Motorcycling the Back of the Dragon to Burkes Garden

Hit the western Virginia back roads on your motorcycle (or car) to experience fresh air and thrilling mountain curves. 

Virginia Route 16, also known as “Back of the Dragon,” is a motorcyclist dream. Drive south on this two lane ribbon from Tazewell to Marion for unmatched beauty and a one of a kind riding experience. Don’t miss Wolfe’s BBQ in Marion for some top notch barbeque and sweet wings before heading east to Route 622 toward Route 42.

Riding Route 42, also known as the Blue Grass Trail or Old Wilderness Road, you’ll see idyllic farms dotting the rural valley and pass several mountains, including Big Walker. Detour on Route 52 to Big Walker Lookout for spectacular views from above the treetops. Continue north on Route 52 to Route 614 toward Burkes Garden or “God’s Thumbprint” for more colorful countryside.

Burkes Garden, a bowl-shaped valley carved out of the top of a mountain, has some of the most fertile and beautiful farmland in the state. Every September the Fall Festival fills the valley with vendors offering fresh-cooked local food, crafts, apple butter-making demonstrations, quilting, cider pressing, sheep shearing, hay rides, and more.

Whether you are a biker looking to become a “Dragon Master” or a family out for a good drive, this back road mountain route is exciting for everyone.