Pennsylvania is full of interesting choices for a motorcyclist. A ride to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg or a tour of Amish country? A beautiful twisty mountain ride or an easy cruise along the scenic Susquehanna River? And with 18 scenic byways to choose from, which one or ones should a rider pick?
The Pennsylvania road that gets mentioned over and over again by motorcyclists and drivers as the best in the state is Route 125. Road connoisseurs recommend riding this road in combination with the Gold Mine Road. Together, these two routes form a 32-mile-long roller-coaster-like ride -- only without the luxury of a safety bar. Riders will find steep uphills, downhills, twisties galore, rolling pavement and sweepers on this route. And just like the tempting vixen she is, this road manages to throw in beauty along with its dangerous curves.
While Pennsylvania Routes 555, 120 and 144 are not nearly as challenging as Route 125, they do boast something not commonly found on the East Coast – elk. These three roads, which have been designated as Elk Scenic Drives, are full of nice sweepers, boast beautiful scenery, and offer the possibility of viewing these magnificent animals. Once extinct in Pennsylvania, elk have been reintroduced to the area and appear to be thriving. The Elk Scenic Drive is not too far from I-80.
Riders in Pennsylvania who are planning to visit the Gettysburg Battlefields or attend Gettysburg Bike Week should take Route 30, especially the portion between Breezewood and Chambersburg. This section of roadway has some nice elevation change, enjoyable sweepers and excellent views. Points of interest on this road include the recently completed Flight 93 National Memorial, which honors the memory of those brave passengers and crew members who were tragically killed when this airplane crashed on September 11, 2001.
The Grand Army of the Republic Highway is the fancy name for U.S. Route 6, which is located in northern Pennsylvania and runs the width of the state. National Geographic named this road, which parallels the picturesque Susquehanna River for 40 miles, as “One of America’s most scenic drives.” On this road, bikers will pass through charming small towns, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, and across rolling hills.
Riders interested in a scenic ride through Amish country should take State Route 896 from Lancaster to Georgetown. This is a nice rolling route that travels through pretty countryside dotted with Amish farms. There will be a fair number of horses and buggies on this road, so motorcycle riders need to be considerate as they pass by them.
It is not surprising that a state with so many great motorcycle roads would also be home to a number of rallies and rides. Johnstown Thunder in the Valley bills itself as the largest rally in Pennsylvania. It is held in June and attracts approximately 100,000 bikers a year to enjoy motorcycle-related activities, rides and live musical acts.
In July, Gettysburg is the site of a large four-day rally, the Gettysburg Bike Week. This event features live musical acts, vendors, poker runs, and a firework show.
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.