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Monday, October 28, 2013

Guest Blog - Rockfish Gap - Virginia by Kiara Wilson

The Blue Ridge Mountains are most certainly the most notable mountain ranges in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states of the U.S. Through the past centuries, settlers have used winding paths in order to traverse these scenic mountains by foot, wagon and now by car. While the Blue Ridge Parkway acts as a main highway system to take travelers from North Carolina through Virginia, one particular stretch of the 469-mile route acts a motorcyclist's paradise. Rockfish Gap lies between Charlottesville and Waynesboro, and although most of the businesses along this stretch of highway are now closed, Rockfish Gap remains a top destination for the country's most weathered motorcycle riders.

With an elevation of just 1,900 feet above sea level, Rockfish Gap is one of the lowest areas between the Manassas Gap and the James River. Like many other notable stretches of mountain highway to the area, Rockfish Gap offers riders fast, curving roads that will push the very limits of man versus machine. It's not a highway for the faint of heart, and one wrong move may send riders, well, let's just say that you shouldn't make any wrong moves. It's a quite dangerous stretch of road, but that doesn't mean that Rockfish Gap doesn't provide some of the best views and adventures the area has to offer. Because of its proximity to the mountains and nearby river basins, Rockfish Gap has been known to become rather foggy throughout the day. Riders should be cautious of not only the roads themselves, but other motorists trying to navigate the low-visibility region.

Nearby motels have suffered from economic depressions and arson in more recent years. Overnight accommodations to Rockfish Gap are very sparse, but that shouldn't deter you from visiting the stretch of highway on your motorcycle at least once in your lifetime. Despite the area's misfortune with lodging, Rockfish Gap remains a top destination for Blue Ridge Parkway travelers by bike. Because it's surrounded by so many communities and of course, the Appalachian Trail, it shouldn't be too difficult to provide overnight accommodations, should you want to stay near Rockfish Gap? Remember whenever you want to go on a motorcycle trip on this route always use proper motorcycle gear from a trustworthy store. You should use proper luggage in order to carry enough belongings with you on the trip. Viking Bags would be the best choice for any biker.

The Icon Patrol or similar all-weather jacket makes for a wise attire choice for traveling the Rockfish Gap. Its elevation is not so high that riding becomes too cold or uncomfortable, but the moisture in the air can sometimes create disastrous conditions on any bike. Rainfall is not uncommon throughout the year, so expect to get wet no matter what time of day or year you're planning on riding Rockfish Gap.

Rockfish Gap is one of those day-rides that you simply cannot miss, especially if you have a long-planned Blue Ridge Parkway trip on your itinerary. The area offers unique adventure opportunities outside of thrill-seeking motorcycle rides, from hang-gliding and backpacking to mountain biking and rock climbing. Rockfish Gap is a premier destination for travelers to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It can be easily overlooked, but don't let it fly under your radar. Make sure you share the road, because bicyclists and RVs frequent the area, too!

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