Some of my favorite vistas and panoramas from a bike.
Like most people, I enjoy scenic vistas and panoramas and West Virginia provides abundant high elevation views and there is no better way to enjoy them then from a bike. It is a lot more convenient to stop and enjoy the view while cycling than driving in a car. I’m not an avid climber, but when you are rewarded with a great view, it is worth the effort. Links are rides that include these vistas.
Monroe County probably provides more per mile than any other County. This is probably facilitated by the large amount of farming in the county while other counties have potential high elevation views blocked by forest. PDF verson for those that want a hardcopy.
Spruce Knob - The highest point in the state at 4,863 feet is the premier mountain panorama in the state. The lookout tower and the short trail around the knob, provide a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. When the access road from route 33 near Riverton was paved to the top, a few years back, it provided road bikers with a climbing challenge with a fantastic scenic reward for your efforts. At 11.8 miles, this is likely the longest climb in the state, but probably not the most difficult. The first 4 miles average 8%, but after that, you have a decreasing grade till the very last kick up to the parking area.
View Elevation: 4,863. Low Ground: 1,806
Spruce Knob Climb: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/SpruceKnobClimb/SpruceKnobClimb.html
Stemple Ridge - Preston County route 112 in Southern Preston County offers multiple great views of the Cheat River Valley, after a 7 mile climb up Location Road out of St. George in Tucker County. Location Road offers some great views over toward Backbone and Limestone Mountains. You can experience these views on the St. George Loop.
View Elevation: 2,800. Low Ground: 1,444
St. George Loop: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/St_GeorgeLoop.html
Red Sulphur Springs - The ridge on state route 12 above Red Sulphur Springs, near the junction of 21/2, offers a great view East of the Indian Creek drainage. If you can bring yourself to stop about half way on the two mile descent into Red Sulphur Springs at the church, you have a great view Southwest. You can take in these views on the Bozoo Loop.
View Elevation: 1,960 - Low Ground: 1,540
Boxoo Loop: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/BozooLoop/BozooLoop.html
Droop State Park Overlook, offers a fantastic view of Hillsboro, and the Little Levels of Pocahontas County. The Hillsboro - Lobelia Loops offer several route options to arrive at the overlook.
View Elevation: 3,045. Low Ground: 2,026
Lobelia Loops: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/LobeliaLoop.html
Upper Track - Descending Rocky Mountain on County 1 into Upper Track provides a great view of the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac River.
View Elevation: 2,546. Low Ground: 1,435
Franklin - Upper Track Loop: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/Franklin_UpperTrackLoop.html
Highland Scenic Highway - It is not called the “Scenic” highway for nothing! Great views can be found in all directions from different portions of the road, but the ones from the Little Laurel and Red Lick pull offs are outstanding. You can find these views on The Upper Scenic Highway Loop. A three mile limb from the Williams River gets you to the Little Laurel Overlook.
View Elevation: 4,200. Low Ground: 2,140
Upper Scenic Highway Loop: http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/U_ScenicHwy/ScenicHighwayLoop.html
Fort Spring Oxbow - While climbing from the Greenbrier River at Fort Spring in Southern Greenbrier County, you have a great view of the former oxbow of the river. Once you get to the top, turn around and take a good look before you continue on toward Sinks Grove, but there are plenty more great views to come.
View Elevation: 2,056. Low Ground: 1,580
Muddy Creek - Sinks Grove Loop - http://www.cyclingscenicwv.com/Rides/MuddyCreek/MuddyCreek_SinksGroveLoop.html
The listing of routes on this site is not a guarantee of the safety of the route. Cycling has inherent risks and riders skills vary. Traffic conditions vary by time of day, season and local events. Road conditions can vary and change and may change dramatically over one winter season. Riders need to ride within their capabilities and be alert for road hazards and traffic at all times.
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