This 240 mile ride visits some of the best roads north and west of Elkins. Highlights include U.S. Route 219, U.S. Route 250, U.S. Route 33, the Germany Valley View, Smoke Hole Road, Seneca Rocks, and the old coal town of Thomas.
Ride south on U.S. 219 out of Elkins for 20 miles to Huttonsville. Turn left on U.S. Route 250 and ride some nice curves to Bartow. Bear left onto WV 28 and ride north to Circleville.
Turn right on U.S. Route 33 and start climbing a series of great curves. The road here is wooded with perfect pavement, and mountain views.
Stop at the scenic Germany Valley Overlook. This gorgeous valley was originally settled by German (including Pennsylvania Dutch) farmers in the mid-18th century.
Continue west on U.S. 33 to Franklin. Turn left and ride north on U.S. Route 220 to Upper Tract.
Turn left on to Smoke Hole Road. This road is a wonderful twisty road with great views of the South Branch Potomac River. The road is narrow with sharp curves and some campsites. The riding is great, but riders must stay vigilant for sharp changes of direction, hikers, and other vehicles.
Pick up WV Route 28 and take it south along the North Fork South Branch Potomac River. The riding is easier here with lots of high speed sweepers. This can be a welcome respite from the tight turns on Smoke Hole Rd.
Enter the Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. Stop at the Seneca Rocks Scenic View.
Seneca Rocks is one of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia. These rocks have long been noted as a scenic attraction and are popular with rock climbers.
Leave Seneca rocks on U.S. Route 33 west. Route 33 is a wonderful ride with terrific curves and great pavement. Turn right on WV Route 32 in Harman. After a few miles, turn left on WV Route 72 in Davis.
WV Route 72 from Davis to Parsons is a wild single lane road with exciting twists and scenic views. The road climbs and snakes around multiple ridges before descending to the Cheat River. Follow the Cheat River into Parsons.
Turn right on U.S. 219 and follow one of my favorite sections of this road to Thomas. This part of 219 is curvy and scenic. The pavement is usually perfect.
Thomas is an old coal town with a historic town center. The Cottrill Opera House and the Thomas Commercial Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A good lunch stop is the Purple Fiddle (review.) The Purple Fiddle is currently open Wed-Sun 11:00 – 8:00.
Leave Thomas and ride U.S. 219 and WV 24 north to Aurora. Turn left on U.S. 50. Many U.S. Roads in West Virginia are very different from what we think of in the Northeast. Often they are 2-lane curvy gems. U.S. 50 is one of the best.
Turn left on WV 72 in Rowlesburg and follow it south along the Cheat River to Parsons. There are some very nice river views along this stretch. Pick up U.S. 219 in Parsons and ride it south to the hotel in Elkins.