Motorcycle Rides and Roads provide you with best ride routes and roads for motorcycle trips in all 50 of the United States. On those days when you just want to go out and cruise along the highway and byways this is where you want to look first. This guide gives you most popular motorcycle tourism spots to shop and visit in America. So before you go out for that Sunday ride stop by Jafrum online and check out these motorcycle roads and find the best motorcycle route for you.
We have compiled here some of the best motorcycle roads / routes for all states in US. Be sure to add in comments and reviews at the end of the articles if you have been there and have some tips and other advice for fellow riders.
|Cruising Alabama’s roads is a great way to experience this state’s well-known Southern Charm. Riders will find that the many routes that crisscross this beautiful state are dotted with small quaint towns and lots of historic sites. There are also some really fun rides, as well, especially in the mountains and canyons of this state’s northeastern section.|
Motorcyclists looking for a ride that offers snaking turns and sweepers will find what
|they are looking for in the Lookout Mountain Parkway, also known as Alabama State Route 89. This route, which is located in northeastern Alabama, is not only a fun ride, but a beautiful one, as well. In fact, Lookout Mountain Parkway was chosen as one of the most scenic drives in America by Readers Digest. |
The starting point of this route begins in Gadsden. Motorcyclists who happen to be in this area in August will encounter one of America’s more unusual events, as this town serves as the beginning of The World’s Longest Yard Sale, which runs from Gadsden to Hudson, Michigan. Alabama’s portion of the sale alone typically boasts more than 1,000 vendors.
After leaving Gadsden, motorcyclists will encounter some really nice sweepers and rolling roads during the beginning portion of this route. To add some nice twisties to this route, bikers can take a side journey onto Route 176, just north of Dog Town. Route 176, which is also known as the Little River Canyon Parkway, is a 12-mile twisting piece of asphalt that runs along the rim of scenic Little River Canyon. After this little diversion, riders can then rejoin the parkway via Alabama Route 35 North. From here, the parkway continues on with more twists and turns all the way into Georgia.
Highway 25 in the central Alabama region is a fun 18-mile ride that includes a large number of horseshoe curves, inclines, declines and switchbacks, as well as some straightaways. It is also not far from the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum, which houses over 1,200 vintage motorcycles and racecars. Visitors to this museum will find motorcycles on display that range in age from 1902 to current-year makes. This museum is located in the Barber Motorsports Park, off of I-20, east of downtown Birmingham. To get to Highway 25 from the museum, go through Leeds for about three miles until you see the sign marking the beginning of this rural route.
Cheaha Mountain Skyway, also known as Route 281, is a nice scenic route in Eastern Alabama that also offers some sweepers. It can be picked up off of Interstate 20 via US Hwy 431. While in this area, look for CottaQuilla Road, a piece of asphalt known for its twisties. CottaQuilla Road is a challenging seven-mile twisted piece of asphalt that runs between Highway 21 in Jacksonville to Highway 9. Riders will encounter lots of tight switchbacks and S-turns on this road, which is also known as Country Road 57.
In addition to its many nice motorcycle roads, Alabama is also the site of numerous rallies and shows. The Faunsdale Bike Rally is held in the spring and the fall. All participants must be 18 or older. This is possibly due to the fact that one of this rally’s events is a midnight ‘Breezy Ride,” which is –ahem – clothing optional. Harley owners can look forward to Alabama’s State HOG Rally, which is held in the spring in Pelham.
|Alaska’s prime riding season may be a short one due to its climate, but with this state's awe-inspiring majestic natural beauty, it certainly is sweet. For many riders, cruising through one of America’s last remaining frontiers is high on their list of dream rides. Motorcyclists who decide to take on |
Alaska's roads, however, should always be on the alert, as large mammals, such as moose, bear and caribou, sometimes wander unexpectedly into the path of bikes.
|Another equally dangerous hazard on Alaska's routes is the large number of motor homes that often clog the roadways or will move unexpectedly into the path of a motorcyclist when their drivers become distracted by this state's gorgeous scenery and wildlife. |
One of the best motorcycle routes in Alaska is the 127-mile Seward Highway, which has been designated a National Forest Scenic Byway and an Alaska Scenic Byway. This road links the cities of Seward and Anchorage and features elevation changes, twisties and sweepers. Bikers on this road will ride past glaciers, gorgeous bays and fjords, lakes and scenic valleys. In the Chugach State Park, the Seward Highway follows the shorelines of Turnagain Arm, where bikers may be able to spot beluga whales in the sea or spy Dall sheep or mountain goats along the road or on nearby cliffs.
Sterling Highway is a 138-mile link between Moose Pass and Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. Two portions of this roadway have been designated as State Scenic Byways. The northern section travels between Sterling Wye and Skilak Lake, while the southern portion connects the Homer Spit and Anchor Point. This is a beautiful ride past the Cook Inlet, Kenai Lake, the Kenai River, and through the gorgeous Skilak Lake Special Management Area.
Riders looking for a road that features some nice twisties and sweepers should head to Hatcher Pass, which is approximately 50 miles north of Anchorage. This 49-mile road can be reached either by Parks Highway in Wasilla or the Glenn Highway, near Palmer. Be forewarned that the road does close in the winter and some sections are still dirt or may not always be in the best of conditions.
Some of Alaska’s roads should be left to only experienced, brave and, possibly, a little crazy riders. One of the most infamous is the 495-mile Dalton Highway, which has been featured on the show "Ice Road Truckers." Dalton Highway is a sometimes paved, sometimes gravel affair that runs between Fairbanks and Deadhorse in the Prudhoe Bay area. Riders attempting this long journey should know the gas mileage of their bikes and carry extra fuel, as there are no services for the 240 miles between Coldfoot and Prudhoe Bay. Any cyclist attempting this road should also be aware that the cell phone coverage in this area is often spotty or non-existent.
Although Alaska doesn't have a lot of rallies, it does have at least one for Harley lovers. The State HOG Rally is held in June, in Palmer, Alaska.
|Arkansas has many entertaining and scenic roads for bikers, including some real twisty affairs through the beautiful Ozark and Oachita Mountains. This state also has great roads for just cruising or for enjoying a day’s outing in Arkansas’s wine country. |
State Route 23 is probably this state’s most popular ride with motorcyclists, especially the section known as the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.This section of road, which connects the town of Ozark with Brashears, is 19 miles of tantalizing twisties and switchbacks
|through thick tunnels of trees. Riders need to be very careful and not push their limits, as this road can be unforgiving with sheer drop-offs in some areas. |
Highway 7, which is also known as Scenic Byway 7, travels the entire length of the state from Louisiana in the south to Missouri in the North. As it makes its way through the state, this 290-mile road travels through the Ozarks and Ouachita mountains, stream valleys and dense forests. This beautiful byway was named by Car and Driver Magazine as one of the nation’s top ten driving experiences. But Scenic Byway 7 is not just a pretty road. It also features lots of nice twisty and rolling sections, as well as elevation changes that serve to keep everything interesting.
The Talimena National Scenic Byway is another pretty motorcycle ride with some great elevation changes, long rolling sections, and sharp curves. This is a 55-mile ride through the Oachita National Forest that takes bikers across state lines from Talihina, Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas. This drive runs along the ridgeline of the mountains and provides beautiful vistas of the valleys below. Riders will especially enjoy this route during the fall when the hills are ablaze in colors.
Yet another one of Arkansas’s many beautiful roads is the Sylamore Scenic Byway, which is also known as Highway 14. This is a very scenic 57-mile route that cuts through the southeast corner of the Ozark National Forest. Riders can pick up this route in Calico Rock by taking Highway 5 to Highway 14. They will then stay on this road until it ends in Marshall.
Riders looking for a real technical ride with tight steep switchbacks should seek out Arkansas 155, which takes visitors up to Mt. Nebo State Park, a camping area popular with motorcyclists. This is a short, but sweet six-mile run to the top of Mt. Nebo, which rises to 1,350 feet above sea level and has gorgeous views of the Arkansas River Valley.
Highway 123 is another road for twisty lovers. Motorcyclists can reach this 15-mile road from a town called Lurton, which is located at the intersections of Highway 7 and Highway 123. From Lurton, a rider just needs to take Highway 123 north to Mt. Judea, where the fun soon begins. Route 123 is a technical road chockfull of tight switchbacks and curves. One indication that a biker is about to hit a craven bit of asphalt is a sign at the beginning of 123 that prohibits trucks, while also warning them with another sign that reads, “Impassable Hairpin Turns Ahead.” This is also a pretty ride but most riders never get the chance to take their eyes off the road to enjoy the scenery.
Arkansas riders can also look forward to a number of exciting motorcycle shows, rallies, races and events during the year. One of the state’s biggest rallies is the Bikes, Blues and BBQ Motorcycle Rally, which is held in Fayetteville, Arkansas in September. This event features live music and lots of great motorcycle-related activities. The promoter of this event is also hosting a sister rally in June, the Bikes, Babes and Bling Rally, which it is advertising as the first all-women’s rally.
|With wide-open roads that carve through lonely deserts, beautiful forests, and magnificent canyons, Arizona offers some of the best motorcycle rides and awe-inspiring scenery in the Southwest.|
One of the most scenic and interesting roads in Arizona, and perhaps the nation, is the 82-mile State Route 89A, which connects Flagstaff to Prescott. This road offers riders a grab bag of popular features -- switchbacks, twisties, unworldly beauty,
|elevation changes, plus open stretches to let the mind unwind and the throttle out. State Route 89A meanders through a surprising variety of terrain, from Flagstaff's forests and mountains to cactus-studded deserts to Sedona's spectacular red rock formations and gorgeous canyon. Riders will also find interesting towns on this route, including Jerome, Sedona and Prescott, in which to stop and visit. This road's only drawback is its popularity with tourists, as there are times when it can be very congested.|
The Coronado Trail or US 191 is another route that provides excellent elevation changes, plenty of twists and turns, approximately 400 hair-raising switchbacks, and gorgeous scenery as it cuts through the Apache National Forest. This road, which is located on Arizona's eastern edge, starts in Eager and roams south to Clifton. The Coronado Trail is another road that covers a wide variety of terrain, including both dramatic desert and mountain settings.
Lovers of nostalgia will surely want to cruise Old Route 66. Arizona’s portion, which is the longest original section of the road still remaining, stretches from Arizona’s eastern border to its western one. The road passes through, among other things, quaint old towns such as Oatman, where wild burros wander the streets looking for handouts, and the Petrified Forest National Park.
Another can’t miss ride in Arizona is a trip to one of America’s most iconic sites, the Grand Canyon via Route 67, which is also known as the Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway. Motorcyclists begin this ride from the town of Jacob Lake Arizona and travel through Kaibab National Forest before reaching the stunning panoramic landscapes of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Riders should check the weather forecast and whether or not this road is open during winter months before heading out, as the North Rim sits 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim and can experience harsh weather conditions.
Riders in the Phoenix area are lucky to have one of the state's best rides nearby. Known as Tortilla Flat by some and the Apache Trail by others, this road begins just outside of Phoenix in Apache Junction and takes riders through some soul-cleansing desert and mountain landscape to Canyon Lake. This nice little road features some nice twisties set against a backdrop of cactus and sage. Hungry bikers can stop in the small town of Tortilla Flat, which resembles something out of an old Western movie, for a quick bite to eat.
Arizona is also the site of a number of large bike rallies and rides. One of the most popular events is Arizona Bike Week, which roars into Scottsdale, Arizona in the spring. This event typically features rides, competitions, and several well-known musical acts.
|California proves that the old adage, “You can’t have it all,” is wrong. With roads that skim past gorgeous coastline, twist through the mountains, and travel into endless vistas of open desert, the Golden State pretty much has everything a motorcyclist would want. With such a large state and so many types of roads, it is hard to choose a few, but there are a few standouts.|
One of the best riding roads in California is surprisingly close to the perpetually
|clogged and stagnated streets of Los Angeles. The Angeles Crest Highway, as this portion of California State Route 2 is known, is 66 miles of curving, weaving asphalt. This road begins in La Canada Flintridge and snakes its way to Wrightwood through the Angeles National Forest, north of Los Angeles. This fun road boasts serious twisties and elevation gains. |
Motorcyclists looking for a technical road along the Sonoma Coast that is only suitable for experienced riders should point their bike towards Stewarts Point-Skaggs Spring Road. Riders can pick up this approximately 35-mile road near Lake Sonoma. It is very important for bikers not to be lulled into complacency by this road’s relatively easy first ten miles, as this route is known for its wicked curves and fast sweepers. It also has a reputation for biting those riders who fail to give it the respect that it deserves.
A side note that should be addressed here is the fact that one of the most beautiful drives in all of California, the 17-Mile Drive in the Pebble Beach area, is off limits to motorcycles, so don’t plan on visiting this road unless you have a cage.
To the north of Yosemite and the west of San Francisco lies challenging Sonora Pass, which is also known as CA 108. This 79-mile is steep, full of twisties, sharp turns, sweepers, and unexpected turns that you only see after you’ve crested a hill. Because it is also narrow with sheer drop-offs, it is not forgiving to novice riders who have overestimated their skill levels. Riders can pick up 108 from Sonora and ride it until its junction with US-395.
Not to be outdone by its southern half, northern California has a large number of great roads, as well. Highway 36, for instance, announces it means serious business with a sign that declares that there will be snake-like curves for the next 140 miles. That’s right, 140 miles of twisties. This road which heads west from Red Bluff to the coast is not only curvy, it also has elevation changes and so many hills that crest and then dip sharply away that you will think you are on an actual roller coaster. But Highway 36 isn’t just a beauty of a ride, it also offers beautiful scenery, as well.
Of course, California also is the site of a number of biker rallies and events, including the West Coast Memorial Day Bike Run, which roars into the Riverside National Cemetery to honor our nation’s fallen veterans. This event typically draws approximately 7,500 motorcycles. Bikers in Northern California have the Redwood Run, which is held in June and attracts thousands of bikers to enjoy three days of motorcycle-related activities and live musical acts.
|For motorcyclists, Colorado is a little slice of heaven on earth. Few places in the United States can rival this state for mile after mile of exciting, as well as beautiful roads – many of which are in the magnificent Rockies. Some of these routes seem as if they could continue climbing straight into the sky. Check ahead before tackling some of Colorado’s higher roads, which may be unexpectedly closed due to late or early snowfalls.|
|Why not start at the top, right? Mt. Evans Highway, also known as State Route 5, is the highest paved road in the United States. A word of warning, its 14,264-foot altitude may cause some people to get dizzy. From the summit of this road, riders will be looking down at the surrounding mountain peaks. This road is not for the faint of heart as it is narrow, has sharp switchbacks and sheer drop-offs without guardrails. Mt Evans Highway boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Colorado, which is saying a lot. In addition, riders may see mountain goats, bighorn sheep or elk while traveling this route. To get to this spectacular road, riders can take I-70 west from Denver to Route 103 in Idaho Springs. From Idaho Springs, it is about 12 miles to Mt Evans Highway.|
Riders looking for a spectacular ride that is not as high, but only for the brave should head over to Independence Pass, which is a twisty, narrow road between Aspen and Twin Lakes. This 42-mile route, which is also known as Colorado 82, tests a rider’s nerves with switchback after switchback and frightening drop offs without guardrails. Just to make it even more interesting, some portions of Independence Pass even narrow down to one lane. For a nice break from this technical road, riders can stop and explore the ghost town of Independence near the top of this pass. To get to Independence Pass from Denver, riders can take I-70 west to State Route 24, which they will then take past Leadville to State Route 82.
