Classic Roads: Kentucky's Alpine Road

Classic Roads: Kentucky's Alpine Road | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

Heading west out of Burkesville, KY, you’ll find Rte 2276. On the map, it’s named Hill St—but it’s better known by the locals as Alpine Road. This treacherously crooked stretch of pavement traverses Big Hill Mountain which is one of the highest points in the Cumberland River Valley.

The road spans all of 1.6 miles but contains 22 corners with varying degrees of radius to keep you on your toes. After reaching the top, a beautiful bird’s-eye view of Burkesville and the surrounding countryside rewards your effort. The asphalt is well maintained and few inlet roads means you can focus more on the corners than on intersections and traffic. Debris can often be found on the road from the mountain above so be sure to watch for gravel, dirt, and fallen foliage when making your first pass. This route has little traffic, thanks to the Hwy 90 bypass around the mountain.

Classic Roads: Kentucky's Alpine Road | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

Rte 2276 was made popular among motorcyclists following the creation of a now-extinct motorcycle event called Draggin’ the Alpine, which took place between 2009 and 2018. Draggin’ the Alpine closed the road for the day and allowed riders to attempt full-speed runs up and down the hill for time. The annual event drew attention to the curvaceous road and the motel that sits at the top. Although the event is no more, the road is still a fun attraction for motorcyclists who are traveling through the south-central region of Kentucky.

This part of the state is full of country backroads that wind their way through Cumberland River Valley farmlands. Exploring the region by motorcycle is a treat for those who enjoy rural rides and small two-lane backroads. Burkesville  is located about 80 miles east of Bowling Green and makes a fantastic day ride out of town or a pit stop when heading east to the Appalachian Mountains.

Points of Interest

Alpine Motel

Alpine Motel resides at the top of Big Hill Mountain, overlooking the Cumberland River Valley. Construction was completed in 1953, offering those passing through the area a peaceful night’s rest several hundred feet above Burkesville. This motor lodge is one of the only turns off of Hill St and makes a great home base for those visiting the area on a motorcycle. They have a pool on site, the rooms are spacious, and there’s a beautiful view of downtown Burkesville.

Dale Hollow Lake

Located 14 miles from Burkesville, Dale Hollow Lake was formed in 1943 after a dam was erected to help control flooding in the area. Dale Hollow is a world-renowned fishing destination, containing some of the largest smallmouth bass on the planet. Several marinas are located near Burkesville where you can rent boats, jet skis, and kayaks for the day. Of course, the lake is also a perfect spot to go for a swim after a long motorcycle ride.

Mike’s Landing Restaurant Located at the Sulphur Creek Marina

Mike’s Landing is a floating restaurant with views of Dale Hollow Lake. It serves American-style food, like burgers and catfish baskets, along with a variety of brews. The outdoor lounge is the perfect place to enjoy lunch or dinner and watch the boats go by. On weekends throughout the summer they have live music and karaoke. Occasionally, the restaurant hosts an open mic night for those who’d like a shot at entertaining the crowd—perhaps slinging jokes, singing, or describing the day’s motorcycle ride in stylistic prose.