Planning a trip to Covington, VA

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by sweetlou, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. sweetlou

    sweetlou small body, big balls

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,232
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    Dear FF's,

    We are planning a sportbike trip to Covington, VA from Long Island, NY in mid May, 2013. Previous trips include Elkins, WV, Marietta, OH, and Waynesboro, VA.

    Love the twisty stuff. Covington seems to be a moderate sized city with a Holiday Inn (we enjoy staying in hotels with hot tubs. Yes, we are from NY). Close to Seneca Rocks, New River Gorge, West Virginia riding... We are all railroad buffs so we typically ride near trains.

    What would you recommend riding in the region? We typically ride 150-200 miles a day. I hear riding around Roanoke is good. Blue Ridge Parkway isn't far either... Care to point us Yankees in the right directions?

    Thanks,

    Lou
    #1
  2. mtnflow

    mtnflow LFC, more pie please

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,519
    Location:
    Mount Sidney, va
    That a good location to start, hit all the squiggly lines in that area north and west. Do not miss rt 39 va or wva (all good), rt 60, 219, 92 in wva, 250, or 311 in va. It's easy to put together day ride loops in that area.

    If you are trailering, bring the ktm too. There are lots of good dirt road rides in that area also.
    #2
  3. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    16,401
    Location:
    Helltown
    Here's a real cool train ride and a good day trip from Covington...Take Rt 220 North out of Covington and stop at the top of the mountain to see...

    http://www.virginia.org/Listings/OutdoorsAndSports/FallingSpring/

    There is a trail down to the bottom of the falls. Get back on the bikes and continue to here...

    http://www.cassrailroad.com/

    Right next door is...

    http://www.gb.nrao.edu/epo.shtml

    There are a lot of twisty roads in between Falling springs and Cass but Unfortunately I can't tell you what is paved and what is gravel. The road that goes by Lake Moomaw is nice but the last time I was there it was gravel. Follow 220 up to Warm Springs and head West on Rt 39. Follow the map to Cass.
    Leaving Cass, head West on Rt 66 past Snowshoe resort and turn left(South) on Rt 219/55. Go about 12 miles to Rt 150. That is The Highland Scenic Highway.

    http://byways.org/explore/byways/2460

    Just west of the Southern terminus of the scenic highway is...

    http://www.pocahontascountywv.com/falls_of_hills_creek.aspx

    and...

    http://www.pocahontascountywv.co/cranberry_glades_nature_center.aspx

    I'm sure you'll get others to chime in soon as to good twisty roads. BRP is good but has a 45 mph speed limit.

    I can give you a bunch more scenic places(day trips, not necessarily twisty tough) to visit if you're interested.
    #3
  4. sweetlou

    sweetlou small body, big balls

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,232
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    Cool, exactly what I was looking for. Every year we plan a trip I put up a post in ADV to hear from local inmates. Last year locals pointed us to Marietta. Great spot.

    Is Covington a decent spot? Places to eat, etc. We like the chain hotel predictability but enjoy local heritage as much as possible. Elkins, WV was a great spot... stayed in a Holiday Inn smack dab in the middle of an up and coming town. Great spot. Hoping to find something similar down in the Virginia Coal towns smack dab in the middle of lots of squiggly lines on the map!

    Lou
    #4
  5. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,398
    Location:
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Don't be alarmed by that smell. Its just Westvaco. Once you get about 10-15 miles out of Covington it dissipates.:evil
    Here's one of my old favorite sport bike loops from when I lived in Roanoke. Head south east out of Covington on route 18 until it dumps into 311 at Paint Bank. You can eat an excellent meal at the Swinging Bridge restaurant there. Then go south on 311 until New Castle. Take 615 north until it runs into highway 220. Hang a left then take your first right on 43. Stay on it through Buchanon until it runs into the BR Parkway. Head north to Big Island. Hang a left on 501, cross the James River and hang a right on 501/130. Go a few (8-10) miles, then left on 635. When it intersects with 60, put your game face on, because this is where the real fun starts.:evil Take a left and drag your knee pucks all the way to Buena Vista. Putt putt through town into Lexington then hang a right on route 11/Lee highway until it crosses over I64. Then left on 39, which will take you along the Maury River and all the way back to highway 220. South back to Covington. This will not disappoint.
    #5
  6. biker128pedal

    biker128pedal Super Lurker

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,831
    Location:
    Eastern, VA
    There is a transportation museum in Roanoke. I have not been but supposed to have trains.
    #6
  7. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    16,401
    Location:
    Helltown
    I forgot about that one. I've been there but it was 20+ years ago. That is worthwhile to check out.

    http://vmt.org/

    Another area to explore...look at a map of Haysi and Grundy Va. area. Lots and lots of twisty roads in the area...

