Escape to the Great Outdoors: Driving TourAugust 19, 2022
Winding country roads and steep mountain passes make Southern West Virginia the perfect place to take a long drive on a weekend. Whether you’re on a family outing or cruising by motorcycle, you won’t be bored by these rides.
National Forest & Park Route
Routes 19, 39, 219 & 60
This is our longest suggested ride, totaling 195 miles it begins and ends in Fayetteville, WV. This ride takes you through two of WV’s Coolest Small Towns (Budget Travel) – Fayetteville and Lewisburg are great places to plan your breakfast, lunch or dinner stops. With a beginning elevation of 1800′, this ride travels through the Appalachian Mountains, reaching an elevation of 4545′. Interesting stops – Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, Droop Mountain, Beartown State Park, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, Babcock State Park, and the New River Gorge Bridge.
Marmet to Beckley
Routes 94 & 3
This route is spectacular for seeing new and old coal mines. Pass through small towns with walking bridges and small creeks that are right by the road. There are pull-offs to take pictures of coal mines and scenic views, too. Loaded with twists and turns, WV-3 offers excellent road conditions as well.
For a special stop, pull off in Whitesville. This coal town is the site of the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial, which honors those who were killed in the 2010 mine explosion.
Coal River Route
Route 119 & CR3
Hugging the Coal River in Southern West Virginia, this route travels over mountains and through coal mining towns. It consists mostly of curving roads, but there are some four-lane highways, too. If you’re seeking an off-road adventure, the Hatfield and McCoy ATV trail crosses this route. Or, for another popular adventure, you can kayak on the Coal River.
Peterstown to Sweet Springs
Routes 219, 3 & 311
This scenic route goes through farms, mountains and the quiet, peaceful countryside. The road is well-maintained with very few twists — just smooth, rolling hills. The town of Union is an ideal place to stroll down the quaint main street and enjoy the historic architecture. While in Sweet Springs, drive by the Historic Sweet Springs Hotel. Designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1830, this property is currently being renovated, but you can still drive by and see the property.
For more driving tour ideas, download our Motorcycle Guide.