The 108-mile section of San Juan Skyway that stretches from Durango to Montrose is another favorite with motorcyclists. This road, which is also known as US-550, is infamous for having some really twisty sections with sheer drop-offs and no guardrails, especially the portion known as the Million Dollar Highway that is located between Ouray and Silverton. The small towns scattered along this route, such as Telluride, Silverton and Ouray, are known for having some biker-friendly restaurants and accommodations, as well.
Another route that is beloved by motorcyclists is US 6 over the Loveland Pass. This road, which sits at 11,990 feet, is loaded with tight switchbacks and sweepers and has a steady steep 6.7-percent grade. Taking US 6 is an alternate to going through I-70’s Eisenhower Tunnel. The Loveland Pass route is a scenic 19-mile ride that takes riders along the side of the Dillon Reservoir and across the Continental Divide. Unlike other high roads in Colorado, Loveland Pass remains open during the winter, but it should only be ridden with great care during this time of the year.
Of course, Colorado's most famous road is probably Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado Springs. This is a 19-mile ride with switchbacks, steep drop-offs and no guardrails. Some of Pikes Peak Highway, which summits at 14,110 feet, is unpaved.
While it may be hard for riders to tear themselves away from these and other equally great roads, Colorado hosts a large number of rallies and other events to tempt them away from a day or two of riding. One of the best events in Colorado is the American Salute Rally, which was formerly known as the Cripple Creek Salute Rally. This event is traditionally held in the small town of Cripple Creek, although it did move to Winter Park for one year in 2010. This three-day event is held in August and features a large ride – approximately 5,000 bikes -- in honor of the military. The American Salute Rally also features numerous vendor booths and live musical acts.
|Beautiful and bucolic Connecticut is crisscrossed with roads that weave through picturesque countryside and charming New England towns. Motorcyclists will find that while this state’s coastal plain and central valley are relatively flat, parts of Connecticut are hilly, especially its northwestern region. In addition, Connecticut boasts 250 miles of beautiful Long Island Sound shoreline. |
Motorcyclists looking for a scenic back route into New York City that is also
|interesting and truck-free will enjoy winding Merritt Parkway. The natural beauty of this road, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is enhanced by approximately 70 ornamental Neo-Classical and Modernistic bridges. This 37-mile road stretches from the town of Greenwich to the town of Stratford.|
Riders in northern Connecticut looking for a scenic ride through bucolic farmland and pretty forests will enjoy cruising along Route 197/190, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing and the countryside is ablaze with color. Motorcyclists can pick up this route from North Woodstock by heading west on Route 197. After about 25 miles, the road changes to 190. Riders will continue on 190, which will cross the Connecticut River, before ending at Route 159, near the town of Enfield.
For those riders who enjoy hilly rides, the following 102-mile loop, which starts in Granby and ends in Canaan, boasts elevation changes, as well as twisties and beautiful scenery. To begin this route, motorcyclists take Route 20 west from Granby to Winsted. Route 20 will cross through beautiful Tunxis State Forest during this portion of the ride. When riders reach Winsted, they will then get on Route 44, heading west. In the village of Lakeville, riders will need to get on Route 41 south until they reach the town of Sharon, where they will then head south on Route 4 to Cornwall Bridge. From here, motorcyclists will take Route 7 south along the Appalachian Trail to New Milford, where they will turn onto Route 45 north to return to Cornwall Bridge. Finally, motorcyclists return to Route 7 and head north to this loop’s end point in Canaan.
Like Merritt Parkway, Connecticut State Route 169 has earned an America’s Byways designation. This 32-mile route takes riders through classic New England countryside and charming villages, and it is yet another of Connecticut’s roads that are especially gorgeous in the fall leaf-changing season. Motorcyclists begin this route south of Lisbon and head north past Pomfret -- and its beautiful churches that date to the 1800s – and Woodstock before ending their ride at the Massachusetts-Connecticut border.
State Route 146 is a beautiful, 12-mile winding coastal route that has been designated as a state scenic road. This is a narrow road that takes riders past marshlands and through the seaside towns of Guilford and Branford. While in Branford, motorcyclists may want to take a break from their two-wheeled steeds to climb aboard one of the cruise boats that can take them around the pretty Thimble Islands, which are also sometimes referred to as the Hundred Islands.
Motorcyclists in Connecticut can enjoy a number of rides, rallies and shows during the year, including the Connecticut State HOG Rally. This three-day event is held in Bristol and features music and lots of vendor booths.
|Although Delaware is the second smallest state in the nation, it manages to pack a lot into a little package. Within this state’s 2,044 square miles are 17 state parks, a designated America’s Byway, as well as a number of fun and scenic roads perfect for a day’s outing on the bike.|
Delaware’s Brandywine Valley area provides a nice setting for a motorcycle journey. One of thebest ways to enjoy this pretty area is to take a ride on the Brandywine
|Valley Scenic Byway. This 12-mile route begins at the Pennsylvania State line on Delaware 52, which is also known as Kennett Pike. In Wilmington, this road changes names to Pennsylvania Avenue, but riders should remain on it on until they reach Delaware 100, which is also known as Montchanin Road. Motorcyclists will continue on this road for another five miles before this route ends at the Pennsylvania State line.|
The Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway takes riders past charming historic villages, gorgeous country estates, pretty rivers, andpicturesque countryside. In addition to all of this beautiful scenery, this area is also home to a lot of hilly little roads that boast hard corners, lots of curves, and rolling roller coaster stretches. Some of the best little side roads in this area include Thompson’s Bridge, Smiths Bridge Road, Adams Damn Road, and Route 230.
Route 9, which is also known as the Coastal Heritage Scenic Byway, is an excellent motorcycle ride that skirts the Delaware Bay Coast and travelsthrough farmlands, forests, wetlands and several wildlife preserves. This is an approximately 50-mile ride on a two-lane road that stretches from New Castle to just south of the Dover Air Force Base. Route 9 boasts some nice long straights, as well as switchbacks and some twisties. A word of caution, riders may encounter high-standing water onthis road if the tides are high or if there have been storms in the area.
US-113 is another pretty ride that takes motorcyclists from Milford, Delaware, through the pretty DelMarVa Peninsula, and to Pocomoke City in Maryland. DelMarVa stands for Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, which are the three states that all occupy a portion of this large peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. This 75-mile route is fairly straight, but it is very scenic, especially as it travels through the Pocomoke River State Forest and Redden State Forest.
In addition to some nice motorcycle roads, the Delaware area isthe site of a number of shows, rallies and rides throughout the year, including the Delmarva Bike Week in September. This large, three-day event is actually held in Ocean City, Maryland, but is located on the same peninsula as Delaware.
|It's not just kids and spring breakers who pine for sunny Florida. Bikers, too, love this state's typically bike-friendly weather, especially during the winter months, and its miles of scenic open roads.|
One of the most well-known and popular routes in Florida is The Loop, which is located about 30 minutes from Daytona Beach and offers picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Loop begins in Ormond Beach on John Anderson Drive and
|proceeds north under an archway of large trees. Riders turn left on High bridge Road and cross the bridge and the Halifax River. At Walter Boardman Road, riders once again turn left and head to Old Dixie Highway, where they make another left to head back to the route's starting point in Ormond Beach. A word of warning: The Loop can be extremely congested during Daytona Beach's Biketober Fest and Bike Week.|
Riders that have a little time on their hands and who are looking for a memorable cruise should set off on Route 1 through the Florida Keys. Route 1 was once voted by the Outdoor Writers Association of America as the eastern United States' "Most Scenic Route." This is not a challenging road, but a true pleasure ride that includes a stunning crossing over electric blue waters on the famous Seven Mile Bridge. Riders can pick up Route 1, south of Miami in Florida City and cruise it all the way down to Key West, where they can enjoy a margarita in this eclectic little town, which is the continental United States' southernmost point.
Yet another highly recommended ride for motorcyclists is the scenic Tamiami Trail Scenic Highway, which takes bikers from Naples to Miami, past glimpses of the old Florida and through the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. Riders can stop at various points along the way to take a look at the area's many alligators or to take an airboat tour through the swamps.
Although many people consider Florida to be a relatively flat state, it does actually offer some roads with hilly inclines and twisting turns. The Sugarloaf Mountain Ride, which is located in central Florida, is one such route. Two roads, Old Country Road 561 and Old Country Road 455 combine to make a loop around Sugarloaf Mountain, which is the highest point on the Florida peninsula. Motorcyclists will undoubtedly enjoy the elevation changes and twists and turns this route will throw in their path, as well as spectacular views of Lake Apopka.
Experienced riders looking for a road with some challenging twists to it will enjoy the Ozello Trail Ride or State Route 494, which is located near Homosassa Springs on Florida's Gulf Coast. This road features a number of tight curves that demand a rider to pay it full time and attention.
In addition to miles of excellent roads for motorcycle cruising, Florida is also home to a number of large rallies and well-attended rides. Daytona Beach boasts two of the most well-known rallies, the aforementioned Daytona Bike Week, which is a ten-day event held in March, and Biketober, which is, needless to say, held in October.
|Motorcyclists who have ridden this state’s best roads know why Georgia can stay on your mind. Its routes carve through beautiful mountains, along the beaches and through towns oozing Southern charm. The last of the original 13 colonies, this state also has a lot of historical points of interest for a cyclist to visit. |
For those adrenaline seekers who don’t mind a little or a lot of fear mixed in with their fun, Wolf Pen Gap Road, also known as State Route 180, is a challenging twisting
|and turning, narrow two-lane asphalt snake that runs through Blood Mountain. This is a technical road with lots of switchbacks and elevation changes that is best left to experienced riders. Even skilled riders can lay their bikes down on this road if they aren’t paying attention and hit some wet leaves or gravel while trying to negotiate Wolf Pen Gap's sharp curves.|
Wolf Pen Gap Road can be done in conjunction with US-129, which is a road full of winding sweepers that also carves through Blood Mountain. To make this 34-mile loop, start in the little town of Suches. This town was once known for its motorcycle-only campground, Two Wheels Only, but unfortunately -- as of March 2011 -- it has closed. From Suches, riders head southeast on State Route 60 to Porter Springs and then continue northeast on US-19, which will take them to US-129 and its playground of curves. Riders will ride US-129 until they reach Lake Trahlyta, where they will then take Wolf Pen Gap Road. If a rider prefers, this whole route -- which is sometimes referred to as Suches Loop -- can also be run in reverse.
Riders who would prefer a scenic pleasure ride with lots of sweepers will enjoy a portion of Route 136 that travels between Talking Rock, which is near Jasper, and Dahlonega. This is a pleasant 48-mile ride with beautiful valley and mountain vistas, sweeping turns and some elevation changes.
The Russell Brass town Scenic Byway, which cuts through the Chattahoochee National Forest in a 41-mile loop, is another beautiful ride. Motorcyclists can start this loop in the Bavarian-themed town of Helen, which is about 90 miles north and east of Atlanta. From Helen, riders should head north on Route 17 until they reach Route 180, where they will continue west. In Choestoe, riders will then head south on Route 348 until it reaches Route 75. Riders will then complete the loop by taking Route 75 north back to Route 17, which they will then take back to Helen. This byway has some nice curves and elevation changes.
Of course, life isn’t just about the mountains. Water-loving motorcycle riders will enjoy cruising on Highway 17 as it passes by pretty marshes and rivers before finally depositing them at the visitor center for Cumberland Island, Georgia’s largest barrier island. This is a 68-mile-long pleasure ride through nice country and small towns. Riders can start this route in Darien and head south until they reach Kingsland. From Kingsland, they will take Route 40 east until they reach the Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center.
Georgia motorcyclists also have a number of rallies and other motorcycle-related events to look forward to throughout the year. The Southeast Victory Rally, which is held in Helen at the end of May, features bands, vendors. The Southeast Victory Rally is held in conjunction with the US Rider News’ Reunion Rally.
Angel City in Unadilla, Georgia is a western-themed town that was created just for bikers. Every year, Angel City holds a rally in the spring, and then another one in the fall. Typically, these rallies will draw over 8,000 bikers to enjoy bands and motorcycle-related games and events.
|With weather that is almost always perfect for riding and gorgeous scenery at every turn, Hawaii would probably be one of the most popular states in the nation for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, it is logistically difficult for most bikers to get a chance to enjoy this beautiful state’s many scenic wonders. Luckily, several of the islands do have facilities that rent out motorcycles, so it is possible for visitors to explore these islands by bike. These fortunate riders will find lots of lovely waterfalls and gorgeous routes that to lead to panoramic views of the ocean on these stunning islands.|
|Visitors to the Island of Maui will enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and some fantastic switchbacks as they ride alongside the coast and into the West Maui Mountains, which are very lush and beautiful. These mountains are imposing, with the highest peak being at 5,788 feet. Motorcyclists start this 60-mile loop by taking Highway 30 out of the town of Lahaina. Before Kahauloa Village, this road changes its name to Highway 340 and narrows to a one-lane curvy eight-mile road that is etched into the side of a mountain. Brave riders only need apply, as motorcyclists may face oncoming traffic and there are few guardrails to separate man from mountainside on Highway 340. This road eventually switches back to the Highway 30 designation before returning riders to Lahaina.|
Another exceptional Hawaiian road is also located on the Island of Maui. The Hana Highway, which is also known as Highways 360, boasts over 600 tight curves and 50 one-lane bridges in its 52 miles. This road cuts through beautiful rainforest and along the gorgeous coastline as it follows an old footpath used by ancient Hawaiians. Motorcyclists should make sure to explore the many beautiful sites along this road that stretches from Hana to Kahului.
Motorcyclists on the Big Island of Hawaii will definitely want to take a ride on Saddle Road, which runs along the “saddle” between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes. This is a very curvy road that climbs to 6000 feet. At the top, riders can look out on lava fields that resemble the barren face of the moon.
The Big Island of Hawaii also has a beautiful four-mile ride, the Onomea Bay Scenic Drive, which is located on the Hamakua Coast. This is a narrow, curvy drive through gorgeous rainforests, with beautiful views of the ocean. This road should be ridden respectfully, as there are a few one-land bridges on it, and it is also quite narrow in spots. In some areas, this road has little to no shoulders and it is lined with a high unforgiving natural rock wall. Motorcyclists can reach this road by taking Highway 19 north out of Hilo to about the 7.5-mile marker. Riders will have to look for a Scenic Drive sign indicating the turn off for this beautiful drive. This little four-mile route will then lead riders back to Highway 19.
