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  1. #1

    Default Route thoughts on Michigan to Savannah

    Hi....I am new to this forum and website and looking for some thoughts and ideas.
    My wife and I have driven from Northeast Michigan to Savannah, GA many times over the years. We have probably taken 3 different highway routes, primarily freeways.
    This summer we are thinking of trying a new route which would be driving US 23 all the way to where it connects to I-64. We are familiar with US 23 through Michigan and into Columbus, Ohio....but am wondering if anyone could give some thoughts or ideas on how US 23 would be if continued the rest of the way through Ohio all the way to Asheville, NC?
    Any help would be appreciated...thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not That Different

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    US-23 is co-located with I-75 or I-71 most of the way from Bay City to I-64. Where it is not sharing right-of-way with an Interstate, it is four lane divided highway, and controlled access around/through major cities. So, hardly any different from taking pure Interstate routes. The same holds true through Kentucky and Virginia where US-23 is four-lane divided, eventually duplexing with I-26 from north of Kingsport TN all the way to Asheville.


  3. #3

    Default But I wonder if it's like US 25E from Corbin, KY to Cumberland Gap?

    Far be it from me to question a route I haven't trodden since 1975, but I traversed US 25E shortcutting from Corbin, KY through Cumberland Gap to I-81 southwest of Kingsport on a Sunday afternoon in July 2010. On my 2010 Rand McNally atlas, each route is shown as an "other multilane highway", a symbol distinct from the toll and the free limited-access 4-lane highways. In the case of US 25E, while there are segments of lane separation via median or Jersey barriers, there are many segments with only double-yellow lines or a center turn lane separating northbound and southbound traffic. It generally followed the stream bottoms so was rather curvy and slow, even for a 4-lane. The most annoying aspect of the trip was the dozens and dozens of stoplights, both in the many towns and communities, and in between them at major crossroads.

    It looks to me that US 23 goes directly through quite a few small towns in the very heart of coal mining country, and this often translates to heavy coal truck traffic. Coal trucks are triple- or quadruple-axle dumptrucks and are quite frankly harrowing to share the road with. They haul coal from mines to the railroad siding where a "tipple" receives it.

    Perhaps my colleague and online friend AZBuck has some updated information on the current nature of US 23 in southwest VA and far eastern KY, and if so I of course defer. Absent same, the symbols on my Rand McNally and my undergraduate school trips to coal country would have me giving US 23 from Big Stone Gap, Va on up to I-64 a wide berth and avoiding it whenever possible.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Specifically

    The sections of US-23 that I have driven most recently are those in the Tennessee - North Carolina area which were excellent when I drove them last (some years ago), and have since been upgraded to Interstate standards (I-26). While I've not driven US-23 though Kentucky, I have driven many other roads in that area, and have been impressed by the standards of these roads. I happen to like going through small towns on occasion, especially when the roads otherwise can support 60± mph between towns. If lewbar is looking for insight into this road (in general) and how it would compare with the US-23 he knows through Michigan and Ohio, I think it would compare favorably, the fact that it is crossing some mountains notwithstanding.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default as luck would have it

    I actually just drove a good 70 mile section of US-23 in Virginia and Kentucky in April. Its not quite interstate quality, but its was still a good easy drive. I believe there were a few sections that were undivided, or even had a middle turning lane, but it was 4 lanes, with exits/overpasses for the most used crossings. You won't get quite the same speeds you'll get on a freeway, but you'll still make reasonably good time and you'll get some very nice mountain scenery along the way.

    BTW, try to fill your tank in Virginia. There were a couple gas stations right on the state line, and they were a good 20-30 cents per gallon less than the next stations I saw in Kentucky!

  6. #6


    The reason we are thinking very seriously about going this route is because we have taken I-75 to Knoxville and then over via 40/26 and onto 95, as well as I-77 all the way down to Columbia, SC. then 26 to 95. Basically, we are kinda tired of those and thought that US 23 would be a bit more casual and scenic, since we haven't seen as much of that beautiful part of the country as we would like. We aren't on a real tight 'are we there yet' hurry, but would like to enjoy the route even if it adds no more than a couple of hours to our trip.
    I do thank the replies listed above, it helps more than you would know.

  7. #7

    Default Thanks guys

    Good to know the specifics, Gentlemen. I am now updated and may put US 23 on my radar for a future Road Trip!

    I've run I-26 from US 11W at Kingsport all the way to Asheville and it's NICE! Did just a short segment from Johnson City to Erwin a couple of weeks ago.


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