in the fall when the foliage was at peak and it was spectacular. Rt. 15 from Rt. 219 to Webster Springs is another good one, great mountain views. Hard to find a boring road in Pocahontas and Pendleton counties in WV.
If you're looking for tunnels, try the southern half of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Edited by lonerider, 24 February 2012 - 04:55 PM.

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#13 luvtoride

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:33 AM

Last year we were traveling at a high rate of speed on Squirrel Gap Road (that might not be the correct name) when it turned to dirt.


Was it Squirrel Spur Rd? You enter from Rte 58 business route (near the BRP entrance)?

Interesting... I do not remember Squirrel Spur being part dirt roads. Either it isn't that road or you missed one of the turns to stay on it. There are several... definitely need to stay on your toes.
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#14 luvtoride

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

A small update: I see that you're planning on staying in the SE part of WV. Good move IMO.

An often overlooked road is Rte 10 between Covel & Matoaka (up & down Herndon Mtn). I honestly don't know why it gets overlooked so much. This section of road is awesome! Another road to look up which is actually in VA... Rte 311 that runs between Paint Bank & New Castle. Also, another Virginia gem.. but easily accessible from SE WV... Burkes Garden (SR623 off of 61) is awesome! It's beautiful when you get in the "garden". This twisty road needs to be traveled in & out because the road @ the southern end of Burkes Garden isn't paved. This road that you take in & out definitely won't dissapoint the heavy duty twisty rider one bit.

If you're looking for something less technical.. but fun... a friend of mine & I rode Rte 3 from where it intersects 219 west all the way to where it intersects 19. This was an extremely fun route. It was very curvy but can be traversed (for the most part) at a good clip.
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Godspeed TWN. We miss you.