Three Days by Bike from Shenandoah National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Sweeping ridge-top curves and sunset-lit country roads converge in one divinely placed mountain town. Waynesboro, Virginia located at the base of Skyline Drive and Milepost 0 of the Blue Ridge Parkway offers the perfect base camp for motorcycle touring, with multiple days of beautiful riding and evening entertainment.
Day 1: Skyline Drive
This 105-mile ride through the Shenandoah National Park dishes up a full day of banked curves, hills, and vista-filled straightaways. One of the most famous routes in the world, this can’t-miss ride includes plenty of mountain twists with pavement that is smooth and clean. Seventy-five breathtaking overlooks provide easy pull-offs for stretching and sightseeing, as well as access to over 500 miles of mountain trails.
Wildlife sightings are common, from black bear crossings to hawk migrations. Chilly temperatures at high elevation and early morning fog are regular mountain phenomena, so bring a warm jacket even in summer. Park amenities include hiking, camping, concessions, and gas at milepost 51 at Big Meadows Wayside. From your Waynesboro base camp enjoy a post-ride flight at Basic City Beer Co, where industrial funk meets handcrafted ales. Housed in a revamped metalworking forge, cracked window panes and open-air patios make room for evenings of live music and fresh food from Hops Kitchen. Duck wings, old-school sliders, pierogis, and beer-cheese nachos with pulled pork BBQ are just some of the post-ride celebration food they are serving up.
Day 2: Country Roads
Begin any long day of riding with Weasie’s Kitchen’s famous all-you-can-eat pancake stack, and return in the evenings to explore the Greenleaf Grill, Jake’s Bar and Grill, or Jalisco’s Mexican Grill and Cantina for more favorite downtown dining.
Travel the country roads of the Shenanoah Valley Route, a 160+ mile loop connecting Valley destinations such as Luray Caverns and Shenandoah Caverns, Shenandoah and Eastside Speedways, Port Republic and New Market Battlefields, and Shenandoah Harley Davidson. The route meanders through the farmlands and charming downtowns of the Valley before arriving back at Waynesboro for dining, lodging and historic destinations such as the and Waynesboro Heritage Museum and the Plumb House Museum.
Looking for a longer loop? The Valley to Sky Ride serves up 225 miles of pastoral farms and mountaintop vistas, sampling the best the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.
Day 3: Blue Ridge Parkway
Waynesboro is the northern gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile ridgetop adventure connecting Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with the Great Smoky Mountains in “America’s Favorite Drive.” With rugged mountains, long-range vistas, and the rolling plateaus of the Appalachian Highlands, this meandering parkway offers a gorgeous and relaxing drive no matter which sections you choose to ride.
Before hitting the road, hit The French Press or Farmhaus Coffee Co. for a conveniently located great cup of joe and some breakfast followed by some antique browsing and thrift store cruising in downtown Waynesboro.
From Waynesboro, visit Humpback Rocks Visitors Center at milepost 5.8 for hiking and a historic living-museum. Milepost 60 provides a gift shop, restrooms, and restaurant as well as a flat stroll around Otter Lake. Nearby James River Visitor Center marks the lowest point on the Parkway and showcases the old canals along the James River. Gain 3,300 feet of elevation over 12 miles as you roll into Thunder Ridge Wilderness at milepost 75, plus enjoy a very short leg-stretching trail with views of the Allegheny Mountains. The Peaks of Otter Lodge provides full-service dining at milepost 86, whether you are choosing to loop back to Waynesboro or continue a multi-day tour further south.