Oahu has some nice rides, but probably one of the best for motorcyclists is the drive up Mount Tantalus. This route features tight curves and a steep climb, and the top of this route boasts awesome views of Diamond Head and the Pauoa Valley. The road changes names at the top to Round Top Drive, before it heads down the other side of the mountain.
Bikers in Hawaii can look forward to a few rallies and shows each year, including the Hawaii State HOG rally, which has been held on different islands, including Oahu and Maui. This event typically features rides through the beautiful Hawaiian scenery and is held in October.
|As motorcyclists know, Idaho is famous for more than its potatoes. This is a state crisscrossed with some of the best motorcycle roads in the nation, thanks in part to Idaho’s very diverse terrain. This state’s northern half is mountainous and covered in forests, while its southern end is more desert like.|
Some riders consider the Old Lewiston Grade, which is sometimes referred to as The Spiral Highway, as one of the best roads in the Northwest. It is an old two-lane road
|that stretches between US-95 and Hwy-127 and covers a 2000-foot grade in eight miles. Even though it is short, many riders consider this road worth the trip to reach it. The Spiral Highway is a technical ride for serious bikers. It boasts twisties, some nice sweepers and tight corners. The Spiral Highway can be found just off of US-95, north of Lewiston.|
Highway 21 is another favorite of motorcyclists in Idaho. This winding road, which is also known as the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, runs from Boise to Lowman. It is a scenic 130-mile ride through the Boise
National Forest on a narrow two-lane road that boasts some steep grades. Highway 21 can be picked up on the east side of Boise.
Riders who need another super twisty road will want to try Forest Service Road 456, which is also known as Ninemile Creek Road and NF 456. This ten-mile road is located in the Coeur D’ Alene National Forest, north of Interstate 90. Forest Service Road 456 is a very twisty, steep two-lane mountain road that features a lot of tight switchbacks that crosses over the 4200-foot-high Dobson Pass. To get to this road, riders should get off of Interstate 90 in the town of Wallace. They will find Forest Service Road 456 just north of this town.
Motorcyclists know that any road that has a sign warning, “Winding Road Next 99 Miles,” just has to be a lot of fun. Lolo Pass – which is also known as US-12 or The North West Passage Scenic Byway – greets its guest in just this manner. This 202-mile road, which stretches from Lewiston to Missoula in Montana, cuts through the Rocky Mountains and follows the old Lewis and Clark Trail. This road is one smooth sweeper after another, with a few tight curves thrown in, just to keep everyone honest. In addition, Lolo Pass is also a very scenic ride.
Some days, a rider just wants to cruise and view the scenery. Mesa Falls Scenic Byway is perfect for those kinds of days. This 27-mile road begins in the small town of Ashton and then travels through the Targhee National Forest and the Three Rivers Canyon. The road then follows Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. The highlights of this route are the Lower Mesa Falls and the Upper Mesa Falls. These are the last two undisturbed waterfalls in the Columbia River System, meaning that their waters are not used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects.
Another scenic route, albeit one that travels through high desert landscape rather than mountains, is Highway 20, which also takes riders through the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Highway 20 is a 214-mile two-lane road that runs from Interstate 84 to Interstate 15. This road features long straights and a few curvy spots. Craters of the Moon National Monument is definitely one of the more unusual sites in Idaho. This Monument and Preserve features three lava fields that make this area of Idaho resemble the barren surface of the moon. In 1969, NASA astronauts trained for their mission to the moon in these lava fields.
In addition to its excellent roads, Idaho also has a number of rallies, rides and other motorcycle-related activities, including the Big Nasty Hill Climb. This event, which is held in September in New Plymouth, is considered the largest motorcycle event in Idaho.
|Motorcyclists will find mile after mile of great country roads in Illinois that traverses this state’s wide variety of terrain, including swamps, prairie, wooded areas, and farmlands.|
The 278,537-acre Shawnee National Forest is located in a region of this state that is referred to as the Illinois Ozarks. These very old mountains, which are older than the Rockies, are an extension of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. This is a very beautiful
|large forest that is home to many different species of wildlife. The Shawnee National Forest is one of the hilliest areas in Illinois, so it boasts a number of twisty, fun rides, and it also features a diverse range of terrain. Riders will pass by cypress swamps, gorgeous bluffs and many pretty lakes while exploring this park. |
Motorcyclists can access this park, which is located in southern Illinois, several different ways, including from Illinois State Highway 34 to Karber’s Ridge Road. Once on Karber’s Ridge Road, motorcyclists will find a number of entrances for the park. One of the best areas of Shawnee National Forest to visit off of this road is the Garden of the Gods, which features gorgeous sandstone rock formations that have been sculpted into unusual shapes by nature’s elements. Motorcyclists will just need to follow the signs on Karber’s Ridge Road that will lead them to the Garden of the Gods.
Starved Rock State Park, which is located about 95 miles southwest of Chicago, is another area rich in natural wonders and beauty, including 425-million-year-old sandstone rock formations. In addition to these sculptures created by Mother Nature, there are many beautiful waterfalls and 18 canyons featuring sandstone bluffs in Starved Rock State Park. The terrain is surprisingly hilly in this area, so motorcyclists will get to enjoy some twisties as they go through the park. To reach Starved Rock State Park, motorcyclists can take Route 178 south to where it intersects with Route 71, where they will then turn east. This will take riders to the park’s entrance.
Motorcyclists in northwest Illinois who are looking for a pretty, fun road should head over to the Scenic Ridge Route, which is located near Savanna. This road climbs to the top of some bluffs as it cuts through the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park. This park, which is located at the confluences of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Apple River, features interesting rock formations and the stunning Mississippi Palisades, which are steep cliffs that line the river. To enjoy this park, take US-52 north through Savanna until you see a sign that indicates “Scenic Ridge Route.” Riders will then take this east until it ends in US Highway 20. This route features elevation changes and nice sweepers, in addition to fantastic scenery.
For motorcycle riders who enjoy jaunts through pretty country and small Midwest towns, Route 2 south out of Rockford is just what the doctor ordered. This road follows alongside the pretty Rock River and through wooded sections. A must-see on Route 2 is a 50-foot-tall statue of a Native American gazing across the Rock River Valley that is located in Lowden State Park. It is commonly called Chief Black Hawk, but its sculptor, Lorado Taft, is said to have created the image in honor of all Native Americans.
Of course, Illinois offers more to its motorcyclists than just roads. This state is also the site of numerous motorcycle rallies, shows and events, including the adults-only Hogrock River Rally. This large four-day event is held in Cave In Rock in June and features contests, poker runs and live bands.
| Motorcyclists will find an interesting mix of roads and terrain in Indiana. This state features some nice rolling rides through forests, as well as scenic cruises through dunes, farmland and countryside. In addition, bikers will want to set aside time to visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is the site of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP motorcycle race, as well as the world famous Indy 500.|
One of the prettiest areas of Indiana is its Indiana Dunes, which lie on Lake Michigan.
|Stagecoach Road is a short, three-mile, curvy road that cuts through these dunes. Interestingly enough, some people claim this road is haunted and that it is also a good spot to see UFOs. On a less paranormal note, riders do need to be alert as they cross through the dunes, as wildlife is abundant along these roads, as is – of course – sand on the asphalt. Stagecoach Road can be found in Portage and stretches from County Line Road to Highway 12, which is also known as Dunes Highway.|
Highway 12 also takes motorcyclists through these intriguing dunes. This is a two-lane road that has some nice sweepers and travels through some charming towns. You can pick this road up in Portage, as well, and follow it through the dunes to Michigan City.
IN-135 is a great curvy, hilly road that carves through some very scenic parts of Indiana and the pretty forests of Brown County State Park. This park has some additional nice roads, so motorcyclists may want to set aside a little time to explore it before continuing on their way. Riders can pick up this fun and scenic route from Bloomington by heading east on State Route 46. Once riders reach I-35, they will take this road until it ends at the Indiana and Kentucky border.
In east-central Indiana, the asphalt follows the contours of this region’s rolling hills and valleys as it winds through pretty woodlands and charming old towns. Motorcyclists wanting to get a good sampling of this area’s roads should start in Connersville and head south on Indiana 121 until they reach US-52, which they will then take east until they reach State Route 229. This road will eventually take riders through Oldenburg. This charming little town was settled by Germans and many of its buildings have tall steeples and resemble those that might be found in a village in Germany.
Motorcyclists will next continue on this road to Batesville, where they will take State Route 46 east until it meets up with US-52. Riders will continue on US- 52 north until they reach State Route 101, which they will then take north, passing by Whitewater Memorial State Park. This scenic park contains the 200-acre Whitewater Lake. State Route 101 eventually leads to US Route 27, which riders will then take north to Richmond, where they will pick up US-40. This state designated scenic route was once known as the National Road and was the nation’s first interstate highway. Riders will see examples of historic architecture along this route, as well as pass through beautiful rural scenery. Motorcyclists can end this road trip in historic Centerville, which was once an important stop on the National Road. Today, visitors will find beautiful examples of 19th-century architecture and many antique stores in this charming town.
Of course, Indiana has many motorcycle shows, rallies, and races, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This race is a round of the Moto GP World Championship road racing series, and it attracts famous riders from around the world.
|Iowa’s roads flow through charming small towns and roll leisurely through open countryside. This is true America’s Heartland country where you can almost feel like you’re throttling backwards in time.|
Most people who are familiar with Iowa agree that its best motorcycle route is the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. This road meanders alongside the Mighty Mississippi River for approximately 90 miles. Along the way, this route climbs up
|some steep ridges and then dips down into picturesque valleys. In addition to all of the nice scenery, some sections of the Great River Road also feature entertaining sweepers and twisties.|
A nice ride that is all about the destination is a visit to Dyersville, the small town where the 1989 classic movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed. To get to Dyersville, which is just 25 miles west of Dubuque, riders need to take U.S. 20 from Dubuque to Iowa 136, which will then deliver them to the “Field of Dreams.” Visitors are allowed to play a game of pickup baseball on the field, if they want. This is a pretty ride on country roads.
Motorcyclists looking for another pleasant scenic ride will enjoy the Loess Hills Scenic Byway, which is a 220-mile drive through prairies, forests and past bluffs. This is pretty country, where you might be able to spy eagles or hawks flying overhead. Loess Hills Scenic Byway, which is also known as 982, begins in Akron, Iowa and runs down to Hamburg. This will not be an exhilarating ride full of twisties, but it will give riders a peek back at how parts of our country once appeared, and it does have some nice sweepers and great vistas of the Missouri Valley.
The Northeast Iowa Loop is a collection of roads that take riders on a fun and scenic ride through hills and valleys. This loop starts in Waukon on Highway 9 and goes east towards Lansing. From Lansing, riders will take Highway 26 to Country Road A26 west to Highway 76. Riders then take 76 back to their starting point in Waukon. Lovers of twisties will be happy to hear that Country Road A26 is loaded with them.
Riders who prefer roads where they can let the throttle out should head to Old Lincoln Highway, which runs for 30 miles between Council Bluffs and Magnolia through pretty farm country. Although this road has a lot of straight a ways it also has some stretches with sharp curves.
Throughout the year, Iowa motorcyclists have numerous rallies and rides to choose from. The Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally, AKA Little Sturgis on the River, is held in Davenport, Iowa. It advertises itself as being the largest gathering of motorcycles in the Midwest. This four-day rally, which is held in June, features musical acts, a number of rides and lots of vendors.
The largest non-profit motorcycle rally in Iowa is the Across the Border Raid Motorcycle Rally, which is held in August in Bedford, Iowa. This three-day event features a number of bands and contests.
|Kansas has the reputation for possibly being the flattest state in the nation. Over 60 percent of this state is flat, and its average elevation is about 2,000 feet. That being said, there are some hills in eastern Kansas and the Great Plains boasts the state’s highest point, Mount Sunflower, at 4,000 feet. Even without any tall mountains or a plethora of hills, Kansas still has much to offer motorcyclists. This state has eight scenic byways, two of which are designated as National Scenic Byways.|
|The best known twisty road in Kansas is fittingly located across from Lakeside Speedway. State Route 5 is a nine-mile road that boasts lots of twisties flowing over gently rolling hills. Riders need to keep an eye out for slower moving rural traffic and gravel or dirt on the roadways. To enjoy this entertaining route, motorcyclists can take State Route 5, which is also known as K-5, north out of Wolcott. The road ends when it reaches US-73.|
The Flint Hills National Scenic Byway is a popular road with local motorcyclists, especially on the first Sunday of each month when hoards of bikers gather in Cassoday to ride this route and to just enjoy hanging out. This 47-mile route, which is also known as Kansas-177, takes riders on a scenic, gently rolling, curving ride through the tall grass prairies of the Flint Hills. Riders can begin the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway by taking Kansas-177 north from Cassoday to its end in Council Grove. The Flint Hills Scenic Byway is also designated as an America’s Byway.
This state’s other America’s Byway is known as the Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway. This is an approximately 77-mile ride through wetlands, including the Cheyenne Bottoms State Wildlife Area and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Cheyenne Bottoms is said to be the largest marsh located in the interior of the United States, and it is an important stop for migratory birds. Riders may be able to see sand hill and whooping cranes, as well as bald and golden eagles along this byway.
This route begins at the junction of US-281 and Highway K-4 in Barton County. From here, riders will take Highway K-4 east until they reach NE 100 Avenue, which they will take south. When riders reach Highway K-156, they will take this road southwest to NE30 Road, where they will turn east, followed by an immediate turn south onto NE 60 Avenue/RS-980. Motorcyclists will stay on this route, which will eventually change names to NE 40th Avenue/RS-0980. When riders reach NE 140th Street/RS-1484, they will take this road east (the road changes name to 95th Avenue/RS-554) to Raymond Road/RS-506, which they then follow south to 4th Avenue/ NE 70th Street/RS-636. Motorcyclists will take this road west to the byway’s end at the US-281 junction.
Motorcyclists who enjoy sweepers with their scenery will find much to like about the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, which is also known as US-160. The Gypsum Hills are located in the Great Plains, which are usually miles of flat grasslands, but here the land turns rogue and opens up into buttes, canyons and weathered hills. This 42-mile road, which stretches from Coldwater to Medicine Lodge, boasts some elevation changes and sweepers as it flows over this region’s hills and down its canyons. Riders can pick US-160 from either Coldwater or Medicine Lodge.
