I first rode part of Rt 39 in October of 2016 as part of a loop trip that took me to Skyline Drive, VA to Natural Bridge, VA and back via Seneca Rocks, WV. I enjoyed this particular road so much I was determined to return and ride it in its entirety. This week I had that opportunity – riding from Lexington, VA, where I spent the night tent camping at LEE HI Travel Plaza (my first motorcycle camping adventure) to Summersville, WV., where I stayed at a Super 8 motel.
I have had opportunities to ride many roads in the eastern USA and a fair number in the west – some of which are repeatedly selected as the best rides in the country. But I have to say, as far as roads in the eastern US go, Rt 39 quickly became one of my favorites. After riding the entire road I can confidently say I will be back!
Rt 39 is a beautiful ride, with light traffic, good roads, and plenty of curves to satisfy most riders. Mind you, these are not “Tail of the Dragon” type curves, however, they are perfect for a cruiser or touring bike (frankly, I hope the sport bike riders stick to other roads and leave this one for the rest of us). There are some sharp switchback type curves in the mountains but, for the most part, the curves are mild to moderate snaking roads with recommended speeds of 25-35 MPH. The scenery consists of farmlands, small towns, rocky river views, and peaceful tree-lined stretches of secondary road. I found Rt 39 to be a road I wanted to share with a passenger or additional riders but, at the same time, a road I wanted to keep all to myself as I immersed myself in its character.