Motorcycles in the Mountains

West Virginia’s twisting mountain roads were made for two-wheeling fun. The annual MountainFest Motorcycle Rally welcomes over 50,000 motorcycle riders to Morgantown every July. One of the state’s largest multiday festivals, the event includes live music, contests, motorcycle shows and of course, group rides. But you don’t need to wait until MountainFest to enjoy a scenic ride. Check out some of the many great motorcycle routes that wind through Almost Heaven:

Mountaineer Country

If you’re visiting MountainFest, you’ll want to get in some scenic riding while you’re there. For a great curvy ride, head south on U.S. 119 through Grafton then north on W.Va. 26 to Kingwood and west on W.Va. 7 to loop back to Morgantown.

Area attractions include Alpine Lake Resort in Terra Alta and the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton, while the Cheat River offers boating and fishing. Stop for a tour at Forks of Cheat Winery and fuel up at popular restaurants like Atomic Grill and Colasante’s Ristorante and Pub in Morgantown.

U.S. 219

Explore the rugged mountains of West Virginia on this straight shot from Lewisburg to Thomas. This road runs through the Allegheny Mountain range and the Monongahela National Forest past some of the wildest and most scenic parts of the state.

There is much to see and do along the way. Area attractions include Beartown State Park, Cranberry Glades Botanical Area and Droop Mountain Battlefield. Enjoy a variety of recreational activities including dining at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Canaan Valley Resort State Park and Blackwater Falls State Park. Or ride an antique steam engine and explore the old logging town at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. For an interesting side trip, take U.S. 250 at Huttonsville and follow the signs to the Green Bank Observatory.

There’s no danger of going hungry (or thirsty) on this trip, with a slew of restaurants along the way serving up everything from bistro cuisine at The French Goat in Lewisburg to specialty pies at Sirianni’s Pizza Café in Davis, as well as several breweries including Stumptown Ales. When you reach Thomas, stick around for the evening entertainment at The Purple Fiddle.

Historic National Road

Ride across the Northern Panhandle on the oldest road in America on U.S. 40, the “All-American Road.” Historic sights on this route include the Wheeling Suspension Bridge and Independence Hall — West Virginia’s first capital. Take in a show at the historic Capitol Theatre or grab a bite to eat at one of several award-winning restaurants, including Ye Olde Alpha and Later Alligator. You’ll find lodging, dining and numerous recreational offerings and amenities at Oglebay Resort.

For an interesting side trip, head south on W.Va. 2 to Moundsville, where you can tour the historic West Virginia Penitentiary and explore a real Palace of Gold.

Washington Heritage Trail

Beginning at W.Va. 230 out of Harpers Ferry, the Washington Heritage Trail loops through Shepherdstown, Martinsburg, Berkeley Springs and Charles Town, capturing important moments in pre-statehood history while highlighting the natural beauty of the area. Its name is derived from George Washington’s family, who settled in the area and built their homes here.

Area attractions include Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Berkeley Springs State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and River Riders, which offers rafting and tubing trips on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

Dining options include the German-inspired dishes of the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown and the casual fare of Cider Press Deli & Grill in Inwood. Abolitionist Ale Works in Charles Town specializes in craft beer brewed on premises along with guest taps from several craft breweries are operating in the area.

Coal Heritage Area

Explore the beautiful New River Gorge and historic towns in the National Coal Heritage Area in Southern West Virginia.

From Beckley, travel north on U.S. 119 across the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, then west on U.S. 60 (Midland Trail) to Montgomery. Sights along the way include breathtaking overlooks at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center and Hawks Nest State Park. You’ll also pass a roadside viewing area for the majestic 60-foot Cathedral Falls and a picnic area at Kanawha Falls below the historic Glenn Ferris Inn.

Area activities include New River Jetboat Rides (seasonal; accessed via the aerial tramway at Hawks Nest Lodge) and of course loads of recreation in the Gorge, including hiking, zipline canopy tours, whitewater rafting and more. Nearby attractions include the artisan showcase at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia and underground tours at Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine (seasonal). Dining options abound throughout the region, from the casual but scrumptious fare of Secret Sandwich Society in Fayetteville to the elegant cuisine of The Char in Beckley.

Explore more scenic rides in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia and start planning your adventure today!

This post was last updated on March 24, 2022