Every die-hard motorcyclist has this ride at the top of their list for two reasons: First, for its famously winding roadways and smooth, well-maintained curves – perfect for a relaxing jaunt through the countryside. Second, for its idyllic country views and peaceful atmosphere, sure to make you reminisce about lazy summer days gone by. Together, they create a famously bucolic combination sure to revive old memories and help you create new ones on the one-of-a-kind Blue Ridge Parkway.
A top speed of 45 mph on this long and winding road might sound like a pain in the neck, or even a reason not to try this ride, but never fear: on this road, the slower speeds are a blessing in disguise. Together with the buttery-smooth, well-cared-for roads with their sweeping curves and gentle dips and rises, the slower speeds give you the gift of a more leisurely pace at which to take in the picturesque views in all their beauty. The patchwork fields, shadowy forests and babbling streams you’ll happen across culminate in a blaze of scenic glory just south of Asheville, North Carolina, but don’t worry – there’s plenty to see on every mile of this iconic road.
469 miles of unforgettable views on this route means you’ll need to plan at least two days, and an overnight, to cover the whole stretch and experience it fully. Not that you’ll want to cut it short: for those who become truly hooked on the beauty of this part of the country, there’s always the added visual treat of Skyline Drive. Connecting to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive offers a further 105 miles of incredible scenery, bright sunny days and fresh country air, all while showing you the wonders of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. If you’re a wildlife or photography buff, you might just want to add this scenic drive to your route as a matter of course: the Shenandoah National Forest boast abundant wildlife, thick foliage in a myriad of shapes and sizes and a variety of picturesque turnoffs, picnic spots and photo ops – ideal for capturing your visual memories of the road.
If you’re a fan of multi-day treks, and East Coast rides in particular (without the often-added coastal subtext), or if you’re just an adventurous biker with a taste for relaxing country views and smooth roads rather than aggressive twisties, dips and rises, the Blue Ridge Parkway should be at the top of your list. Add this ride to your bucket list, or better yet, get out there and do it this summer – you’ll make memories (and take iconic pictures) that will last a lifetime.
If you’re on the lookout for a place to stay during your next adventure, give Biker Buddy a try: we specialize in Places to Stay for Bike-Minded People. Check out lodgings along your route here, or find out more about how you can become a host and provide accommodations for your fellow bikers here.