Kansas motorcyclists also have a number of rallies, shows and rides to look forward to each year, including the Big Bend Bike Rally, which will be held in September in Great Bend. Of course, there is also the monthly event in Cassoday, which always draws thousands of riders.
|Every year, droves of equine lovers visit Kentucky to see some of the best thoroughbred horses in the word. With its miles of scenic open roads lined with gorgeous horse farms, as well as fun routes that cut through the Appalachian Mountains, the Blue Grass State also draws scores of iron horse aficionados, as well. In addition, this state practically drips in pure Americana. It is home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a route that links a number of major bourbon distilleries; as well as the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant; and Churchill Downs, the storied site of the|
Bikers looking for a lot of twisties will love US Route 421, which winds through a number of states, including Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. The most famous portion of US Route 421 is its Tennessee segment, which is known as the Snake, and is said to contain over 480 wicked curves. While the Kentucky segment of Route 421 is generally not as twisty as the Snake, it still has plenty of sections that boast sinuous, tight two-lane curves, exciting sweepers, as well as sheer drops-offs that will keep most riders very entertained.
Another route that is popular with twisty lovers is State Route 22 in northern Kentucky, between Worthington and Willow. This is an approximately 100-mile route that combines scenery with the added entertainment of lots of nice twisties and fast sweepers. Riders will pass beautiful horse farms and also run along ridge tops on this fun road.
Motorcyclists looking for another road that combines a pretty backdrop with interesting asphalt should head over to State Highway 89, which cuts a sweet path through the Daniel Boone National Forest. Riders can pick this road up in the charming town of Winchester and take it to Livingston or just do portions of it. A 35-mile section of this road, from the junction of Kentucky 89 and Kentucky 490 to the Estill County line, has been designated as a state Scenic Byway. State Highway 89 boasts some nice elevation changes, thrilling sweepers, as well as a number of tight switchbacks.
A great route that offers scenery, a lot of unusual features and some fun twisties can be found in the Red River Gorge. This old logging road meanders alongside the Red River and is very scenic. The highlight of this trip for many motorcyclists is Nada Tunnel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is basically a one-way unlit, 13’ x 12’ x 900-foot hole cut through the mountain on Kentucky 77. To get to this little road, riders will head south from Stanton on The Bert Combs Parkway until they reach Route 77, which is also known as Nada Tunnel Road. Riders will then take this road east until they reach Route 715, which they will then take back to Bert Combs Parkway.
Although drinking and motorcycle riding never mix, riders can enjoy visiting the Bluegrass State’s distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to see how this alcohol is crafted. Bourbon distilleries on this route include Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Maker’s Mark. Most of the distillery tours are free, with the exception of Woodford Reserve, which charges a small entrance fee. All of the distilleries are located just outside of Lexington and will have maps that show motorcyclists how to navigate the Bourbon Trail. Riders can start at the Wild Turkey Distillery, which is located at 1525 Tyrone Road in Lawrenceburg.
Kentucky also has a number of rallies and shows, including the Kentucky Bike Fest, which is held in July in Sturgis, Kentucky. This is a two-day show that features bands, a bike show and a variety of contests.
|In Louisiana, motorcyclists never know what the next curve in the road may bring. This state is home to plantations, the bayou, spooky roads lined with Spanish-moss draped trees, the unique Creole culture and great Cajun food.|
The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road travels for 180 miles through beautiful Louisiana bayous, coastal prairies, marshes, unspoiled wildlife refuges, and along the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. This is a mostly flat road, but it is a very scenic ride that
|gives motorcyclists a glimpse of Louisiana’s wonderful wetlands area. This road passes near or through the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. These refuges attract large flocks of waterfowl and are home to alligators. Riders will find a number of small eateries that serve delicious local cuisine, such as boudin and po-boys, on this route, which stretches from Sulpher to Lake Charles. To get to the Creole Nature Trail, motorcyclists can take Route 27 south out of Sulpher. Riders remain on this road, which will change its name to State Highway 82 and then back to State Highway 27 during this ride. When riders reach State Highway 27 just outside of the town of Creole, they will head north on this road until they reach State Highway 384, which they will take west to State Highway 385 north to Lake Charles.|
Motorcyclists who prefer twisties with their scenery will want to head to Route 22 in southern Louisiana. This route stretches for 35 miles from Ponchatoula to Sorrento and takes riders alongside a river, as it cuts through the bayou. The road features sweepers and twisties. Some of the turns are very sharp, especially in the bayou area between French Settlement and Head-of-Island. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a motorcyclist who has overestimated his skill level and underestimated this road’s turns to end up in the swamp.
Route 415, which is located just west of Baton Rouge, is another fun and scenic route. Motorcyclists can start this rural, twisty route out of Port Allen and take it 32 miles to the city of New Roads. Because route 415 runs alongside the curvy False River, this road is not only a very pretty ride, but it is also one that offers plenty of twists and turns to keep a motorcyclist entertained.
Another twisty road that isn’t too far from Baton Rouge is Louisiana 77. This road is lined on one side with farmland and on the other by the eerie beauty of the bayou. As this road winds through the bayou, riders will find lots of curves to tackle on Louisiana 77. Riders can pick up to this road in Livonia and take it 36 miles to Plaquemine.
The Longleaf Trail Scenic Byway, which is located in west-central Louisiana, cuts through the Kisatchie Hills, one of this state’s most rugged areas. This 17-mile two-lane byway, which is also known as State Forest Road 59, crosses over mesas and buttes and travels along a ridge top though the 8,679-acre Kisatchie Hills Wilderness, which is also known to locals as the Little Grand Canyon. The road features stunning views of the buttes, as well as the Kisatchie Bayou. This byway is located five and half miles south of I-49’s Derry exit and connects to Louisiana Highway 117 and 199.
Of course, it’s no secret that Louisiana knows how to throw a mean party, and it’s little wonder that it is also the site of a number of wild rallies, rides and shows. The Great Southern Rally, which is held in Gonzalez during May is a four-day event that includes swamp rides, Cajun poker runs, and a music festival.
|Maine is famous for its rugged coastline, beautiful lakes and rivers, and stunning mountains. Motorcyclists can enjoy mile after mile of scenic, fun rides in this state and then fill up at a diner on the local, fresh lobster that Maine is famous for or with a cup of creamy New England clam chowder. |
With a name like the Million Dollar View Scenic Byway, a road better deliver gorgeous views, and this short eight-mile stretch -- which is also known as US Route 1 – lives
|up to its moniker. This byway offers bikers prime views of the Chiputneticook chain of lakes – the East Grand, Deering and Brackett – as it passes by Peekaboo Mountain’s summit. Wildlife abounds on this route, which runs between Danforth and Orient, so bikers do need to wary. |
Motorcyclists who enjoy their scenery mixed with some twisties should head over to the northern section of Route 201, which stretches from Fairfield to Jackman. This 130-mile route curves through the picturesque Kenebec River Valley, following the sinuous paths of the Kennebec and Dead Rivers. This beautiful route is easy to reach, motorcyclists just need to take I-95 to Route 201 North. The northern part of this route is also referred to as the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway.
Yet another scenic route just waiting for motorcyclists to enjoy it is the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway, which is about 35 miles long. This route travels through western Maine, past stunning lakes and charming New England villages. Motorcyclists can reach this route from Auburn by taking Route 4 north until they reach Madrid. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway begins just north of Madrid at Smalls Falls.
One of Maine’s most popular routes with motorcyclists is the Grafton Notch Scenic Byway, which can be ridden in conjunction with a New Hampshire scenic byway to form a loop that cuts through stunning Grafton Notch State Park. This road, which is also known as State Route 26, is located in western Maine. Scenic State Route 26 is approximately 21 miles long and features some twisties and elevation changes. To get to this byway, riders can start from the town of Newry, which is about six miles away from Bethel. From Newry, motorcyclists will take Route 26 north/northwest to Grafton Notch State Park.
Motorcyclists seeking a taste of the famous Maine coastline will want to take a spin on Routes 131 and 73. Route 131 offers up a nice selection of twisties, sweepers and even some elevation changes. You can pick up Route 131 in Swanville and take it to its end in Port Clyde, which is an approximately 59-mile ride. Some riders prefer to start this ride on Route 73 out of Rockland instead of starting in Swanville. Route 73 is also another very scenic road. These two roads travel through some quaint coastal villages and offer pretty glimpses of the sea.
Another route that will take you along Maine’s gorgeous coast is the 35-mile Mount Desert Island Loop. Mount Desert Island is home to gorgeous Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. This winding route boasts both beautiful mountain and ocean views, as well as some minor elevation changes to keep things interesting for riders. It can be crowded during peak tourism times, but its stunning views make it worth the effort.
To reach this very pretty route, riders take Bar Harbor Road to the Hulls Cove entrance of Acadia National Park. This will put motorcyclists on Paradise Hill Road, which they will continue on until they cross State Route 233. Here, the road changes its name to Jordan Pond Road. Riders continue on this road until they reach the split for the Park Loop Road, where they will bear left to remain on Park Loop. Riders can continue on this road as it turns northward to form a loop or they can choose to split off on any of the many other roads that crisscross this island.
Maine also has numerous motorcycle events throughout the year, including rallies, rides and vintage motorcycle shows. One event that Harley lovers will want to check out is the three-day Maine State HOG Rally, which is held in Greenville in July and features live music and lots of vendor booths.
|Mention Maryland and many people think of the gritty city of Baltimore. In actuality, Maryland is a state full of rolling hills and mountains, charming small towns, and lots of historical sites. Parts of Maryland also lie on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Motorcyclists will find plenty of varying terrain and beautiful scenery to keep them entertained in Maryland.|
One of the prettiest sections of Maryland is the mountainous Cumberland area,
|especially in the fall, where the trees change their leaf colors to blazing reds, oranges, and yellows. MD-51 is a nice 26-mile ride from Paw Paw to Cumberland. This road has some elevation changes and great views. |
Savage River Road is a short but sweet, 17-mile fun road that stretches from Merrill to Bloomington in Garrett County. This route passes through both Savage River State Forest and Big Run State Park and is full of nice undulating curves. For the most part, this beautiful tree-lined road is well paved.
Loch Raven in Baltimore County is another short ride that is very twisty. This is a popular ride with local bikers who want to test their skills on this road’s many curves. It is also a scenic tree-lined ride with views of the Loch Raven Reservoir. Motorcyclists can pick Loch Raven Drive up from Dulaney Valley Road.
For riders interested in a longer twisty road, State Route 17 is 29 miles of fun asphalt that carves through rural Maryland from Smithsburg to Brunswick. Route 17 boasts a number of sweepers and straight a ways where you can let the throttle out. There are several charming small towns along this route that look like they have been frozen in time. One of the towns is Burkittsville, population 171, which gained fame as the setting for the groundbreaking 1999 horror flick, “The Blair Witch Project.” Interestingly enough, Burkittsville is also the site of a locally known phenomenon called Spook Hill or Gravity Hill. Legend has it that vehicles will roll uphill when parked on Spook Hill.
Riders looking for something a little out of the ordinary should point their bikes toward White’s Ferry, which is the only cable ferry remaining on the Potomac River. The streets through Poolesville leading up to White’s Ferry on the Maryland side are beautiful country roads that make for a pleasant ride. Once at the ferry, motorcyclists and their bikes can take a ride across the beautiful Potomac River. When White's Ferry reaches the Virginia side, riders can either choose to return back to the Maryland side via the ferry again or take Virginia’s White’s Ferry Road to Route 15 North, which will eventually take them to Point of Rocks Maryland. From Point of Rocks, riders will then take Route MD-28 East to Martinsburg Road until they reach Whites Ferry Road. Finally, they will turn right onto Whites Ferry Road, which will bring them back to the ferry.
Each year, a number of rallies and motorcycle events are held in Maryland. The largest rally is the Delmarva Bike Week, which is held in the fall in Ocean City. This rally features lots of live musical acts, a poker run and other motorcycle-related contests.
Bikers in western Maryland can look forward to Apple’s East Coast Motorcycle Rally, which was formerly known as the East Coast Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This event is held over five days in August in Little Orleans. This is an adults-only biker party with live music and lots of motorcycle-related activities, including a motorcycle demolition derby.
|Motorcyclists in Massachusetts can choose from beautiful coastal rides, fun runs through scenic forests, or pleasant rolling farmland cruises. History buffs will also find a number of interesting historical sites to visit in this New England state. |
State Route 9 is a 92-mile jaunt between Pittsfield and Worcester that travels through some pretty valley and forest sections. Between Northampton and Pittsfield, there are some narrow, twisting roads that provide for a little entertainment.
|For an enjoyable scenic loop through The Berkshires, motorcyclists should start out on State Route 23 from Great Barrington and head east. This loop will pass though the beautiful heavily wooded scenery of Otis State Forest and the Sandisfield State Forest. Riders will continue on State Route 23 until they reach the town of Otis, where they will then go south on Route 8 to New Boston. Route 8 can fool a rider, as much of it is straight a ways, but there are sudden unexpected hairpins thrown in, just to keep everyone honest. From New Boston, riders should head west on Route 57, which will take them back to Route 23. Motorcyclists need to fill up their tanks before heading out into The Berkshires and keep an eye on the gas gauge, as services can be far between.|
State Route 7 is another nice ride through The Berkshires that is especially suitable for novice riders or those looking for a pleasant scenic outing. This road is a north-south route through the heart of The Berkshires. A nice site to visit along this road is beautiful Monument Mountain, which is where famous authors, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne used to hike. This picturesque area is said to have inspired both men in their creative writing endeavors.
Motorcyclists looking for a ride along Massachusetts’s coast should pick up State Route 28 at Brockton and head out to Orleans. This is an approximately 100-mile ride. Once in Orleans, riders can hop on Route 6 for a nice ride through the rest of the Cape Cod area. Another option that riders might want to consider is Route 6A Scenic Byway, which is north of Route 6 and runs parallel to it. This road, which is also known as Old King’s Highway, travels past many historical sites, as well as pretty cranberry bogs and salt marshes.
Bikers looking for an interesting historical stop should take a side trip to infamous Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the tragic 1692 witch hunts. To get to this coastal town from Boston, take I-95 North until it splits into Route 128. Follow 128 North to Route 114 East, which riders will then take to Salem. This town is located just 16 miles north of Boston.
Riders who want to add a little coastal route to their Salem visit can head out of this town and across the Essex Bridge to Cape Ann – the other Cape, as it is sometimes known. From the bridge, riders take Route 1A, which will merge with Route 127. Bikers can then follow scenic Route 127 up the coast. This route will eventually take you to Gloucester, home of the Fishermen’s Memorial and the setting for the movie, “The Perfect Storm.”