    This is a real cool park... out that way in BFE...

    http://www.breakspark.com/

    That last one is a little more than a 200 mile day though.


    Also Rt 16 from Marion Va to Rt 460 has a few curves...:D

    Here's a site you may be interested in...

    http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/searchdb.php?country=USA&state=VA

    There's even an old Steam Locomotive in Covington...

    37.789565, -79.999931

    Main St. park
    #7
  8. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    West Jefferson, NC
    Covington has a paper mill in the center of town and it can provide some unique smells at times.

    I would think that Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Luray, etc might provide a better base camp.

    Just my $.02 and worth every penny.
    #8
  9. SRG

    SRG SRG

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,805
    Location:
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Not to dissuade you from staying in Covington (don't think I've ever been there). But, my sister and her (bike nut) husband own and rent this place in Earlysville near Charlottesville. PM me for ADVrider discount.

    http://www.va-guesthouses.com/cottages.php?accommodation=Seven+Gables+Log+Cabin

    Not allot of restaurants/nightlife around, you'll have to make your own. Charlottesville is 20min. away.
    #9
  10. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22,456
    Location:
    In a Gilded Cage
    The wife and I used to go to Covington and use it as a base to ride out of. Now that I know the area better, I would pick Marlinton, WV over Covington, it's a much nicer town.

    220 north of Covington is fantastic. Someone mentioned 39; from 220 to Marlinton it is one of the best motorcycle roads I've ever been on. Many other roads to choose from.

    P.S. BYOB is in June, in the same area, if you have any flexibility with your travel dates.
    #10
  11. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,854
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    Although Covington is a Paper Mill town, the riding around it is fabulous. Reference the previous posts. Just about any road off the BRP will be pretty good. Rella's in Hacker Valley, WV is within range.

    250, 39, 311, 220N from the 'noke...all good roads. Pretty much any road north and east of Covington is pretty good.

    Other notable roads: SR130/US Rt 501 from Glasgow to Big Island is a local favorite.

    The Twin Valley Riders frequent that area quite a bit and are a great source of the best roads.
    #11
  12. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    16,401
    Location:
    Helltown
    Lewisburg, ~20 miles West of Covington, is a nice town and has a Holiday Inn express...that I have never spent the night at. :evil
    #12
  13. sweetlou

    sweetlou small body, big balls

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,232
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    Great ideas... switching gears, now thinking Roanoke instead of Covington. Thanks for all the great tips...

    Lou
    #13
  14. sweetlou

    sweetlou small body, big balls

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,232
    Location:
    Melville, NY
    Switching gears again, now thinking Lewisburg, WV. My goal is to make it to New River Gorge and staying in Roanoke would be pushing the distance. The route west on RT60 from Lewisburg looks like a nice ride.

    Looking at the Holiday Inn Express as someone previously mentioned. Any night life within walking distance? Looking in street view it seems like a main drag through commercialized town.

    Thanks,

    Lou
    #14
  15. Moto-Kafe

    Moto-Kafe Gnarly Entre-manure

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    811
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie........Alabamie
    Covington is an old PaperMill Town............been up there probably 6-8 times on business (at the Papermill). Not that many GREAT places to eat, besides the usual junk food, Pizza, Ruby Tuesday, Mex joint, etc............at least the last time I was up there (2008??). I'm no expert by far, but I think there are more "colorful/exciting" places to make yer BaseCamp?? :deal
    #15
  16. wvdirtbiker

    wvdirtbiker MILES2GO

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Fayette Co & Pocahontas Co WV
    If you are going to use Lewisburg as your base camp and ride Rt 60 over to the New River Gorge, here are a few destinations you would enjoy.

    East of Rainelle is the town of Lookout, WV. Turn south there and go about a mile to the 4 way stop in Winona. Stay straight ahead and follow the signs to Nuttalburg. The National Park Service has a great display of this early coal mining town where Henry Ford once owned the coal mine. The old town is just above the active RR and the New River.

    When you get back to Winona, turn left and follow this narrow paved road about 5 or 6 miles to US Rt 19. Turn left and go about 400 yds to the NPS visitors center located at the north end of the New River Gorge Bridge.
    Ask someone at the visitors center how to get to Fayette Station Road which goes down into the gorge, across the river and comes out at Fayetteville.

    From Fayetteville, go south on Rt 19 about 8 or 9 miles and follow the NPS signs to Thurmond, another old mining town in the gorge.

    You then might want to go back to Rt 19 and around Beckley and pick up Rt 3 at Beaver, WV. This will take you to Hinton, Alderson and back to Lewisburg.

    A very scenic one day ride.
    #16