City Escape: Bedford, Virginia

City Escape: Bedford, Virginia

After witnessing the sobering National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, it’s time to clear your head and shift your focus from the temporal to the enduring. Head west and follow the perpetual path of the waters into the mountains.

This City Escape passes through both the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains, the western Alleghenies, and the Shenandoah Valley that lies in between. Along the way, you’ll never stray far from water, whether that means majestic waterfalls, quiet streams, hot springs, or tranquil lakes. The pavement varies from straight sections through open farm fields to twisty mountain bends where you are greeted, in many spots, with the code words for a great motorcycling experience—“Not Recommended for Tractor Trailers.”


Approximately 192 miles

Lunch Stop

BG’s 2, located about nine miles down the road from the original, serves American diner fare with a daily special. It’s also a convenient gas stop along this route. Find it at 1152 Virginia Ave, Goshen, VA, (540) 997-5215. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Points of Interest

Natural Bridge State Park

A National Historic Landmark, the famous stone arch of Natural Bridge State Park rises 215 feet above Cedar Creek. A staircase with 137 steps (or a bus ride) will take you to the trail that passes under the arch and continues for another mile. Although the arch is the main attraction, the park is beautiful all around. Admission is $9.

Warm Springs Pools

First opened in 1761, the famous 19th-century octagonal wooden bath house was recently reopened after a multi-million-dollar restoration. Take a break halfway through your ride to bask in the warmth of the mineral waters that are naturally a consistent 98 degrees. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, a 50-minute soak costs $30. Reservations are required. Find it at 11 Bath St, Warm Springs, VA, (540) 839-3860.

Roaring Run Falls and Furnace Hiking Trail

This 1.5-mile loop trail takes you to the site of a historical iron ore furnace in the Jefferson National Forest, and has the 30-foot tall Roaring Run waterfall at its halfway point. The path to the falls follows the stream and is an easy hike even in all your gear—a perfect chance to stretch saddle-stiff legs.