IT STARTED WITH AN IDEA...
Appalachian Backroads began as a collaborative effort between Southwestern Virginia and Eastern Kentucky more than a dozen years ago. Known as the coalfields, our economy here was built upon the rich natural resources buried underground. However, we reimagined the way the mountains could provide for our communities. With roads that navigate their way around the heart of the Appalachian Mountain range, we envisioned sharing those twists and turns, those elevation jumps and falls, with others across the globe.
Through the promotion of our renowned backroads, we began this journey to reinvent the region as a world-class tourist destination. Using our scenic byways to draw motorcycle enthusiasts and byway fanatics, we began marketing our Appalachian Backroads as an economic development initiative. Not only has this project brought tourism revenue to our charming towns and authentic attractions, but we're seeing impactful change through job creation and community pride.
An instant success, the first edition of the Appalachian Backroads Motorcycle Map, printed in 2013, showcased select scenic roads. Winding through some of the most majestic vistas in the Eastern US, the initial coverage area was limited. However, it generated such a positive economic impact that the initiative was expanded to include the entirety of Virginia's coalfield region.
In June 2017, we added nearly 1,000 additional miles of curvy, scenic roads to our "Backroads Crooked Ridin'" map. Since then, we regularly collaborate with our friends at RoadRUNNER Magazine on updates and reprints of the map. A partnership born of the mutual love we share for our roadways, we paid a special homage to RoadRUNNER, naming their favorite route in their honor.
RoadRUNNER continues to assist us in expanding and refining the original routes to this day. This ongoing process is how we make sure you get the most out of the best backroads in the world. We hope you enjoy!
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