Leaving Boone via 421 at Deep Gap Mile Post 276 the BRP continues meandering northeasterly toward the Virginia State Line. At Benge Gap Mile 268 the Park Vista Motel is where we stayed once on our first BRP ride in 2000. We noticed the motel and restaurant in front were closed and for sale, apparently another victim of the economic slump.
NC 16 intersects at Mile 261 with food and fuel a short hop to the west. Eighteen miles to the south is North Wilkesboro, birthplace of NASCAR and home of Ted’s Kickin’ Chicken (I’m salivating as I write). To the north on 16 is Glendale Springs. We toured this area on our KLRs in 2007 SEE STORY. At Mile 258 is the Raccoon Holler Campground where we stayed.
Stop at the Northwest Trading Post right on the BRP at Mile 259. The store has a great selection of books, souvenirs and crafts.
At Mile 248 NC 18 intersects. Here is the Station’s Inn Motel, Restaurant, Bar and Store, a favorite of motorcyclists. Room rates are $80 a night and they have live music on Sundays. Also at this exit is Freeborne’s Motel and Restaurant, another motorcycle friendly stop. Take 18 (Sparta Road) south 24 miles to North Wilkesboro. There are some good twisties in the first 4 miles crossing Grandmother Mountain.
The Bluffs Lodge and Restaurant is located at Mile Post 241 with reasonably priced rooms and down home country cooking.
At Mile 238 is Doughton Park. This 7,000 acre scenic park has camping, trailer sites, and hiking trails. See Brinegar’s Cabin which dates back to the 1880s.
US 21 crosses the BRP at Mile 229. Five miles to the south is Roaring Gap. The next 5 miles south of Roaring Gap is a great twisty run SEE STORY. Find fuel and food in Sparta 5 miles to the north.
The North Carolina/Virginia State Line is at Mile 217.
Low Gap Bridge at Mile 216 is a Kodak moment. Here Virginia 81 intersects. Fuel and food is in Galax five miles to the north.
We stayed at the FIDDLERS ROOST CABINS just off the BRP at Mile 213. This remote wooded location was perfect for us. There is a half-mile gravel access, but we had no difficulty with the FJR fully loaded and two-up. The cozy Twin Oak Cabin had everything we needed including a well stocked kitchen, full bath, satellite TV, fire pit, rockers and a two-person hot tub on the porch. The cabin was $135 a night. A breakfast was included, but we left early to sample the buck wheat pancakes at Mabry Mill.
The Blue Ridge Music Center at Mile 213 features bluegrass and old-time music June through September.
VA 620 intersects at Mile 206 Pipers Gap. No food or fuel here.
At Mile 201 old meets new as the BRP crosses Interstate 77 giving a glimpse of the high speed traffic of today.
The Parkway passes through Fancy Gap at Mile 199. This offers an easy fuel, food and lodging access.
At Mile 194 is Raps Orchard Gap, another biker favorite stop on the BRP. There’s a little bit of everything here from a 50s style soda shop with great food to gas pumps. Friendly staff, clean restrooms and even occasional live music make this a good place to visit. Cabin rentals are nearby.
Mabry Mill is at Mile 176. We had a good breakfast featuring buckwheat pancakes in the restaurant. The grounds offer a chance to stretch your legs and there are some interest things to see. The fully functional grist mill, itself over 100 years old, was expanded by Ed Mabry to include a wheelwright shop, sawmill and blacksmith shop. There is an old log cabin, old fashion whisky still and a number of out buildings to explore. Often there are demonstrations and live music at this old time community gathering place.
Tuggle Gap at Mile 165 has fuel and food right on VA 8 just south of the exit. Tuggles Gap Restaurant and Motel are popular with bikers. There are mixed reviews on the motel.
We began to see quite a few deer in this area (Mile 152). We had been vigilant for deer since we left home, but these were the first encounters.
At Mile 139 Cahas Knob we met Michelle and Sean on the way back to Canada SEE PHOTO LEFT.
At Mile 136 (Adney Gap) a connecting road to the west jogs over to US 221 (2,690 feet elevation). No nearby fuel or food. Just north of here on the BRP is the Shaver Cemetery SEE PHOTO LEFT. The BRP has many interesting cemeteries along its entire length.
US 220 intersects the BRP at Mile 121. US 220 leads north into I-581 and downtown Roanoke and eventually I-81. Fuel and food can be found at this exit.
We discovered a lot of good roads north of Salem and Roanoke back in 2007 READ DETAILS. To the south on US 220 is the town of Rocky Mount, county seat of Franklin County. Franklin County proudly claims the title of “Moonshine Capital of the World”.
At Mile 120 is Roanoke Mountain Road to the east. This mostly one-way, paved, four mile loop has steep grades and several fantastic views from the summit at 2,170 feet elevation.
Roanoke has much to offer the traveler. Downtown features a great farmers market, museums, specialty shops and a number of diverse restaurants. At night the 100-foot tall Roanoke Star shines down on the city from atop Mill Mountain.
Access to Explore Park is at Mile 115. Once planned to be a tourist attraction with overnight facilities, nature trails and historical exhibits, today it is just a welcome center and hiking/biking trails. Expansion of this public/private joint venture is currently on hold due to lack of funding.