In addition to great motorcycle roads, the state of Massachusetts is also the site of a number of rallies, shows, and other motorcycle-related events, including the Massachusetts/Rhode Island State HOG Rally, which is held in Boxborough in August.
|Motorcyclists who love beautiful views of water as they ride will definitely find lots of roads to love in Michigan. This state boasts scenic coastlines on four of the five Great Lakes and almost half of Michigan is made up of water. In fact, the Wolverine State has more coastline than any other state in the nation, except for Alaska. Although Michigan’s Lower Peninsula area is home to big cities and industries, its Upper Peninsula area is largely undeveloped and forested.|
|Michigan is home to one of the most popular motorcycle roads in the nation. Its route 119, which is also known as the Tunnel of Trees Road, is a 22-mile, narrow, twisty ride through a dense canopy of leaves. In addition, the Tunnel of Trees offers occasional peaks of the Lake Michigan shoreline and is simply stunning during the autumn when the leaves are changing colors. Riders should take care on this road as it does have some very tight curves and switchbacks, and there are areas where sand and rocks may be in the turns. To get to the Tunnel of Trees Road, which is located about 35 miles from Mackinac Island, motorcyclists need to take Route 119 north out Harbor Springs. This road will skim Lake Michigan’s shoreline all the way to its end in Cross Village.|
One of Michigan’s prettiest rides is US-41, which is also known as the Copper Country Trail National Byway. This road starts in Houghton and travels through the Keweenaw Peninsula to a small village named Copper Harbor. An 18-mile section of the Copper Country Trail National Scenic Byway is known as the Covered Drive. The trees that grow alongside the road in the Covered Drive form a leafy canopy over the road, giving this section its name. Once in Copper Harbor, nature-loving motorcyclists may want to abandon their bikes for a ferry trip to the Isle Royale National Park, which is home to moose and wolves. This national park does not allow wheeled vehicles.
Although the Copper Country Trail National Byway is very scenic, some riders like to spice it up even more by taking pretty Route 203 north out of Houghton to Calumet instead of starting on US-41. Route 203 takes riders closer to Lake Superior's coastline. Once on Route 203, motorcyclists will continue on it until they reach US-41, which they will then take to Phoenix. At this point, some riders will head west on MI-26, which will again transport them along Lake Superior’s coastline to Eagle Harbor, where they will turn on Brockway Mountain Drive. This road, which leads to Copper Harbor, brings riders 500 feet above the Superior shoreline and rewards them with spectacular views. Be forewarned, however, that Brockway Mountain Drive does have a reputation for being in less than pristine condition.
Most children are taught in school that Michigan’s shape resembles a mitten. MI-25 takes riders on a scenic and fun 144-mile ride along the thumb of that mitten, through charming little towns and past scenic Lake Huron’s coastline. This road boasts plenty of easy curves that keep things interesting for motorcyclists. To reach this route, motorcyclists simply need to take MI-25 north out of Port Huron and continue on this stretch of asphalt until they reach Bay City.
Peninsula Drive is yet another beautiful, yet curvy ride. This 20-mile road juts out between the East Arm Grand Traverse Bay and the West Arm Grand Traverse Bays of Lake Michigan, offering up water views on both sides of this route. Peninsula Drive, which can be picked up off of US-31 out of Traverse City, passes numerous wineries and leads to Old Mission Lighthouse at the end of Old Mission Peninsula.
In addition to its many motorcycle roads, Michigan also offers riders numerous shows, rallies and other events, including Wheels of Thunder. This event is held in July in Grass Lake and features a battle of the bands, stunt riders and many vendors.
Motorcyclists will find plenty of great roads and interesting places to explore in Minnesota. This state boasts 58 state forests and is sometimes referred to as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The landscape in Minnesota is quite varied, ranging from prairies in this state’s southern section to the beautiful leafy forests of the Northwoods.
One of the best roads for spectacular views in all of Minnesota is the North ShoreScenic Drive, which takes motorcyclists on a beautiful trip along Lake Superior’s
|rugged and breathtaking coastline. This 154-mile journey travels through or near eight state parks: Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Tettegouche State Park, George H. Crosby Manitou State Park, Temperance River State Park, Cascade River State Park, Judge C.R. Magney State Park, and Grand Portage State Park. |
Along this route, riders will find gorgeous waterfalls and streams, picturesque lighthouses and charming towns. It is probably a good thing that the North Shore Scenic Drive boasts mostly gentle curves, as the views are often very distracting and riders would have a hard time concentrating on a really twisty road. The North Shore Scenic Drive, which is also known as County Road 61 and Highway 61, technically begins in Duluth and ends in Grand Portage.
Motorcyclists who enjoy challenging roads and nature will want to take a side trip to Ely once they are done with the North Shore Scenic Drive. This can be done by turning northwest off of the North Shore Scenic Drive onto Highway 1 in Illgen City. Highway 1 will take you through the beautiful Superior National Forest, which is home to bears, wolves and moose – and lots of twisties. Riders do have to be very cautious on this road as there are a number of blind, tight turns and the aforementioned wild animals, plus lots of deer. If you don’t spot bears and wolves in the wild, you may want to head over to the North American Bear Center and/or the International Wolf Center in Ely for educational programs about and exhibits featuring these magnificent creatures.
Lovers of twisties will also want to head out to County 7 Boulevard in eastern Minnesota, near picturesque Red Wing. This road crosses through a valley and features lots of curves, including some with very tight corners. Riders need to be careful because the shoulders are gravel and so there’s always a possibility that some of these little rocks could be on the road surface. To reach these fun twisties, riders start in Red Wing on US Highway 61 going west. When they reach Highway 19, they will head south for about seven miles on this curvy road. Motorcyclists will next look for County 7 Boulevard, which they will take north for eight twisty miles until it once again meets up with US Highway 61. This is a roughly 21-mile ride.
Riders in this area who are more interested in a scenic route than a challenging one should take US Highway 61 from Red Wing to LaCrescent. This road runs alongside the mighty Mississippi, is very scenic, and travels through some very nice small towns. To make this route a loop, riders may want to cross the river into Wisconsin and take this state’s Great River Road, which is also known as Wisconsin 35, back north to their starting point.
Of course, Minnesota is not just about its roads. This state is also the site of a number of rallies, shows and events, including the Carp’s Cancer Crushers Rally in the Valley, which is a benefit ride for the American Cancer Society. This is a 135-mile ride that is held in Vadnais Heights in June.
|Mississippi welcomes riders with fun roads that carve through rolling hills and scenic routes that pass by picturesque lakes, rivers and the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. Motorcyclists will also find many historic and modern sites to visit in Mississippi. |
A popular ride with motorcyclists is the Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the Old Trace, a footpath that American Indians and settlers took through the state of Mississippi, a corner of Alabama, and on into Tennessee. This is a great scenic
|route that is fairly straight with a few gently rolling hills. Motorcyclists will find that sections of this trail are lined with beautiful oaks, magnolias and pines dripping with Spanish moss. The Natchez Trace Parkway is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. |
One of the big pluses of cruising on the Natchez Trace Parkway for motorcyclists is its lack of big trucks, as no commercial traffic is allowed on this road. There are also no stop signs or lights on this route, which allows bikers to enjoy miles and miles of uninterrupted cruising. In addition to its pretty scenery, the Trace passes many interesting and historical sites, including the second largest ceremonial mound in the United States, Emerald Mound; the boyhood home of Elvis in Tupelo; and civil war battlefields. The Trace begins in Natchez, Mississippi and ends in Nashville, Tennessee.
Of course, it should almost be mandatory that any rider in Mississippi should take a cruise along the river for which this great state is named. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the Mighty Mississippi River as it travels along this state’s western border and is a very pretty, enjoyable route. The 345-mile-long section of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway that travels through Mississippi is actually part of a longer route that extends through 10 states and is, in total, nearly 3,000 miles long.
Riders who like a little action with their scenery will want to head over to the very scenic Red Bluffs via Highways 98 and 587. Some people refer to these beautiful red, gold and orange bluffs, which rise 400 feet above the Pearl River Valley, as the little Grand Canyon. Highways 98 and 587 are curvy, twisty and a lot of fun. Riders will especially enjoy a three-mile curvy climb to the top of Red Bluff, where they can enjoy spectacular views of the valley. There are some blind curves, however, on this route, and riders should watch for sand and gravel in turns. To get to the Red Bluffs, riders need to head south out of Monticello on Highway 587.
Highway 90 is a fun motorcycle ride for a couple of different reasons. First, it runs along the Gulf Coast and boasts great views of the ocean, bays, rivers and marshes. Second, it glides past a number of big casinos in Biloxi and Gulfport, where riders can stop for a little gambling fun. This is not a route for twisty lovers, but it is perfect for motorcyclists looking for an enjoyable ride past beautiful scenery or who want to spend a little time at the gaming tables or at the slot machines.
Of course, there are more than just fun roads to explore for motorcyclists in Mississippi. This state also has a number of rallies, rides and shows each year, including the Mid-South Rally in October, which is held in Southaven. This charity event features rides and great bands, and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
|Missouri is blessed with lots of rolling hills and beautiful open country. The many asphalt stretches that cut through and over this beautiful terrain provide lots of fun and scenic rides for motorcyclists.|
Motorcyclists interested in a beautiful ride on tree-lined rural roads should head out to the Sunklands Conservation Area in the Ozarks. This diverse area, which features forests and savannas, is a showcase of the wildlife and plant life that exist in the
|Ozark Mountains. To explore this 73-mile route, where trees often form a leafy canopy over the road, riders can pick up Highway K north from Route 17, which is near the city of Summersville. Motorcyclists will then follow Route 17 through the Sunklands Conservation area. When riders reach Route 19, they can then take that back south through the conservation area to the city of Eminence.|
Motorcyclists looking for nice sweeping curves over some gently rolling hills will enjoy a 61-mile ride on Missouri Highway 72 from Jackson to Fredricktown. This is a nice scenic ride on a rural road. Some riders may want to continue on Highway 72 past Fredericktown until they reach Route 21, which they can then take north to Elephant Rocks State Park. This park is filled with unusual gigantic, gray rounded boulders that bear a passing resemblance to elephants. Some visitors like to climb on the boulders, while others prefer to walk around and read the names of miners who carved them into these rocks back in the 19th century. These gray boulders are said to be 1.5 billion years old and some have been affectionately named, including the 27-foot-tall Dumbo elephant rock.
Riders who enjoy twisty roads may want to continue north on Route 21 after exploring Elephant Rocks State Park to State Highway C, which they will then take west to State Highway P. Riders will then go north on State Highway P, which is full of hard curves, steep elevation changes, straights, and lots of fun twisties. State Highway P ends at Route 8, which riders can then take east to return to Route 21. Riders should be advised that State Highway P does not have shoulders and there are no services on this road.
Other riders may want to turn south off of State Highway C onto State Highway DD instead of going north on State Highway P. State Highway DD is also an excellent motorcycle road, with less elevation changes, but plenty of tight, hard curves. Of course, there will also be some riders who may just decide to do both fun roads just for the heck of it. Why not, right? The total mileage for State Highway DD and State Highway P combined is only about 25 miles.
Highway 90 in southwest Missouri is a scenic, curvy ride that takes motorcyclists over some nice hilly terrain. This road begins as Highway 43 in Southwest City, which is located very close to the borders of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Highway 43 eventually becomes Highway 90 and continues on for about 50 miles to its end in Washburn.
Motorcyclists will find plenty of rallies, shows, rides and other events in Missouri, including the Branson Motorcycle Rally. This large three-day event is held at the end of May in Branson and features contests, vendor booths, rides and live musical acts.
|Montana is a gorgeous slice of America that exhausts superlatives when people try to describe it and its many excellent motorcycle roads. “Magnificent,” “grand,” “breathtaking” are the most common terms used to describe its scenery, while “hairy,” “exhilarating and “technical” are the labels most often slapped on Montana’s routes. One thing is for sure, riders will probably never get bored on any of Montana’s famous motorcycle routes.|
|Riders love the Beartooth Highway, which cuts a mean path through the states of Wyoming and Montana. This road equally delights and frightens its many motorcycle admirers as it whips them through numerous hairpin curves, nasty switchbacks, and steep grades with very few guardrails. This road seems to go by a host of names, including Beartooth All-American Road, Beartooth Pass, and as US-212, but no matter what you call it, riders across the country will most likely know what route you are talking about.|
The Beartooth Highway covers a total of 68 miles between Red Lodge, Montana and Silver Gate, Montana, with 54 of those miles falling under the All American Road designation. At its highest point it reaches 10,947 feet, which makes it the highest elevation highway in Wyoming and Montana. In addition, it overlooks some of the most breathtaking landscapes in America. “On The Road” television personality Charles Kuralt, once described this road as the “most beautiful drive in America.”
Another road that tops many a rider’s Best Ride list is Going-to-the-Sun Road. With a name like this, how could a motorcyclist resist attempting this wild and exciting 52-mile ride that cuts from east to west through gorgeous Glacier National Park? Going-to-the-Sun features a ton of twisties and some steep elevation changes. The scenery is magnificent on this road, with waterfalls everywhere, including one at a spot known as the weeping wall, where water may either be trickling or gushing directly onto the roadway.
Riders looking for a nice cruise where they can actually look at the scenery without fear of disappearing off the side of a mountain will enjoy US-89, which cuts through the pretty Absaroka Mountains and Paradise Valley. This route begins in Gardiner, just outside of Yellowstone, and ends in Livingston. Wildlife is abundant in this area and riders may be able to spy pronghorn antelope, deer or even a bear. The southern half of this route features some nice sweepers.
Another nice ride for riders interested in sweepers and scenery is MT Route 141. This road runs from the town of Avon, which is located about 30 minutes west of Helena, to a T-intersection with MT Route 200. MT Route 141 offers riders a pleasant rolling ride through pretty Montana farmland.
A word of warning for anyone riding Montana’s roadways: Always be prepared. That means having enough gas in the tank -- as services may be far apart -- and warm clothes for this state’s often unexpected temperature drops, especially at the higher elevations. It is not unusual for some mountainous areas to get snow even in the summer months.
The Montana area hosts many motorcycle rallies, shows and events, especially in the weeks prior to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota. One of this area’s best known is The Beartooth Rally and Iron Horse Rodeo, which is a three-day event held in Red Lodge in July. The Beartooth Rally includes a poker run and a golf tournament, while the Iron Horse Rodeo features some very interesting and unusual motorcycle contests.
Another popular event is Evel Knievel Days, which is held in the city of Butte. This event is held in honor of one of this city’s most famous citizens and is typically held in July. Evel Knievel Days features live music, stunts, a poker run and a car and bike show.
|Nebraska is mostly flat, with more than two-thirds of this state lying within the Great Plains. Of course, flat does not have to equal boring for motorcyclists. This state boasts eight state parks and nine scenic byways. In addition, there are some hilly sections in the north-central region of Nebraska.|
One of Nebraska’s best roads is the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, which is also known as Highway 2. This 272-mile road takes riders through the splendid
|Sandhills region and the Nebraska National Forest. The gently rolling Sandhills are actually sand dunes covered with a thin layer of stabilizing grass and were once home to millions of bison. Sadly, bison can now only be found in refuges in the Sandhills. However, other animals do still roam this area, including deer and the occasional pronghorn antelope. This region, which features a large number of marshes, rivers and wetlands, is also famous for its annual sandhill and whooping crane migration. People from all over the world come to the Platte River, from near Grand Island to west of Kearney, to see the approximately 500,000 elegant sandhill cranes that visit this area during their migrations. The birds migrate in the spring, from around late February to April, and then again in the fall, from around September through mid-November.|
The Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway stretches from Alliance, in northwestern Nebraska, to Grand Island in the central section of this state. This is a great scenic route for motorcyclists heading through Nebraska to the annual huge August rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Motorcyclists will want to make sure and keep their bellies and gas tanks filled whenever possible in this area, as services are sometimes few and far between along this road.
