Huntsville, Al to Cleveland, Oh via NC, VA, and WV

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by klaviator, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Huntsville, AL
    I'm planning to ride from Huntsville to Cleveland in about two weeks. I have a week to do this ride so I'm planning on taking the scenic route. On the first day I will ride to Deals Gap and camp there or nearby. I'll probably camp at Blue Ridge Cycle camp the second night. After that I'm looking for suggestions. My rough plan is as follows:
    Ride part or all of the BRP. Stop at Burke's Garden. Camp most of the time. Make it to the eastern suburbs of Cleveland after seven days of riding the best possible roads on the way there. I have plenty of time for side trips, or even back tracking. I'm pretty familiar with with the roads on this side of Asheville but less so to the north.

    Any suggestions for good roads to ride (preferably twisty and scenic), good places to camp (with facilities), or even good places to eat would be greatly appreciated. I'll be on a street bike but will ride on easy dirt roads if there is a good reason too.
    #1
  2. Gabby

    Gabby Been here awhile

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    You're welcome to camp at my place if you wanna ride 555 and some of the other Ohio stuff on your way. Follow the squiggly lines, you can't go wrong.
    #2
  3. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

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    The missus and I made a similiar ride last summer. Went to Michigan from Huntsville via West Virginian.

    I have been flamed for this advice before but here goes. Ride the Blue Ridge for awhile, but have an alternate plan. We got bored as hell of it after about a day of riding. The curves are all the same, the vista no matter how grand all look the same after a while as well. We ended up getting off and ended up in Elkhorn City, KY for reason involving a Tag o Rama game. We were headed back to the Blue Ridge when we both looked and each other and realized it just wasnt that good a ride. There is more to see in the way of small town, farms and such along the normal roads. And they are even better when it comes to twisties.

    Here are some of the better roads we discoverd on our alternate route.
    197 from Jenkin, KY to Elkhorn City, nice twisty road through creek valley
    80 from Elkhorn to Meadowview, VA. this one is so tight in some spot you will see your own tail lights
    42 from Bradford, VA to New Castle, VA curvey, scenic, low traffic,
    311 from New Castle to Point Blank, VA great pavement, twisty, great place to eat in Point Blank, I dont remember the name, but there is only one.

    555 in Ohio is a great road. Pick it up just West of Parkersburg, WV.

    Be sure to visit the bridge over New River Gourge near Fayetteville, WV. Ride the road underneath. Waaay fun.
    #3
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks for the offer. I haven't figured out a route through Ohio yet. I have ridden some of southeastern Ohio but it's been about 15 years. I could use advice on a good route from WV up to the east suburbs of cleveland. I know there's plenty of good roads in the south east but is there anything interesting further north?
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks for the response. I have ridden the entire BRP a few times but haven't been north of Little Switzerland for around 12 years or so. The BRP may not be all that exciting and the curves are pretty tame but it is a nice relaxing ride with pretty scenery. Since I have plenty of time on this trip, unlike previous trips, I have plenty of time to explore the side roads. What I'm trying to figure out is where to get off the BRP and head north through WV. I would like to ride 421 south of Shady Valley and see if the "snake" ( What an original name:rofl) lives up to it's hype and silly nickname. Burke's Garden is also on my list.

    I think I have ridden almost all of the roads you listed but it's been a long time so I barely remember them. I'll keep them in mind.
    #5
  6. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    I have been in southern Ohio some but do not have much on that but I do agree with Yankee Dog on 80 from Meadowview ( which is just a little suburb 10 minutes northeast of Abingdon Va) through Hayters Gap to Elkhorn. You have to run a couple miles where it follows highway 19 after Hayters Gap then it gets right back off on it's northward trek up through Honaker then to Elkhorn. It is a fun road. Above Elkhorn, 80 will join 23 which will take you up to I-64 but its just a four lane through flea market country. So you may want something else to head on north like 52 or something but I would have to study the maps on that one.

    Also, an option in this area would be 16 between Marion Va and Tazewell. Its getting to be really popular on weekends so if you ride it, a weekday would give you more chance of an open road to run but watch the speed limits ( which are fast enough for fun) as the radar is occasionally watching. You can see footage of this if you want to take a look at my "Aarrffideos" link.

    If you get east of Asheville at all, I like NC 80 to Bakersville area which takes you around Mtichell with great curves and vistas.

    Another good road is 91 north out of Elizabethton TN across the AT and then its 133 into Damascus and you can see some of that in my day trippin. 58 out of Damascus is great and has sidlline opportunities if you are interested in that I can share some options in there between Damascus and for example Marion VA. I'll be thinking about this and come back with more later

    Ed
    #6
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Stll trying to decide on a route through WV. Should I take 16 all the way or take a route further East?
    #7
  8. steveb126

    steveb126 Adventurer Anonymous

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    16 is a great route from BRP all the way to US 50. Kanawaha Falls and New River Gorge Bridge are just off 16 (on 19 and 60 respectively), check them out if you choose 16 through WV. WV 20 is a nice alternative north of Princeton through the Bluestone and Hinton Dam Area. 800 through southern OH is a great route as is 60 and 83.
    #8
  9. Aarrff

    Aarrff Gravel Grinder

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    You might study the Green Bank area ( no cell service or internet there...see my tag in the Appalachian TOR) and the Spruce Knob area just to north. Great riding in the Monongahela National Forest and surrounding area.
    #9
  10. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    I started a new website last year for riding in WV - still growing as readers start submitting photos and ride reports. Some pages are still empty, but it's slowly growing. You might find something interesting.

    http://www.RidingWV.com


    Please feel free to PM me here or email through the website if you have any questions.

    Safe travels!
    #10
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Thanks for the replies. I made copies of all this info and will take it with me. I'll pick a route as I go along but this info will help. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning.
    #11
  12. steveb126

    steveb126 Adventurer Anonymous

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    Me 2 :D, Leaving 5am ish. I'm traveling slab (77) through Charleston then 94 to 3 down to 54 into Mullins to 16 N of Welch through to Marion. Black '11 WeeStrom. Already packed up, er over packed as I look at what others take.
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I have really only been in the NE qtr of WV, but have never been disappointed. The terrain of Eastern WV and western MD lends itself to some very scenic and very twisty roads. The Lost River area of WV has some great roads. 50 and 119 are great. Might be too far East, but it is all good in that area. I go between DC and Pittsburgh and regardless the route, it's always great.

    Unless you fail to stray off the interstate, I can't imagine there's a bad route. Have fun.
    #13
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I'm hoping to get on the road early, possibly as early as 4 AM. It all depends on when I wake up. I may get to Deals gap too early to stop, or I may take an alternate route and camp further down the road like Blue ridge cycle camp. Here's a pics of my Aprilia loaded with camping gear from an earlier ride:

    [​IMG]
    #14