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Each year, millions of motorists use Interstate 81 to traverse the 50 miles between the Roanoke Valley and Lexington. They are missing out on Route 11 - a wonderful little stretch of nirvana. Route 11 is easy to pick up from either Roanoke or Lexington.While thrill seekers may find this relatively straight ride a little tame, those who can appreciate the splendor of unspoiled farmland and the charm of small-town Americana will think it's a treasure. Route 11 runs near the Appalachian Trail and, during spring, it's not uncommon to meet a through-hiker picking up a package he mailed to himself at the Troutville Post Office. Nestled within the steep slopes of Purgatory Mountain and Cove Mountain, the historic town of Buchanan is a popular put-in point on the James River for canoeing enthusiasts. Its hanging bridge is also a great place to stretch your legs.You'll ride right over Natural Bridge, an awe-inspiring natural wonder of the world. From charming main streets to wildlife, Route 11 is a relaxing little jewel of a ride.