Little Switzerland - RT 147 + ADD NEW ROUTE
5 in Ohio Ohio60 Miles
on July 1, 2008
- Trip Toolbox
You pick up Route 147 in Bellaire Ohio off of Rt. 7 about 3 miles South of I-470 along the Ohio River. The route is obvious and well marked when it does change direction in a small town or at the rare intersection with another state route. The last small town is Sarahsville. The end of the line is RT 78 which if you head west, shortly crosses I-77 about 5 miles south of Salt Fork State Park.
This covers all the best topography of Southern Ohio in just 60 miles. It starts slowly from the mighty Ohio River, winding through small villages. Soon, like the first hill on a good roller coaster, the ascent begins. Then you ride along the crests across little Switzerland coal country, and finally on down through a series of small towns, across picturesque Senecaville Lake. The last small town is Sarahsville, with some of the lushes farm land you will ever see. Whenever I think about traveling a 1000 miles to find some new roads I come down to southern Ohio and ride something like Route 147. Soon I am asking myself why I would ride anywhere else.
The road surface is excellent. In the hilliest parts at the beginning, only the more severe (>90 degree) curves are marked. Very little traffic, few driveways and cross roads. Things to watch for include wanting to take your eyes off the roads to admire the views and, in coal country, on the tightest turns, expect some coal in the center of the lane.
Mainly you take this trip for the technical challenges and to admire the scenery but the small towns offer a chance to take nice breaks. This isn't Palm Springs, but if you enjoy the atmosphere of "the town diner", or lesser known historic places like underground railroad sites, or following Washington's trail when he was still a loyal British officer, they are nearby.
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