Fall Motorcycle Rides…The Open Road and Memorable Stops Along the Way

Michael Moore

We’ve all seen it in movies or television commercials.  A haggard father filling the gas tank of the family minivan while his three children fight over a long-forgotten toy recently rediscovered in a corner of the baby’s car seat.  By all appearances the poor dad is clutching to the shattered remains of his sanity with all his might.  Then it happens.  A rider pulls up on his Harley Davidson, effortlessly slides from the seat, removes his helmet, looks at the dad and says, “How’s it going?”  Nothing more needs to be said.  We instantly know what that poor dad is thinking.  It’s an iconic scene that resonates with so many of us; whether we’re a struggling dad or not.  And it’s not that we dads (or moms for that matter), don’t love our families and all that the family unit brings to our lives, but there’s something about the idea of just you, your bike, and the open road that calls to so many of us.  And in Nature’s Mountain Playground we get that.  When it comes to motorcycling in West Virginia, here in Pocahontas County, we’ve got over 1,200 miles of climbing, twisting mountain roads just waiting for you.  Whether you’re looking for scenic drives along one of our eight distinctive mapped out routes, or perhaps letting the road take you where it wants, Nature’s Mountain Playground has all the hairpin turns, open straight stretches, and rolling hills a rider could want; as well as a few places you might just have to stop for a moment or two and take in all the robust beauty these mountains have to offer.  So, here’s the rundown on some of the more popular motorcycle scenic rides and great stops along the way in Nature’s Mountain Playground.

If you’re looking to spend more time riding rather than mapping out the ride, be sure to pick up a copy of our Nature’s Mountain Playground Motorcycle Guide and Map – it’s yours for the asking!  Our guide highlights eight, scenic-filled roundtrip routes originating out of Pocahontas County, taking you to neighboring counties and back again.  With that many options, you’re bound to find that perfect mountain ride.  With trips ranging from just under 120 miles and up to 226 miles, you can choose from rides that will take you through charming towns, historic sites, river valleys, mountain peaks, and natural wonders.  With three routes originating in the Snowshoe area, two from Bartow, and three from Marlinton, each ride is as adventurous and epic as the next – we’ll bet you’ll have a hard time just picking one.  And who says you have to settle on one?  Book an overnight stay with any one of our motorcycle-friendly lodging partners and get in a couple days of riding. 

You’ll also want to factor in a little time off the bike as well.  While our eight motorcycle routes will have you tooling down some amazing mountain roads, you’ll definitely want to make some stops along the way and visit a few of our more popular destinations.  Beartown State Park, Cass Scenic Railroad, Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, Droop Mountain Battlefield and the Falls of Hills Creek are just a few unique destinations that can be added to an already epic ride.  And speaking of epic rides, with fall just around the corner, you’ll want to break out your fall motorcycle riding gear (some warmer clothes and a good camera?) and hit the Highland Scenic Highway, Watoga State Park, and Seneca State Forest for some of the best fall motorcycle riding in the state.  Each of these destinations are unique in their own way.  The highland Scenic Highway will have you topping out at an elevation of 4,500 feet with stunning views and four scenic overlooks, peering into deep valleys and across rugged mountain chains.  At over 10,000 acres, Watoga State Park is the largest state park in West Virginia and offers slow, winding, tree-lined routes through cabin-dotted lanes.  Seneca State Forest presents secluded, rolling routes deep into West Virginia’s largest and oldest state forest.  Any one of these locales would make for an epic fall motorcycle getaway; and when it comes to fall foliage and scenic highways in West Virginia, no one does it better than Nature’s Mountain Playground.

So, whether you’re a solo rider, part of a large club, or somewhere in between, if you’re considering possible West Virginia motorcycle routes this fall, you’ve got to check out Nature’s Mountain Playground in Pocahontas County.  With epic routes, rugged mountain beauty, great stops around the bend, and some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet, Nature’s Mountain Playground is a definite “must do” on every rider’s bucket list.