Motorcyclists will also want to ride US-20 in northern Nebraska, from this state’s border with Wyoming to the city of Valentine. This 197-mile route, which is also known as the Bridges to Buttes Byway, will take bikers through diverse landscapes, including rolling hills, prairies, and rocky buttes.
An interesting side trip from US-20 is Toadstool Park, which lies to the north of US-20 in the Western Nebraska Oglala National Grasslands. Toadstool Park is sometimes referred to as Nebraska’s Badlands and features unusual and large rock formations that have been sculpted by wind and rain. The caveat is that this road, while scenic, is gravel and quite bumpy.
The stretch of US-20 from Crawford to Harrison is part of a route known as the Fossil Freeway. This route also includes Highway 29 and Highway 71 going south from US-20. The area surrounding these roads is a treasure trove of fossils. There are several stops along this route that are dedicated to the fossils that can be found in this area, including Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed, Trailside Museum Fort Robinson State Park, Scotts Bluff National Monument, and the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area.
A pretty ride in eastern Nebraska is US-75 between Omaha and Sioux City. This 82-mile route, which is also known as the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway, runs parallel to the Missouri River and is a rolling ride through the hilly terrain lining this waterway.
Nebraska also has a number of motorcycle rallies, shows and rides throughout the year including the Faces Motorcycle Rally in Upland. This is a three-day charity event held in June that benefits the National Craniofacial Association and features music, rides, and lots of good eating.
|Every year millions of people descend upon Las Vegas to enjoy all of Sin City’s artificial stimulation. Sadly, too few ever take the time to enjoy Nevada's natural beauty, to see its grand open spaces and picturesque mountains and deserts. Bikers traveling through Nevada should not commit this sin, as well.|
One of Nevada's most beautiful spots is the Valley of Fire State Park, and it's only about an hour's ride away from Las Vegas via I-15. The route through the park is a
|nice scenic ride past unusual and dramatic red sandstone formation. The stunning landscape has been the backdrop for several movies, including "Transformers" and "Planet of the Apes." Riders seeking a longer cruise that includes some interesting sites can take ST-167 from the Valley of Fire’s east exit. This road will pass by Lake Meade and eventually take riders to the magnificent 726.4-foot-high Hoover Dam, which spans the mighty Colorado River between the states of Arizona and Nevada.|
Motorcyclists who enjoy this type of beautiful scenery should also ride Route 159. This 13-mile loop takes riders through the vibrant crimson rock sandstone formations of the Red Rock Canyon, which is located 20 miles west of Las Vegas. Motorcyclists may be lucky and spot one of this area’s bighorn sheep, coyotes or even wild horses and burros during their ride.
Old Highway 50, which has earned the nickname "The Loneliest Road in America," begins in Carson City and then travels west through the entire width of Nevada, passing through long stretches of uninterrupted desert landscape. This is a great ride for a biker who is seeking a little solitude and a chance to let the throttle out. The road does have some twisties as it passes through the mountains, with its best stretch being a roller coaster-like ride through the Toiyabe range between Austin and Hickison Summit.
A ride to get your adrenaline rushing is State Route 341, which travels through Virginia City. This is a very scenic 22-mile route peppered with sweepers and some great switchbacks. This road, which is also sometimes referred to as Geiger Grade Road, is only for the brave of heart who aren’t afraid of sheer drop-offs, heights and roads with few guardrails.
Sometimes, it’s not the route, but the destination. And that is exactly the case with the 32-mile ride on Highway 160 from Las Vegas to Mountain Springs Saloon, which has a few interesting sweepers, but nothing too spectacular. Mountain Springs Saloon, however, is a favorite with local bikers and draws a large crowd, especially during the summer months when its drinks and 5,490-foot elevation provide cooling relief from Nevada’s scorching heat.
Nevada is also home to a number of rallies and motorcycle-related events. A huge rally, the biggest on the West Coast, is the Laughlin River Run. This four-day event, which is held in Laughlin during the spring, combines rides and other fun motorcycle-related activities with gambling. Another large rally in Nevada is the Elko Motorcycle Jamboree, which also marries days of fun motorcycle rides and events with nights at the gaming tables.
At only 9,279 square miles, New Hampshire may be a tiny state, but it has more mind-blowing and challenging rides, as well as scenic pleasure drives that carve through mountains and snake along the coastline, than many states twice its size.
|National Forest. The 53-mile Kancamagus Highway – or Kanc, as it is sometimes affectionately referred to -- ends in Conway. Experienced and adventurous motorcyclists will love the many tight twists and turns that this road throws at them.|
Motorcyclists looking for a quieter ride can try the highly recommended and very scenic New Hampshire Route 1A. This approximately 19-mile road cruises alongside New Hampshire’s Atlantic coastline for a decent distance before turning inland towards Portsmouth. Route 1A features plenty of turnoffs so that riders can stop and take in views of the spectacular New Hampshire coast, and there are also a number of good places along the way to grab a bite to eat. This ride is just a short jaunt from Interstate 95.
Another nice scenic ride is the combination of Bay and Durham Point Roads, which parallels the western coastline of the Great and Little Bays. This is an approximately eight-mile run that begins off of 108 in New Market on Durham Point Road, and then heads out along the coast, where this road eventually turns into Bay Road. This route ends back at 108 in New market. These two roads combine to form a fun ride that features some entertaining twisting turns and sweeps.
State Route 12A is another scenic drive popular with New Hampshire motorcyclists. This road takes riders on a nice trip through some fun rolling hills and bucolic farmland. The 449.5-foot Cornish-Windsor Bridge, which is the longest covered wooden bridge in the nation, can be accessed via State Route 12A in the town of Cornish. This ride is an approximately 25-mile jaunt that links Claremont and West Lebanon
Riders in need of a real adrenaline rush should head out to the short, but oh-so-sweet Hurricane Mountain Road. This is a very challenging route full of intimidating switchbacks, which runs from Intervale to South Chatham. This eight-mile section of asphalt should probably not be attempted by novices and is considered by experienced motorcyclists as a technical ride. Hurricane Mountain Road not only features some very steep, twisty areas, but it is also quite narrow.
State Route 107, which runs from Laconia to Raymond is a fun ride that offers some nice elevation changes, excellent scenery, sweeping turns and twisties. This quick excursion is about 43 miles long. Speaking of Laconia, this town is the site of the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, which is a very large nine-day rally that attracts a huge gathering of bikers and features a number of events, including rides, races and live musical acts. Laconia Motorcycle Week is held in June and traditionally ends on Father’s Day.
|New Jersey is – contrary to the jokes that are often made at its expense – a beautiful state with miles of rolling farmland and the Appalachian Mountains running through its northern region. New Jersey also has a particularly beautiful area known as the Palisades, which lies near the Hudson River, as well as pretty beaches along its famed Jersey Shore. |
Motorcyclists looking for a ride that boasts twisties should head over to the Watchung
|Reservation in Union County. To get to this reservation, riders should take Route 22 to Washington Rock and exit in Green Brook, where they will then head up the mountain to the top of Washington Rock. Here, riders continue on Washington Rock Road until they come to Washington Valley Road, where they will make a right turn. This road will take riders to the reservoir. There are two roads, Sky Top Drive and W.R. Tracy Drive, in the Watchung Reservoir area that are both excellent motorcycle rides, full of twisties that carve through beautiful green woods. |
Motorcyclists interested in a scenic ride through rolling hills can take Route 519 north from Phillipsburg, which is off of Route 22. Motorcyclists will then ride this road for about 55 miles before taking Route 23 north for approximately five miles to High Point. Most of this road is slightly rolling with some gentle curves, although there are some twisties thrown in, as well.
The Delaware River Scenic Byway, which is also known as Route 29, offers riders lovely views of the Delaware River as it runs parallel to it for most of its length. At the southern end of this 34-mile byway is Washington Crossing State Park, which is where George Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware River during the American Revolutionary War on Christmas Day in 1776. The Delaware River Scenic Byway travels from Trenton to Frenchtown and passes through a number of historical riverside towns.
County Road 513, which is also known as Route 24, is a great ride through rolling terrain and pretty farmlands. This road, which travels for 31 miles between Frenchtown and Chester, has a lot of straight a ways, as well as a few good twisty sections.
The Palisades Scenic Byway is a very scenic ride that offers riders some awesome views of the New York City skyline, the Hudson River and the Palisades, which are a line of steep cliffs that stretch from Jersey City to Nyack, New York. The 13-mile Palisades Scenic Byway is part of the larger 42-mile Palisades Interstate Parkway, which stretches from the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side to New York’s Bear Mountain State Park.
This following little scenic route takes bikers to the beach through some interesting landscape. To begin this ride, motorists need to hop on County Road 539 south out of Allentown. This road, which has some nice rolling sections, travels through the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where -- according to legend -- the mythical Jersey Devil lives. Eventually, County Road 539 will end at Route 72. At this point, riders will then take 72 east until it ends on beautiful Long Beach Island.
New Jersey also has a number of rallies, shows and other events for motorcyclists, including Roar to the Shore, which is held in Wildwood in September. This event bills itself as the largest motorcycle rally in the Northeast and features live music, plenty of vendor booths and rides.
|New Mexico’s nickname is the Land of Enchantment, and it is a truly, unique slice of America that blends the sparse beauty of the vast desert Southwest with rugged mountain scenery. It is also a state that celebrates the Old West and its Native American culture, as well as its outlaw history. This is beautiful country, perfect for exploring by motorcycle.|
A great way to start your exploration of New Mexico is to take the 84-mile Billy the Kid
|National Scenic & Historic Byway. This road gives riders a good look at some of this state’s history mixed with lots of scenery. Some of the more interesting sites that lay along this loop include the Billy the Kid Interpretive Center, Mescalero Apache land, and Fort Stanton, which once housed the famous Buffalo Soldiers. This byway also travels through the Smoky Bear Historical Park and the little town of Lincoln, where Billy the Kid was once jailed. If you have the time and want a little fun diversion, Ruidoso Downs, which is located on this route, has a quarter horse racetrack that holds races between Memorial Day and Labor Day. |
Riders can begin this loop in Ruidoso and take Highway 70 to Hondo, where they will then take Highway 380 to Capitan. From Capitan, riders will then take NM-48 back to Ruidoso.
For motorcyclists who prefer their rides to have more twisties than history, Forest Road 537 is an entertaining and scenic route that cuts through the Lincoln National Forest on its way from Cloudcroft to Timberon. This is an approximately 45-mile ride that starts off through farmland and then twists, turns and roller coasters through beautiful canyons. To run this route, riders can take US-70 to Route 244, which they will then ride to US-82. Riders then continue on this road to and through Cloudcroft. On the other side of Cloudcroft, riders will head south on 6563, which is also known as Sunspot Scenic Byway. This road eventually becomes Forest Road 537, which is also known as Country Road C001. Stay on this route until you reach Timberon.
The Santa Fe area is home to Route 4, which is another route that boasts some twisties, rolling terrain, elevation changes, and sweepers. This 47-mile road runs from White Rock to Jemez Springs through the pretty Santa Fe National Forest. Riders wanting to access this route should head to White Rock, where they will take Route 4 north until it hits SR-502, which they will then take west until it becomes SR-501. Near Los Alamos, SR-501 intersects with Route 4. At this point, riders will stay on Route 4 until it ends in Jemez Springs.
This next route travels through some classic Southwest landscape, as well as beautiful mountain scenery. In addition, riders on this trip will pass through the Bandelier National Monument, which is home to Anasazi cliff dwellings. This is a route that doesn’t throw a bunch of hairpins or twisties at its riders, but is a very interesting and scenic journey through gorgeous red rock canyons and pretty forests. To enjoy this route, riders head north from the town of Bernalillo on US-550 -- also known as Route 44 -- until it reaches Route 4. At this point, riders will take Route 4 north. After passing through the town of Totavi, riders turn on Route 30, which they will stay on until they reach Route 4. This road eventually changes to Route 84, which riders will continue on until it ends at the Echo Amphitheater.
New Mexico hosts a number of rallies, rides and shows each year including the Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally held in Red River. This event attracts thousands of bikers each year to enjoy six days of food, live music, and fun.
|When most people think about New York, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the largest city in the nation, New York City, with its iconic skyscrapers, bustling streets and the swirling lights of Time Square. But when motorcyclists think about the state of New York, what comes to their minds are exciting rides across the rolling Adirondack and Appalachians or sweet cruises though the scenic Finger Lakes region.|
Luckily for motorcyclists, New York has more than its fair share of fun, twisty roads.
|One local favorite is Tiorati Brook Road, which is a short, but sweet, technical five-mile road that is popular with both cagers and bikers. Tiorati Brook Road is located in Harriman State Park and stretches between Seven Lakes Drive and Palisades International Parkway. This little road features fun elevation changes and is loaded with twisties. Because Tiorati Brook Road is so short, some riders will extend the ride by turning around and tackling it in the opposite direction. |
Riders looking for a pretty cruise that features really fun, long sweepers and some twisties will want to take Route 10 from Deposit, which lies near the Pennsylvania border, to Higgins Bay. Between Deposit and Walton, the road features a lot of fast sweepers and also crosses through the middle of the Cannonsville Reservoir, surrounding riders with pretty water views on both sides. From Deposit to Higgins Bay, the road throws some twisties in with more sweepers, especially as it heads into the foothills of the Adirondacks. State Route 10 climbs over Mt. Jefferson and then descends into the Susquehanna Valley, eventually passing over the Erie Canal. The northern part of this route, between Pine Lake and Higgins Bay is popular with cagers, as well as bikes. The total length of this ride is approximately 175 miles.
US Route 9W is yet another very scenic route. This 27-mile road features stunning views of the Hudson River, nice sweepers, as well as twisties. Riders can pick this route up in Fort Clinton and ride it to the Palisades.
With 11 thin lakes that run parallel to each other and over 1,000 waterfalls, New York’s Finger Lakes region contains some of New York’s most beautiful scenery. US Route 20 takes riders through the heart of this beautiful region. Motorcyclists will want to start this route in Geneva and then just head east for 170 miles until they reach Guilderland. On the way, riders will pass lovely small towns and gorgeous scenery.
New York’s roads are lined with historic sites, as well as scenery. One of this state’s best roads that combine both of these features is the Mohawk Towpath Byway. This is a 26-mile ride that slices through the Schenectady region, following alongside both the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River. Motorcyclists will enjoy the Mohawk Towpath Byway’s rolling hills. There are some twisties on this road, as well, particularly between Rexford and Vischer’s Ferry. To access this road from Albany, bikers will take I-787 north to Green Island, where they will continue on NY-787 north to New Cortland Street in Cohoes. The Mohawk Towpath Byway begins here.
