Virginia Tech's Community Design Assistance Center, in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Travel Association of Virginia, has published a new brochure to help motorcyclists enjoy half-day self-guided tours of some of Virginia's rural, and almost forgotten, back roads. The Motorcyclist's Guide to Lost Communities features two 3-4 hour tour routes, and offers suggestions for stops at points of interest along the way.
The "Pioneering Industry" route starts in Montgomery County and ends 80 miles later in Rural Retreat, once known as the cabbage capital of the state. It is also proudly known as the home of Dr. C.H. Pepper, who in a local drug store developed the famous soda known around the world. Along the way riders can enjoy stopping at New River Trail State Park, Wytheville Cultural Fish Station, and Carpenter's Grocery and General Store.
The "Grayson Highlands" route picks up in Rural Retreat and winds through southwestern Virginia's rural roads to end up back in Marion. This 100-mile trip takes the rider through Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Grayson Highlands State Park, which both offer spectacular mountain views.
The brochure is a taste of what will be featured in a forthcoming book titled "Lost Communities of Virginia" that seeks to bring to life now all-but-forgotten small communities in the state. It will provide the traveler with historical sketches of each of the dozens of communities featured, and highlight unique attributes of the area that made it a unique part of American history.
To request a brochure or find out more information about the forthcoming book, contact the Community Design Assistance Center at (540) 231-5644 or stop by 101 S. Main Street in Blacksburg during normal business hours.