A bit ago my wife, Debbie, and I along with our friends Tim and Karma rode the length of Skyline Drive on our motorcycles. We made the ride


Pit stop in Front Royal, VA

before the leaves appear from their winter hibernation and the views from the drive were nothing but spectacular!

As we left Tim and Karma’s home the morning was crisp, cool, bright and sunny, it appeared that we had a great day form riding ahead of us. Mostly taking the small roads, it took a little over an hour to ride to Front Royal, VA, which is the northern terminus of the national park. When we arrived at Front Royal we stopped to top of the bikes (there is only three gas stations on Skyline Drive) and goofed off for a few minutes.

Getting back on the road, we immediately made a wrong turn and missed the Front Royal park entrance. That wrong turn became a disguised blessing as we got to ride up Thornton Gap to the next Skyline Drive entry point. Thornton Gap (US Route 211) is a twisty bit of motorcycle heaven, enough so that it warrants a special sign at the bottom to warn bikers that this is a high crash area. I HIGHLY recommend that if you are riding Skyline Drive that you jump off to ride this bit of highway!

Ijustwant2ride.comOnce on the parkway it turns out this ride was better than most of our trips to the park. Very little traffic, no park police, awesome views everywhere you looked and great friends made this a special day to ride. We stopped often to admire the panoramic views, but with 75 overlooks into the valleys below trying to stop at them all it would make for a very long day. With the stunning country view and nary a metropolitan area in sight, is hard to believe that we are less than 100 miles from the Washington DC rat race.

I have come to the conclusion that early spring, before the leaves exploded into life, has to be the best time to ride Skyline drive. As note before we did not encounter a lot of cars but we did see a lot of other motorcyclist riding everything from sport bikes, café racers to other touring bikes.

The ride from Thornton Gap entrance to the southern end of the park took us about 3 ½ hours. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia are a short trip to the east and we decided to ride into to town and have a late lunch. The last time Debbie and I were in Charlottesville we were picking up our black Ultra Limited, which we traded a year later for our new blue Ultra Limited.

During our lunch we debated our route back finally settling on Route 15. The ride north to our respective homes was uneventful. All in all we sent about 8 hours and a bit over 350 miles in the saddle that day. Good friends, good rides make for a good day!


  1. Rich Story says:

    Nice post! Love the Skyline Drive!

  2. treynolds says:

    I was in Roanoke this past weekend and had planned to hit Skyline, but it didn’t work out. One day I do plan to ride it. Great article!

  3. […] George Washington Heritage Trail, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Northwestern Turnpike, Skyline Drive and the Natchez Trace among […]

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