Motorcyclists looking for a scenic ride with some added sweepers in northern New York will want to take a cruise on State Route 5, which stretches from the Pennsylvania border to Buffalo, skimming the coastline of beautiful Lake Erie. This is a nice road that travels through some charming small towns and offers riders pretty views of the smallest of the Great Lakes.
Of course, New York has more than roads to offer bikers. It also is the site of a number of rallies, rides and shows, including Americade, which bills itself as the “largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally.” This huge rally is held in June in Lake George and features lots of activities, vendor booths and rides.
|North Carolina is a motorcyclist’s playground with fantastic roads that will delight everyone, from tourers to sport bike riders to cruisers. This state’s Appalachian Mountains are home to some of the best twisty roads in the nation, including the infamous Tail of the Dragon, which it shares with its neighbor, Tennessee. In addition, North Carolina is blessed with miles of scenic coastal routes and fun rides through open country.|
|There is one road in North Carolina that has become the standard by which all other twisty roads in the nation are now measured against, the Tail of the Dragon. This road, which is also known as Route 129, is very technical and loaded with 318 curves in its short 11-mile length. This road’s twisties include tight hairpins, steep S curves, elevation changes, and are often accompanied by unforgiving sheer drop-offs. This is definitely not a road for novices and should be ridden with respect by even skilled motorcyclists. To get to the Tail of the Dragon, motorcyclists can take State Route 28 from Franklin or US-129 from Robbinsville. The beginning of the Dragon starts at the intersection of these two roads.|
Most riders hit the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort after challenging the Dragon. This is a great place to swap stories with other bikers, grab a drink, or just shake off any jangled nerves after tangling with the Dragon’s wicked twisties. The Gap, as it is also known, is the site of the Tree of Shame, a makeshift shrine to various motorcycle parts that have been sacrificed to the Dragon’s mean bite over the years. Deals Gap is located in Robbinsville on Tapoco Road. It is closed during the winter months.
This area of North Carolina is full of great roads; some that motorcyclists swear are as good as or even better than the Tail of the Dragon. One of these roads is Route 28, which is also known as Moonshiner 28. This scenic road has a little bit of everything motorcyclists love, including pretty views of picturesque lakes and waterfalls, twisties and fast sweepers. You can pick this road up from the Tail of the Dragon and ride it southeast toward Georgia and South Carolina. Route 28 earned its nickname by being one of the main routes that moonshiners used to take while outrunning the law. Today, motorcyclists will find some great little shops and distilleries to visit on this road.
Riders who prefer sweepers to twisties will enjoy the very scenic Cherohala Skyway, which carves its way through some of North Carolina’s 5,400-foot mountains. This 36-mile road stretches from Robbinsville, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, and it is North Carolina’s most expensive highway. Scenic vistas abound on this beautiful route, which is especially stunning in the fall when the leaves are turning and the hills are ablaze with color.
Of course, North Carolina is not only about the mountains, as pretty and twisty, as they may be. This state also has miles of beautiful roads that skim the oceanfront. Riders who enjoy great coastal rides should head out to the stretch of US-70 that runs from Morehead City to Cedar Island. This coastal route brings motorcyclists past swamps and the bay. This is a mostly flat road, but it does boast some nice sweepers. At the end of this ride, motorcyclists who have the time can choose to catch a ferry to Ocracoke Island, which was once the stomping grounds of pirates, including Blackbeard.
In addition to all of its fantastic roads, North Carolina is also the site of numerous motorcycle rallies, shows and rides, including the Boone Bike Rally, which is held in June. This two-day event takes place in Boone’s High Country Fairgrounds and features live musical acts, games and vendor booths.
|The hearty spirit of the Old West lives on in North Dakota. This state’s roads cruise through the Great Plains, the magnificent twisted landscape of the Badlands, as well as farmlands. Motorcyclists will find natural beauty is everywhere in North Dakota, which has more wildlife refuges than any other state in the nation.|
Riders can see the magnificent unworldly beauty of the North Dakota Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is named after our nation’s 26th president.
|This park is home to a variety of wild animals including some very iconic denizens of the Old West, such as prairie dogs, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, and bison.|
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is divided into three units, the South, North and Elkhorn Ranch Units. The South Unit features a 36-mile Scenic Loop Drive and is also the site of the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, which is located off of Interstate 94 at Exit 34. This visitor center overlooks the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Badlands.
This park’s North Unit also features a 14-mile scenic drive and a visitor center. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s North Unit is located on U.S. Highway 85, about 16 miles south of Watford City.
The Elkhorn Ranch Unit entrance is located on gravel roads, and riders should consult with a ranger at one of the park’s visitor centers before attempting this route.
Motorcyclists looking for something completely different than the natural wilderness and wildlife of Theodore Roosevelt National Park will want to head over to the state’s very unique Enchanted Highway. This 32-mile road, which is located in Regent, is lined with the world’s largest metal sculptures. As of 2012, there were seven of these sculptures -- all of which were created by an artist named Gary Greff. The first sculpture Greff created for this road was The Tin Family, which he built in 1991. This sculpture group’s tallest member is 45 feet tall.
The other six gigantic metal sculptures are named Teddy Rides Again, Pheasants on the Prairie, Grasshoppers in the Field, Geese in Flight, Deer Crossing, and Fisherman’s Dream. To get to this strange world of giant beings, motorcyclists will take Interstate 94 to Exit 72 for the Enchanted Highway. The first sculpture riders will come upon will be Geese in Flight.
Riders looking for beautiful scenery, rolling hills, curvy roads and elevation changes will enjoy the 64-mile Killdeer Mountain Four Bears Scenic Byway, which is made up of Highways 22 and 23. This route takes riders to the top of Crow Flies High Butte -- which boasts gorgeous views of the Four Bears Bridge and Lake Sakakawea -- and to the spectacular badlands of Little Missouri State Park. To enjoy this byway, riders should get on Highway 22, north of Manning, to Highway 23, which they will then take east to New Town.
North Dakota has a number of motorcycle rallies, shows and other events, including the North Dakota State HOG Rally, which is held in July in Minot. The two—day event features plenty of rides and vendors. Of course, many bikers also make it a point to attend neighboring South Dakota’s huge Sturgis Rally in August.
|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.
|Most of Oklahoma is made up of prairie and gently rolling hills, though there are some mountainous areas, mainly in its panhandle region. Riders will find 35 state parks in Oklahoma that contain a variety of terrain, including sand dunes, forests and lakes. Wild bison and coyotes roam its Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, while bighorn sheep and black bear can be spotted in its Black Mesa Area. Riders looking for an escape will find Oklahoma has plenty of open and wild spaces to explore.|
|One ride on Oklahoma’s Talimena National Scenic Byway will let motorcyclists know that not all of Oklahoma is flat prairie. This very beautiful 55-mile road starts in southeastern Oklahoma in a little rural town called Talihina and ends near Mena, Arkansas. This byway runs along the top of the Winding Stair and Rich Mountains and offers spectacular views, especially in the fall when the trees put on their best autumn finery. |
More importantly to some riders, the Talimena Byway contains steep elevation changes, switchbacks, sweepers and lots of nice tight curves. To reach this road from Tulsa, riders take the Muskogee Turnpike southeast to Interstate-40, which they will then take east to Exit 307. Riders then proceed south on US-59. After they pass Poteau, they will turn onto US-271 and head toward Wister. Once riders enter the Ouachita National Forest, they will turn east on State Route 1, which is the start of the Talimena Scenic Byway.
Motorcyclists in the southwestern half of this state looking for another scenic route that has the bonus of twisty, winding sections can head over to the Wichita Mountains Byway. This 93-mile stretch of asphalt carves through the valleys of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, which contains North American’s largest remaining block of cross-timbers and southern mixed grasslands. A herd of approximately 600 bison roam this area, as well as 800 elk and 400 wild turkeys. In addition, the Wichita Mountain Byway boasts a spiraling stretch of asphalt to the top of Mount Scott. This road is located just 25 miles northwest of Lawton. Riders can take I-44 to exit 45 for Highway 49. They will then proceed ten miles to the refuge’s entrance.
The Indian Trail Highway is another stretch of scenic road with sweepers, tight curves and nice elevation changes thrown in. This 21-mile road is located just south of the Ouachita National Forest and stretches from Talihina to Honobia.
Riders who enjoy nostalgia and want bragging rights for having traveled on one of the nation’s most famous roads can point their bikes toward Oklahoma’s 400-miles of old Route 66. Motorcyclists will pass through many charming towns and past quaint roadside diners while cruising along this blast from the past. Interesting attractions along this road include several museums that are dedicated to Route 66. There are also two motorcycle museums on this road -- the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum in Miami, Oklahoma, which includes exhibits about Evil Knievel and Steve McQueen and features over 25 vintage motorcycles, and the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, which was built in 1921 and houses over 65 bikes that range in age from 1908 to the present.
Oklahoma is the site of a number of motorcycle shows, rallies and events, including Bike Week, which is a ten-day rally held in Sparks. Bike Week features live music and lots of games and assorted competitions and is typically held in June.
|Motorcyclists looking for exciting fun rides won’t be disappointed in Oregon. This state boasts wonderful twisty roads in its rugged mountains and along its river canyons, as well as routes with gorgeous sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean along its coast.|
Blue Mountain Scenic Byway is an out-of-the-way route that has become a favorite with many motorcyclists. It runs through an old mining area and parallels I-84 for about 145 miles. This road, which travels along a ridge, stretches from Heppner Junction
|on I-84 and ends at the North Fork John Day Campground, where Blue Mountain Scenic Byway overlaps with Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway. Make sure that you start with a full tank before hitting the byway, as services can be few and far between. This two-lane road is almost entirely set in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and is a very scenic ride, with the added bonus of some twisty sections.|
Motorcyclists looking for an interesting and fun ride should head to Crater Lake, where they can enjoy a 31-mile road full of twisties, sweepers, and hairpins. This route loops around this lake, which is the deepest in the United States. To get to beautiful Crater Lake, riders can take Oregon Route 62 from Interstate 5.
For the king of Oregon’s twisty roads, riders should head over to Oxbow to try and tame the Devil’s Tail. This is an infamous road, which is also known as Forest Service Road 454 or Hells Canyon Dam Road. The Devil’s Tail is located in Hells Canyon, which is actually 2,000 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon and is actually North America’s deepest canyon. This route is a 22-mile, very technical ride that demands that a motorcyclist pay full attention to its many sweepersand nasty tight switchbacks.
The Robert Aufderheide Scenic Byway, which is also known as Forest Service Road 19, is another fun twisty run. This road travels between Oregon Highway 126 and the small town of Westfir, which is off of Highway 58. The Robert Aufderheide Scenic Byway features a lot of sweepers and one hairpin in the middle that may take some motorcyclists off guard if they aren’t paying attention. This route passes through the Willamette National Forest, Cougar Dam, and Constitution Grove, a stand of monstrous 200-year-old trees.
Riders who are more interested in a beautiful coastal route should head to US Route 101. This is not a white-knuckler by any means, but a gorgeous ride along some of the West Coast’s most spectacular coastline. US Route 101 is also known as the Pacific Coast Highway and the Oregon Coast Highway. This road runs the entire length of the state for 360 miles. Riders can pick this route up in Crescent City, California, just south of the Oregon border and take it all the way up to Brookings, which is located on Oregon’s northern border. It is truly unfortunate that this beautiful road can often be clogged with traffic.
Oregon Route 66 is a pretty and fun 65-mile route between Ashland and Klamath Falls. This scenic road has some stretches of twists, turns, and elevation changes as it leaves Ashland and travels through oak and pine forests. After Oregon Route 66 passes through the little hamlet of Lincoln, however, it straightens out some. But then as riders get closer to the Klamath River crossing, the road begins to get twisty again.
In addition to its great motorcycle roads, this state is also home to a number of fun rallies, rides and shows, including the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally. This event, which is held in June, features lots of entertainment and dining options in Baker City, plus a number of rides.
| 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.
|Although Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, it still boasts a healthy assortment of fun and scenic motorcycle routes. As is probably expected from a state that is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, most of its roads, though, are pretty short. One of the most popular places to visit in Rhode Island is Newport, which was once a popular summer beach escape for America’s wealthiest families. Today, this city’s streets are still lined with gorgeous, extravagant mansions, some of which are now open to the public.|
|Riders looking for a curvy road should head over to Breakneck Hill Road, which is a twisty, fun ride. Unfortunately, it is only 1.4 miles long – a mini twisty road for a mini state. Breakneck Hill Road connects Route 146 to Manchester Print Works Road in the town of Lincoln, which is just north of Providence.|
Motorcyclists who are interested in seeing how the very rich lived during this area’s Gilded Age, 1865 to 1914, will want to point their bikes toward Newport’s Bellevue Avenue. The gigantic, opulent mansions lining this city’s street are definitely not mere McMansions like the nouveau riche today tend to buy. These are honest to goodness gorgeous huge structures that served as summer “cottages” for the mega-rich families of America. Today, many of these mansions are open to the public, including the 70-room, magnificent The Breakers, which was owned by the Vanderbilt family.
Motorcyclists coming to Newport from the north who would prefer to avoid the traffic jams on I-95 can take Route 102 south to Wickford. From Wickford, motorcyclists will take Route 1A south until they reach Plum Point, where they will turn left onto Route 138. Riders will next have to cross the Claiborne Pell Bridge, which is a very tall suspension bridge that leads straight into Newport. This bridge can either be a highlight or a lowlight of this route, depending on how a motorcyclist feels about riding high in the sky with panoramic views of water all around him. Overall, this route, which takes its riders through some pretty countryside, as well as some picturesque coastal towns and communities, is a pleasant way to get to Newport.
Even though Rhode Island is tiny, it still boasts a surprising 400 miles of scenic coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. US-1 and US-1A, which is also known as Coastal Rhode Island, parallel the Rhode Island coast, passing through charming coastal towns, piney woodlands and past gorgeous beaches and picturesque lighthouses. Riders can pick up US-1A in Saunderstown, which is not far from Newport, and then follow this road to US-1. Motorcyclists continue on this beautiful scenic coastal road until it ends in the Victorian seaside resort, Watch Hill.
Last, but definitely not least is a road for lovers of twisties. Route 44, which stretches for 68 miles between Hartford, Connecticut and Smithfield, Rhode Island, is a hilly, scenic ride that features fun twisties.
