122 months ago

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Ohio State Route 78 - Backbone of the Ohio Dragons

Distance: 148.7 Km / 92.6 Mi Duration: 02:06:21

Southern Ohio has a lot of great roads for those looking for a challenge, several of which are referred to as "Ohio's Tail of the Dragon". I like to think of Ohio State Route 78 as the "Backbone of the Ohio Dragons" because it connects to several of these roads while rolling through some spectacular countryside riding.

Ohio State Route 78

Ohio State Route 78

The full route travels 92 miles between Glouster, Ohio and Clarington, Ohio on Ohio River next to the West Virginia border.

Some of the connecting roads that are often recommended are Rt 555 ("Triple Nickle"), Rt 536 ("Cousin to the Dragon") and Rt 800.

The road varies along it's winding route. The west side of the route tends to have more tightly packed twists, and often the warning signs can be a little optimistic with their recommended speeds. There are a few curves with 30mph yellow warnings that you'll probably want to take closer to 20.

The Rim of the World

The Rim of the World

The western part of the route includes lots of great views at the top of hillsides, and was once mentioned by Car and Driver Magazine as "one of the most scenic drives in the United States". The route along the first 20 miles from Glouster is often referred to as "The Rim of the World".

Big Muskie Bucket

Big Muskie Bucket

One attraction to stop at on this road is Big Muskie's Bucket, located about 8 miles east of McConnelsville, Ohio. The giant bucket is what's left of the enormous Big Muskie mining rig. The park also serves as a welcome rest area.

Like many southern Ohio roads, towns are small and infrequent, so if you need to stop for food or rest, do so at the earliest opportunity.

Shenandoah Airship Disaster Site 3

Shenandoah Airship Disaster Site 3

About 5 miles west of Caldwell, Ohio, you'll also run across a few roadside signs for one of the crash sites of the Shenandoah Airship Disaster of 1925.

As you move east along the route, the curves tend to open up, allowing faster overall speeds. There are still a few challenges after Caldwell, Ohio, but you'll also be treated to more wide sweepers on the way to Clarington.

Like many similar southern Ohio roads, mobile coverage on route 78 can be spotty in many areas. If you use a smartphone GPS, use an app that pre-caches maps or consider bringing a standalone GPS unit or paper map if needed.

Route 78 itself is definitely a must-ride road for those in southern Ohio, not only for the other roads it opens onto, but for the views and challenges it brings along the way.

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99 months ago

Being from this area, just wanted to remark on how well you described and represented this route especially since you are from NEOH. I really like the title you selected, most only know about 555 but yes there are lots of other dragons to tame out here in SEOH