This loop is the shortest of the Northern Neck loops at 16 miles, but it also one of the most historic. It passes by Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s birthplace and family home, Stratford Hall, and passes through a former steamboat landing.
From Route 3/King’s Highway eastbound outside of Westmoreland State Park, take Route 214 to Stratford Hall Road. Time permitting, bike into Stratford Hall and take a tour of the Georgian Great House, birthplace of Robert E. Lee. Make sure you see the gristmill. There is a visitor center, a dining room for lunch fare, and gift shop.
Leaving the gate at Stratford Hall, turn left onto Stratford Hall Road/Route 609 along winding roads. Turn left on Route 622 to Currioman Landing, which is on Currioman Bay on Nomini Creek, allowing a pleasant waterfront vista. There is a gravel parking lot, fishing pier and boat ramp. No facilities, or fees.
Cycle back Route 622 to Panorama Road that goes into Montross, the county seat of Westmoreland. The Westmoreland County Museum is at 43 Court Square near the courthouse. The oldest museum in the Northern Neck was established to display Charles Willson Peale’s 1768 portrait of William Pitt, the British Parliamentarian behind the repeal of the Stamp Act. Montross has a coffee shop, restaurants, shopping, banks, and a pharmacy.
Ride near St. Stephen’s Anglican Church past Clark Mill Pond to Coan Wharf Landing, a former steamboat landing for the fleet of steamboats that plied the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Doubling back on Route 634, take Route 629 in Northumberland County to Route 637. To extend this ride, take Route 604 to Bush Mill Stream State Natural Area Preserve. Complete the loop on Route 779 back to Heathsville.
This loop is estimated to take 1.5 hours. To view a map of this loop and others in the Northern Neck, visit the Northern Neck Heritage Bike Route Network. For more information on attractions and accommodations in Virginia’s Northern Neck, please visit http://www.northernneck.org/index.htm.