Richard Russell Scenic Highway By Kiara Wilson

Nestled quietly between Cleveland and Blairsville in Northeast Georgia, the Richard Russell Scenic Highway (State Route 348) has existed as a popular motorcycle destination in the state for decades. Located on the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains – specifically the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Richard Russell Scenic Highway consists of 14 miles of breathtaking scenery, breakneck curves and lightning fast straight shots. No matter if you’re riding the newest sport bike or tend to find comfort in classic cruisers like Honda VTX , a nd remember about the appropriate motorcycle luggage and other riding gear in order to keep you and your belongings safe just before you hit the road. The Richard Russell Scenic Highway is a top destination for motorcyclists the world over.

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Neighboring towns of Blairsville, Cleveland, Helen and Choestoe, the Richard Russell Scenic Highway ranges in elevation from 2,040 feet to 3,644 feet. Riders can pull off to safe areas and enjoy the exhilarating views of nearby mountain ranges, as the highway offers many hiking trails for those who seek its calming beauty. Of course, you’ll want to ride the highway once all the way through without stopping, because it’s quite a workout despite its short length. After you’ve completed the 14 miles of twisting terrain and you’re still searching for more, you’ll be pleased to know that the surrounding areas provide for many more hours of maniacal mountain motorcycling fun.

Like many mountain roads, Richard Russell Scenic Highway tends to close to the use of automobiles and motorcycles when conditions are too iced for safe passage. Ideal riding is between April and September, as temperatures tend to reach freezing points at the beginning of fall and the end of Spring, as well as most of Winter. In the summer months, expect to wear a light vest like Viking Cycle Garder in order to stay sharp yet cool. In the early spring and throughout fall, something a bit bulkier like River Road’s Mesa works best.

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And while RRSH is maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation on a somewhat consistent basis, it should be known that this stretch of highway contains patched asphalt and bumpy conditions. This is certainly not comparable to track conditions, but the blistering curves and rapid elevation changes offer riders a unique riding experience in the state of Georgia.

Traffic tends to be fairly minimal, even on the weekends during peak tourist season. Locals to the area of the Richard Russell Scenic Highway are very inviting to motorcyclists, therefore they tend to pull off on the side of the road and allow for some optimal full throttle opportunities. Additionally, this particular stretch of highway plays home to bicyclists, as well, as the quick descents and fierce ascents test physical endurance. Motorcyclists should be aware of bicycles on the road, because it’s that same understanding between other motorists and motorcycles that provides a safe environment for all.
Access to Richard Russell Scenic Highway is in Helen through state route 75 alt. or through state route 180 in Choestoe. Smithgall Woods State Park and Lodge is right across the street from the state route 75 alt entrances to RRSH, giving riders a warm, inviting rest area after a long day of riding in the North.

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