Travelers passing through Ohio on unremarkable I-70 may not realize this state's countryside is laden with some fun and beautiful motorcycle rides. But local motorcyclists know that Ohio's landscape is etched with routes that carve through hilly stretches, flow past bucolic Amish country and skim along Lake Erie's shorelines.
One of the state’s best rides is Route 26, which combines postcard-picture moments with a fun, curvy ride. The total length of this route is about 70 miles, but it is probably best known for a 47-mile stretch known as the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway. The section runs from around the village of Woodsfield to Marietta and follows the Little Muskingum River through the Wayne National Forest. There are three picturesque covered bridges on this route, including the 195-foot Knowlton Bridge, which is the second largest in the state of Ohio.
Another pretty ride in Ohio runs through Cleveland’s southern suburbs and is known to locals as the Emerald Necklace. This is a winding, approximately 30-mile ride that links a number of Cleveland’s Metro Park reservations and includes Canal Road, Riverview Road, Valley Parkway Cleveland Metro Parkway Drive, and Barrett Road. The Emerald Necklace boasts beautiful scenery as it carves through scenic lake country and the park system.
Bikers who enjoy long stretches of uninterrupted pavement with little traffic and mile after mile of scenic, tree-lined roadway should take a cruise down Route 83. This is a nice 157-mile rolling ride through eastern Ohio that travels from Lake Erie to where this road meets up with State Route 60.
Also in the Lake Erie area is Route 6, which is a relaxing, scenic 57-mile ride that skims along the lake’s coast. This pretty ride travels from Cleveland to Sandusky.
For those riders in need of a more exciting, challenging road, Route 164 from Leesville Lake Park to Lisbon can provide plenty of thrills, but hopefully no spills. This technical road weaves through sandstone hills and boasts plenty of elevation changes, blind corners and hill summits, as well as sweepers and mucho twisties. Route 164 is best left to experienced riders.
An even more challenging road is State Route 555 from Zanesville to Little Hocking, which is an approximately 60-mile technical run that should only be attempted by very skilled riders. Although its first few tame miles out of Zanesville may fool a rider into believing it is an easy ride, State Route 555 can be a wicked road that has been compared by a few riders to the infamous Tail of the Dragon that crosses through Tennessee and North Carolina. State Route 555 -- or Triple Nickel, as it is also known – will test a skilled rider with its steep inclines and declines, sharp and blind turns and summits, banked curves and switchbacks. Motorcyclists need to keep an eye out for potential hazards on the road, such as gravel, Amish buggies and vehicles straying over this road’s centerline.
Last, but definitely not least is Ohio Rt-536, a twisty road that runs from Hannibal to its end point with Ohio Rt-78. This 12-mile ride, which is located just north of Wayne National Forest, has tons of curves, hairpins, some very steep sections and no guardrails.
There are also a number of large motorcycle rallies held in Ohio, including the huge 10-day Ohio Bike Week. This event, which is held in Sandusky in early June, typically has tons of motorcycle-related activities for the whole family and plenty of live entertainment acts. In 2010, an estimated 150,000 visitors attended this rally. Thunder on the Strip is another large motorcycle rally. It is held in the fall in Lake Geneva.
Disclaimer: All information is provided as a service to motorcycle riders, and the opinions expressed here are subjective. Although we have tried to research this information thoroughly, it is possible that changing circumstances can cause this information to become inaccurate. In addition, the conditions and roads described can change without notice for a number of reasons, including closings, weather conditions and maintenance. Motorcycle events such as rallies and rides may also be cancelled or dates changed without notice, as well. This site is not responsible for these types of circumstances, which are beyond our control, and riders relying on this information will be doing so at their own risk. This site is not liable for any actions a rider takes based on the information provided here. Please consult other sources before heading out on these roads and do not use the directions given here as a map, as again, circumstances may have affected their accuracy.