I'm looking for some tips on planning a loop between Lexington or Staunton and Strasburg.
I'd like to stay east of 81 going one way and come back on the other side of 81.
42 is really the only road I've planned to use.
Are there roads or cities I should avoid like maybe Harrisonburg ?
I will be primarily camping, so I'd like stay close to the National Forest whenever possible.
Last edited by 1-track-mind; 08-02-09 at 11:55 AM.
I have spent a fair amount of time riding on the roads on the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley. I enjoy route 42 (and it's northern "extension" = Back Road which continues north from where Route 42 turns east toward Woodstock in the northern Valley).
I enjoy riding on Route 11. Some of my riding friends don't like Route 11 and feel it has a too much traffic for them. I personally have never really had any issues on Rt. 11. It has a center turning on almost its entire lenght and I have found motorist tend to give ample room. I particulary enjoy peddling throug the many small towns on Route 11 toward the nothern end of the Valley (Strasburg, Edinburg, Woodstock, Mount Jackson, etc.)....highly recommend Sal's Italian Restuarant on Rt. 11 in Edinburg.
I do not like Route 340 due to it being more narrow and less room for cars to share the road.
My favorite loop in the northern valley starts in Strasburg, south on Route 11 to Edinburg (could take Back Road as an alternate). Turn east at Edinburg on the Edinburg Gap Road, go over the moutain (a moderately difficult climb) into the Fort Valley. Go North on the Fort Valley Road down through the Fort Valley (several good camping spots toward the northern end of the Fort Valley in the national forest). Once you go all the way down the Fort Valley, you can turn west on 55 and return to Strasburg....about 50 miles all together. The Fort Valley Road stretch of this ride is one my favorite stretches.
Thanks for the great info !
Thinking about entering Fort Valley from the north on 55.
What about continuing south of Edinburg gap to Camp Roosevelt
and then into New Market via Forest Road 274 ?
I assume FR 274 is gravel (which is ok with me) and appears to run along side of Passage Creek most of the way before climbing out to 211.
Also wondering about whether I should consider taking 259 into WV and then picking up 55 east to Stasburg instead of 42//back road.
I just moved from Harrisonburg, and would reccomend the area to the west (which is where I normally went on rides). Harrisonburg shouldn't be too bad, though it isn't particularly scenic.
I would second 42/back road, though I would skip the portion between Harrisonburg and Broadway. Specifically, I would ride this http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...24283660357224 from Harrisonburg to Columbia Furnace. It's a beatiful area with pretty minimal traffic. Around mile 7 (I forget which road), there is some gravel, which you may want to avoid. Otherwise, this route is paved. Happy tour!