Driving in Appalachia (Eastern KY, WV), can you sanity check my route?
July 4, 2013 5:12 PM   Subscribe

I'll be doing a bit of driving in Eastern Kentucky and into West Virginia. I've got the destinations, and have had Google cook up some routes, but I've seen routers make some pretty bad assumptions about back-woods roads. I'm on a fairly tight schedule, so the fewer surprises the better--I'd just as soon stick to major roads unless there's a guaranteed time savings. I'm coming from near Cincinnati to Betsy Layne, KY (near Pikeville) and going from there to Oak Hill, WV (near Beckley).

The critical leg of the trip, time-wise, is from Betsy Layne, KY to Oak Hill, WV. I know the default route is bad, since my destination advises against using WV-612. It looks like I'm best off taking US-119 to I-64 (3:15), with a second-best being US-23 to I-64 (3:34). Do Google's drive time estimates seem accurate? Or is there a faster reliable route?

We're not as crunched for time getting to Betsy Layne, but could use an accurate drive-time to plan our departure. The default route looks pretty good to me, though I don't know about Google's time estimate. Does that seem like it's in the right ballpark?
posted by yuwtze to Travel & Transportation around Betsy Layne, KY (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I just did this 2 weeks ago going from Berea south of Lexington to southwest VA. We stayed on 23 up to 64 and it was an easy ride out of KY. Time sounds about right to me *unless* there is any kind of construction or accident around Charleston (we hit both). Enjoy the trip and stop at a Tudors Biscuit World!
posted by headnsouth at 5:47 PM on July 4, 2013

Oh definitely schedule time for Tudor's!
posted by mrfuga0 at 1:14 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am in Beckley, WV. I would probably take US-119, because I64 from Huntington to Charleston is kindof a crappy drive (but I mean, nothing terrible, it is interstate.) Plus it's quicker.

Feel free to memail me if you have any more questions.

Tudor's Biscuit World is an attraction? Really? I'm not a fan...
posted by teatime at 8:47 PM on July 5, 2013

Response by poster: A much belated follow up:

After posting this question, I happened to bump into someone IRL who grew up in that part WV, and between that and teatime's answer, we ended up taking Google's default route, which was faster, and had the added benefit of removing the unknown delays due to construction. I had my GPS logging, and at long last, I can confirm that according to the logs, our drive time was within a few minutes of what Google said it would be.

That said, parts of WV-612 and WV-3 were pretty windy. We were in a caravan of 5 minivans, and one of the drivers actually started getting a bit carsick on the way there. If I had to do the trip over again, I think I'd probably take the same route, since I think we still came out ahead on time, but I'd try to budget a little extra time for those roads if you have anyone who gets carsick.
posted by yuwtze at 8:07 PM on January 12, 2014

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