Fantastic ascent to a famous Battle Memorial at 5800 foot summit at the Sacrario, a burial site and Memorial to fallen soldiers of Italy, Austria and Hungaria. Plenty of parking, walk the memorial grounds, and enjoy delicious entrees in the Hofbrau style house collocated at the parking. Restrooms also free use. Weather dependent route. Many motorcyclists take this ascent along with the occasional herds of livestock. Plus many bicyclists also on road. Quite popular and worth stopping for epic views of the Veneto, the Adriatic and north to the Dolomites.
The summit of Monte Grappa is a most sought-out destination for History buffs, Para-gliders, and Motorcyclists. The route I took begins at the foot of the mountain and immediately thrusts you into aggressive hill-climbing for about 45minutes on my bike. Preferably ridden on something akin to a BMW RS 1200 would have been easy. Riding my Honda GL 1500 F6 is a challenge. Hairpins are many as are straight-aways. Do not sight-see, it could be dangerous if you get distracted. Once at the Military Cemetery at top is also a Brauhaus with plenty of parking and seating for a wonderful lunch. I found many motorcyclists friendly to chat with. Another pal arrived on his Harley Bagger showing that a few of us can also mountain climb. My route down was on Route 148 to the north, connecting me with the Auto Strada back to Bassano. My video is that ride.
This is easily ridden over several hours because it is a country ride with a number of interesting venues along the route. The Road departs from near the town of Blythewood at I-77 heading north into Fairfield County and winds northwest to the Fairfield Airfield where a stop is nice. Civil aviation airport. Continues into the country west of Winnsboro and re-enters Winnsboro's historic homes area, many dating back 150 years or more. In town a great lunch can be found at the Cornwallis Tea Room located on Main Street whose owner lives in the same 18th century home where British General Cornwallis staged his headquarters during the Revolutionary period. The tea room is worth the stop for lunch! Continue the route south winding your way back to the start point. Plenty of amenities for gas and refreshments in Winnsboro and Blythewood.
What makes this route terrific for South Carolina is that it is rather open in sections and cruise-worthy throughout. The start at Blythewood north to Ridgeway is gentle rolling terrain. Ridgeway is a Revolutionary War town worth seeing with antique stores and a Tea Room with great sandwich lunches worth stopping for at a great price! From Ridgeway to Great Falls is a straight arrow ride where at points you can see to the horizon across pine covered hills. At Great Falls you can gas up and head to the river which feeds Lake Wateree. Stop for photos on the bridge. Head south towards Liberty along winding wooded terrain with lots of shadows, so good for summer rides. Stop at the old Post Office and the cutest Post-Mistress you\'ve ever seen! Then on to the marina and a great view of Lake Wateree. Don\'t turn your nose up at Camden, it is worth a full day\'s stop, but this route side-swipes it and returns on the back roads behind Blythewood, lots of hidden homes and country. At Blythewood, you will find if you gas up at the BP station on route 21 you will save ten cents on the gallon cause only the Locals know they serve residents from Blythewood rather than the Interstate Traffic. A great route that you can thoroughly enjoy in a short few hours.
This route heads directly into the Sumter National Forest and explores the terrain with depth. Stopping at the Rose site is a pleasant tour of a yesteryear mansion. You can park the bike, picnic, they even have a soft drink machine near the benches, I was truly surprised. It was deep in the forest. But it was very nice. From there I head north to Union, a nice town, and eastbound to Chester, another quaint southern town. Plenty of gas stations but the ride overall is very good, not lots of traffic, scenery is underrated. The quiet of this forest on an autumn day is good stuff. Take a cigar, enjoy the rest points.
Here is another South Carolina afternoon jaunt that includes a bit of freeway, some very backcountry wandering, and a push into the edge of the Sumter National Forest heading down to Lake Monticello area, through the forested area SE of there which includes numerous Revolutionary War Historical markers and sites which are still standing. The turn-off from I-77 to White Oak Camp is a very nice road and pleasant to the eyes. Skirting Chester to the SW and ride west for a dozen miles is a pleasant and fast route. Be sure to stop at Lake Monticello, it is a secret and beautiful quiet lake. Some junkie areas around the lake, not to worry, just keep pushing into the forest and find those Revolutionary War sites, stop and read, reflect, continue back to the All American City of Blythewood where you can refuel, refit, and take the freeway in any direction.
This roundtrip provides a diversity of routes for a few hours on the road. Plus, the mid-trip destination is outstanding, the Bermuda High Soaring Club which features awesome Glider soaring for good rates! Along with this, it is back-country South Carolina. Coming out of Blythewood towards Lancaster, Highway 21 is an arrow of a road where you can see for miles ahead. A Good fast road. Lancaster is a classic old southern town of beauty. Head from there towards more countryside, flatter terrain towards Jefferson and Thermal Trail. It is surprisingly pleasant including vistas where you get a wide-open sense not usually available in the Low Country of the state. Stop at Bermuda Soaring on Thermal Trail, sit down at their place indoors, eat and drink, enjoy the ambiance, and talk planes. Thermal trail is gravel, so be careful. Head out on country roads towards Kershaw pick up the fast road again to Camden, heart of Horse Racing and all things of the Southern Aristocracy and the Revolutionary War. Enter Camden at your own risk, traffic! Skirt the town, head back to Ridgeway via secondary road with plenty of curves and straightways and cruise south into Blythewood to an emerging Southern town to Doko Meadows Park where by next summer youll be able to relax in authentic charm with large oak trees, a lake, and welcome center!
This route begins from the South Carolina State Capitol, easily identified by the assortment of flags, monument to the Confederate Soldier and the stars on the Western facade marking the Civil War shelling and pock marks from General Sherman. Take the surface streets past the USC Gamecocks stadium on Bluff Road south past the Congaree National Monument towards Ft Motte. Nothing much to see but it was a skirmish site in the Revolutionary War. Further south to the diversion channel between lakes Moultrie and Marion and find the Historic Gravesite of Francis Marion, Revolutionary War Hero and Guerilla fighter against the Brits. Home towards Camden, another revolutionary war site. Marion, otherwise known as the Swamp Fox, has a modest gravesite, his wife buried alongside him. Quiet place to take a midday pause, lunch and have a cigar. No amenities on site.