God's Thumbprint - 230 Miles

Wherever a Stake Out exists, you can be sure that epic riding is all around. The Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas of Virginia don’t disappoint in the least. One of our favorite riding destinations away from the Parkway is Burke’s Garden AKA Vanderbilt’s AKA God’s Thumbprint. Known for it’s unique geography, this natural wonder is home to less than 500 residents with a large portion of the population being friendly Amish folks. At an elevation of over 3,000 feet, you have to climb up a twisty and fun ascent and then mind your brakes when heading back down on the descent.

Click here to display the map on your desktop or mobile phone.

Click here to display the map on your desktop or mobile phone.

From above, Burke’s Garden looks like a volcanic crater, but was actually formed from the collapse of a massive limestone cavern.


You’ll hit the 100 for a stretch of smooth roads and rolling hill with lots of trees on your way to Pearisburg, VA. It’s a cool small town to stop at for a coffee or brunch. After that, you’ll pick up the 61 where you’ll cruise along the river and enjoy some more well maintained tarmac with little traffic.

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The roads headed up the 623 into Burke’s Garden can be tight and twisty. Make sure to mind any signs you see posted and be wary if there’s none at all.

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Stop at the Burke’s Garden General Store to grab a sandwich, ice cream and/or some local Amish goods. The locals are friendly and this is the only place to snag a souvenir of your visit. Sorry, no beer here.

Sorry, the gas pumps are just for show and haven’t been active for a while. If fuel is a concern, make sure to top off at the 61 / 52 junction as it is the last gas for a bit.

The prescribed loop is in the shape of a lasso, but don’t feel like you need to follow that if you want to make the ride an out and back. Click here for more detailed info on the ride.

Mike Ellis