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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley

The Back of the Dragon

Hello everyone, this past week has been a little rainy, but hope you were still able to get in some riding. Please remember when you ride after its rains or while it is raining the roads can be slippery. Please be aware of the road conditions. Stay safe and make it home to the ones who love you the most. This week I thought it would be nice to give you another ride you might enjoy.

The Back of the Dragon:

Tazewell County is home of the “famed” Back of the Dragon”, Virginia’s only designated motorcycle route and the premier riding road on the East Coast boosting thirty-two miles and over three hundred curves. Ideal for sports cars or motorcycles, and offers knee dragging fun, switchbacks, slaloms, hairpins, limited access, and spectacular views. The sharp zig-zagging path the road cuts through the mountain landscape, Route 16 provides 32 miles of exciting, unparalleled thrills. Spanning three mountain ranges between Tazewell and Marion, this two-lane road is bordered by magnificent scenery that reaches its peak during the fall foliage season. Take your motorcycle for a ride down Route 16 to become a “Dragon Master”.

Named Jeffersonville until 1892, Tazewell was developed near the headwaters of the Clinch River. It is one of the smallest towns in the United States to have once operated a streetcar. It is in a county that underwent rapid growth in population at the end of the 19th century during the period of the coal and iron boom, as resources of the Pocahontas Coalfields were exploited.

Marion is a town in Smyth County, Virginia. Conveniently positioned upon Interstate 81, Marion is easily accessible. Located in the Blue Ridge portion of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in Southwest Virginia, the general Marion area is well known for its scenic beauty. The town is named for American Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion. Marion is one of a few towns to be designated as an official Virginia Main Street Community and National Main Street Community. The Lincoln Theatre, a meticulously renovated Art-Deco Mayan Revival-style performing arts center in Marion, is the home of the nationally syndicated bluegrass music program Song of the Mountains

Don’t Miss: Hungry Mother State Park, the historic town of Tazewell. Long a family favorite and known for its beautiful woodlands and placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains, Hungry Mother has a sandy beach with bathhouse, boats and boat launch, universally accessible fishing pier, campgrounds, cabins, a fantastic restaurant, gift shops, a visitor center, a six-bedroom lodge that sleeps 15, and hiking and biking trails. Hungry Mother is also home to the Hemlock Haven Conference Center, which is perfect for retreats, conferences, and special events.

Local Events:

1. Midnight Gypsy’s – Shady Valley Country Store Cook Out August 20th

2. Meet The Mountains Festival – Founders Park Johnson City August 19th & 20th

3. Back to School Bash - Douglas Community Park Elizabethton August 20th

4. 6th Annual BBQ, Blues, Brews Elizabethton Covered Bridge

5. Annual VMC National Meet Gathering August 25th - 28th


1. Sturgis Bike Rally South Dakota August 5th – 14th

2. King of Clubs Bike Rally August 26th – 28th


1. Ride For A Cause August 13th 9am Cat Island Park

2. 3rd Annual Randy’s Ride August 27th

Bike Night:

1. Kingsport Moose Riders Every Wednesday

2. 19E Pit Stop Every Wednesday

3. Quaker Steak & Lube Every Thursday

4. Tulips Grub & Pub Every Friday

5. Peacemakers Bike Night 801 Boozy Creek Every 3rd Friday of each month

6. East Coast Wings Every Wednesday

7. Dog Tag Brigade Every Wednesday at Jonesborough VFW

8. The Pub Out Back Every Monday

9. Freddy’s in Kingsport every second Monday

10. Creek Side Bar & Grill in Stoney Creek every Wednesday


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