In addition to some nice roads, motorcyclists will also find several rallies, shows and rides in Rhode Island, including the Northeast Motorcycle Expo, which is held in Providence. This expo features vendors, celebrity appearances and tons of exhibits.
|The State of South Carolina welcomes riders with its southern charm, a variety of enjoyable motorcycle routes, and one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in the nation. This state’s western section has great rolling rides through the mountains, while its eastern portion is lined with roads that cruise past South Carolina’s many beautiful beaches.|
Riders who are looking for a scenic pleasure ride should head over to State Route 11,
|which is also known as the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway. This is a 112-mile route that travels between Fair Play and Gaffney and follows the Keowee Path, which was a footpath once used by Cherokees and fur traders. Today, it is a pretty two-lane road with a lot of straight a ways and some sweepers and elevation changes that cruises through South Carolina’s High Country and some charming small towns. One of the reasons this byway is so scenic is that it travels through six state parks including Table Rock State Park and Caesars Head State Park, and one county park. It also crosses over beautiful Lake Keowee.|
The Savannah River Scenic Byway, which is also known as SC-24, is another pretty road that takes riders through the rural South and past some of this state’s historic sites. This is a pleasant 110-mile cruise that begins near the Clarks Hill Dam and ends in Oakway. Along the way, riders will pass by three picturesque lakes -- the 70,000-acre J. Strom Thurmond Lake, tranquil Richard B. Russell Lake and popular Lake Hartwell -- and cruise through some pretty state parks, including Hickory Knob State Park and Calhoun Falls State Park.
Bikers in need of a little more excitement should head over to Highway 28, which crosses through Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina in its 29 miles. This road combines gorgeous scenery with tight twisties and long sweepers. Highway 28 begins in Walhalla, South Carolina and ends in Highlands, North Carolina. The scenery along this road, which travels through Sumter National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest, is beautiful, especially in the fall.
Motorcyclists who prefer the sea to the mountains will want to take a cruise on the Edisto Island Scenic Byway through South Carolina’s Lowcountry. This a 16-mile scenic ride to Edisto Island that takes riders through salt marshes and past oaks draped in Spanish moss.
Although the Lowcountry is not known for having much in the way of twisties, Guerrins Bridge Road does offer a little curvy fun. This is a short six-mile run from US Route 17 in Awendaw to Junction Halfway Creek Road that features a few twisties and some pretty views of the estuaries along this road.
Of course, South Carolina also has a number of biker shows, rallies and races. In fact, its Myrtle Beach Bike Week is considered by some to be -- along with Sturgis, Daytona and Laconia --- one of the top four motorcycle rallies in the nation. This ten-day rally in May has been held since 1940 and attracts a crowd that is estimated to be about 300,000 a year. This monster rally features tons of the top vendors in the nation, live musical acts and motorcycle-related activities, such as poker runs.
|South Dakota is true motorcycle country. Not just because it hosts Sturgis, the most famous motorcycle extravaganza in the world, but also because it is home to some of the most ruggedly awesome landscape in the nation. Its Badlands is a beautiful, yet lonely landscape filled with miles of rutted ravines and eroded rock pinnacles, and its Black Hills are so beautiful and mysterious, they were once considered sacred by the Native Americans who lived in the area. In addition, there are many historical and interesting sites in South Dakota, as well, including the city of Deadwood and|
|Mount Rushmore. And then there is also, of course, Wall, the mega-tourist trap of tourist traps that seems to exist for no other reason than to trap tourists.|
Riders who want to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial -- and see the famous mountainside that has been sculpted into the heads of four famous presidents -- should head out on a ride known as the Central Hills Loop. This beautiful ride takes bikers through the scenic Custer State Park in the Black Hills and through the historic town of Keystone. Along the way, riders will encounter tons of twisties, elevation changes, and first-gear switchbacks. This loop also features spiraling pigtail-shaped bridges and tunnels cut through rocks. Because this is somewhat of a technical narrow route with tight curves, it may test the skills and nerves of novice riders. Traffic can be heavy in the summer and there will be plenty of motorcycles on the road during the months before, during and after Sturgis. One last warning, there may be herds of wild buffalo or donkeys on the roads of Custer State Park, so riders must be prepared for large animals that may suddenly stray in their path, as well as the erratic behavior of cars driven by gawking tourists.
Riders should pick up this route, which is part of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, in Keystone by taking Route 244 west towards Mount Rushmore. Riders continue on this road until they reach Highway 385, where they will make a left and then another left to get onto Highway 87 toward Custer State Park. After about five miles, riders will come to a Y in the road, where they will need to make another left to enter the park. After riding for another 15 miles, Highway 87, also known as Needles Highway, ends at Highway 16. Riders should turn left on Highway 16 and stay on this road until they reach Iron Mountain Road, where they will once again turn left. This road will then take them back to Keystone.
A ride through the Badlands National Park is another must for motorcyclists in South Dakota. People have often tried to describe the strange formations and the rugged landscape of this park, but there aren’t words that can do this place justice. Riders traveling from I-90 west can get off at Exit 131 and then follow the signs to the park’s Northeast Entrance, while bikers coming from the east can exit at Exit 110 at Wall and follow signs to the park’s Pinnacles Entrance. For a more scenic route, bikers take the same Exit 110, but will go south on SR-240 until it comes to a T intersection with Rt-377. Riders will then take a right on 377, which will pass through the town of Interior. This road, which turns into 44 at this point, will take riders through the Badlands National Park. The road has some nice sweepers and changes of elevation, but this road is definitely more about the scenery than about twisties.
Of course, South Dakota’s main draw for motorcycles is the huge Sturgis rally that is held each year in the town of the same name. It is estimated that between 400,000 and 500,000 bikers attend this seven-day rally every year. For weeks leading up to and after this rally, the roads of South Dakota and neighboring states rumble with the sound of motorcycle engines as Sturgis participants head to and depart this mother of all rallies.
|What can you say about a state that boasts one of the most well-known motorcycle roads in the nation? Well, actually a lot. As it turns out, Tennessee’s Tail of the Dragon isn’t this state’s only fantastic motorcycle route. The Volunteer State is crisscrossed with lots of great rides and fun cities to visit, including Memphis and Nashville.|
Over and over again, you will hear riders in other states compare their roads to The Tail of the Dragon or The Dragon.This route, which crosses Deals Gap into
|North Carolina, has become the standard to which other curvy, twisty nasty pieces of roads are now judged. One look at the Tail of the Dragon and riders will soon understand why it has become so infamous. This road boasts 318 sharp curves and a 400-foot elevation gain in just 11 miles. |
Because of The Dragon’s steep drop-offs, tight twists and lack of guardrails, only experienced riders should attempt to master it. Novice riders who can’t resist a pass over this road should do so with great caution. Make a mistake and a part of your bike may end up being nailed to the Tree of Shame at the Crossroads of Time, near Deals Gap. Because the road is so well known, it is usually kept in good condition. It is also heavily patrolled. To get to the Dragon, riders can take SR-28 from Franklin or US 129 from Robbinsville, as these two roads intersect at Deals Gap.
Another highly recommended ride in this area is the Cherohala Skyway, which boasts 60 miles of beautiful mountain scenery -- 21 of which are located in Tennessee, the rest in North Carolina. The Cherohala Skyway connects Robbinsville, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, and is a tantalizing ride full of sweepers, just perfect for the biker who is tired of tight twists and just wants to let the throttle out while driving through beautiful scenery. This road, which is a National Scenic Byway, is exceptionally pretty in the fall. To reach this road from Knoxville, riders should take I-75 southwest to Sweetwater, where they will get on TN-68 and go southwest to Tellico Plains. From here, riders will take TN-165 through Tellico Plains to the beginning of Cherohala Skyway.
When the American Motorcycle Association asked its readers to name the 15 best roads in America, they mentioned three that are in Tennessee -- the two described above, plus the Natchez Trace, which runs from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville and follows a path that was once used by Native Americans and settlers. The 102-mile Tennessee portion of this route runs through the middle of the state and is filled with historic sites and beautiful scenery. A real plus to this route is that no commercial traffic is allowed on the Trace and it also has no stoplights or stop signs.
Cades Cove Road, which is an 11-mile loop through a portion of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is for nature loving motorcyclists. In the summer and fall months, riders should expect that this extremely popular road will be filled with traffic, but it is worth battling the congestion if you enjoy seeing bears, wild turkeys and deer. In addition, there are a lot of stops along this route where bikers can get off and hike back to see the numerous beautiful waterfalls that grace this area. To reach Cades Cove Road, bikers should enter the Great Smoky Mountain National Park through its Gatlinburg entrance on US-441. Shortly after entering the park, there will be signs that will indicate how to reach the loop.
Of course, Tennessee also has a lot of motorcycle rallies, shows, races and other events to keep its many bikers entertained, including Thunder on the Rock, which is a motorcycle rally and music festival held in May in Monteagle. Expect plenty of bands, biker games and vendor booths at this rally.
Tennessee is also the beginning of the annual Trail of Tears Ride, which leaves from Chattanooga and ends in Florence, Alabama. This ride, which draws thousands of bikers, is made in remembrance of the plight of the Native Americans.
|Because Texas is the largest of the 48 contiguous states, it is not surprising that it contains very diverse Ecoregions, including deserts, plains, forests and coastlines, as well as the famed rolling Hill Country. Luckily for motorcyclists, this diversity of terrain means that Texas has a large variety of roads just waiting to be ridden. |
Probably the best known of all of Texas’s motorcycle roads is The Three Twisted Sisters or The Twisted Sisters, which are a trio of very curvy roads located in Hill
|Country. This famous 131-mile route consists of Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337A. Bikers start the Three Twisted Sisters route in Medina by heading west on RR337 until it reaches the town of Leakey. In Leakey, riders will then head north on US-83 until they spot RR336. Riders then take RR336 north until this road meets up with Texas 41. A left onto 41 will then take them west to RR335, where riders will take yet another left. From RR335, riders head south until they reach Camp Wood where they will again turn left, this time onto RR337, which will eventually take them back to Leakey. |
The Three Twisted Sisters are a challenging roller coaster ride over big hills. These roads are full of twisties, hairpin turns, steep climbs, sweepers, and unexpected sharp changes of directions. Novice riders should not attempt this route, as it has a lethal bite for those who do not give it the respect that it deserves. As always, riders need to be on the lookout for deer and loose gravel, both of which could make life truly miserable for a motorcyclist. The scenery on this road is outstanding, but a rider shouldn’t take his eyes off the Three Twisted Sisters for too long, as these girls are the jealous types who will make a motorcyclist pay for his inattention.
Riders who haven’t had their fill of twisties after the Three Twisted Sisters will want to head over to a 38-mile section of Route 16 between Kerrville and Bandera. This is a challenging, very twisted, narrow road that follows or crosses over the scenic Guadalupe River. Once again, this is another Hill Country route that should only be attempted by expert riders, as it does feature steep elevation changes and crazy twisties. Additional hazards on this road include deer and ticket-happy police officers.
Of course, twisties are fun, but wide-open stretches where a rider can let the throttle out are also a blast. An exhilarating ride in western Texas begins in Alpine and heads south on 118 until it hits Study Butte. From this town, riders then head west on Farm to Market 170 Road, which they will then take to Presidio. At this point, riders will get on US-67 and head north up to Ft. Davis. One of the best things about this route is that the speed limit on 118 outside of Big Bend National Park is 75 miles per hour, which means a biker can actually fly through the sweepers and open stretches on this road without having to look over his shoulder for flashing lights.
Lastly, County Road 257 is the perfect escape for riders who enjoy a pleasant ride along the coast. While this Gulf Coast road, which extends from Surfside Beach to Galveston, does boast a few sweeping curves, this route is more about the beautiful views than about a thrilling joy ride.
Of course, Texas being as big as it is means that it is also host to countless rallies, shows and rides. One of its largest is the Republic of Texas Bike Rally, which is held in Austin in June. The official attendance for this event in the past has been announced as 45,000. This rally will feature a number of musical acts, contests and vendors.
Another large rally is the Lone Star Rally, which is held in Galveston in November. This four-day event features a costume contest and lots of vendors.
|The State of Utah contains some of the most interesting and unique pieces of nature’s artwork in the United States. From the magnificent red spires and arches of Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion’s soaring sandstone cliffs and slot canyons to the incomparable magnificence of the Grand Canyon, this state offers mile after mile of gorgeous scenic roads and places to visit. In addition, Utah also boasts some very nice mountainous areas that boast fun rolling rides.|
|The Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument Ride or Scenic Byway 12 is not just 124 miles of some of the most incredible scenery that can be found in the United States, it is also a technical route that snakes through a number of Utah’s most scenic national and state parks, as well as the 1.8-million-acre Dixie National Forest. Riders can start this route in Panguitch and take US-89 south until they reach Route 12, where they will then head east towards Torrey. Some of the parks that riders will travel through include Bryce Canyon National Park and Capital Reef National Parks, as well as the Petrified Forest State Park and Kodachrome Basin. The terrain in this area is extremely diverse, ranging from open stretches of arid sagebrush flats to incredible canyons to the world’s highest alpine forests.|
As for the road, it is mile after mile of twisting asphalt with some straightaways thrown in around Escalante. Not only is this challenging road narrow and twisting, but it is also has steep drop-offs, no guardrails and lots of elevation changes. This can be an especially scary road for those who have a fear of heights, particularly if ridden from north to south, as this will put most of the drop-offs on the rider’s side. In addition, motorcyclists will have to cross Boulder Mountain, which contains a section known as the Hogbacks, which are five curves set high on a ridgeline with drop-offs on both sides of the road. Bikers should definitely be cautious on Route 12, as they may encounter sand and gravel on this road, as well as frightened tourists in motor homes inching through the scary parts.
Riders looking for a fast ride through pretty scenery of a different sort will enjoy the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, which has stunning views of the Wasatch Range and its tallest mountain, 11,928-foot Mount Nebo. To get to this route, riders should start in Payson, which is at exit 254 off of I-15. Turn left onto Payson Main Street, which is also known as R-77, and take this road until it intersects with 100 North, also known as SR-198. Once again, riders will turn left and travel to 600 East, where they will make a right. This road eventually becomes Canyon Road, which will take them to the beginning of the byway. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway has a lot of nice switchbacks and steep inclines and declines that will keep a rider entertained, as well as gorgeous mountain scenery.
Utah-148 is a beautiful technical road that runs through the Cedar Break National Monument. Again, this is just beautiful unique country that riders won’t find in many other places in the United States. The Native Americans who used to live in this area called it the Circle of Painted Cliffs. Utah-148, which runs along the cliff edges to give visitors a good view of the park’s stunning brightly colored limestone formations, boasts lots of descending and ascending corners and elevation changes that should keep a rider on his toes.
Bikers in Utah also have numerous rallies, rides, races and other motorcycle events that they can attend, including Thunder on the Mountain in Brian Head. This annual rally is held in July and features plenty of fun events, including a poker run and live entertainment.
|It’s pretty obvious from its numerous mean little roads that Vermont has small state complex. It wants riders to know immediately that it’s not the size of the state that matters, but how many roads full of hairpins and S-curves that it has that counts. Of course, Vermont also wants riders to love it, so it makes sure that its roads are scenic, tree-lined beauties, as well.|
Riders who love thrill rides will find a lot to love on Vermont Route 17, especially
|a seven-mile section known as Appalachian Gap -- or App-Gap, for short. This little route contains 53 turns, some with decreasing radiuses, and short straights. App-Gap is a very technical road that is best left to expert riders.|
To reach App-Gap from Bristol, riders should take VT-116 to VT-17. Once on VT-17, they will enter a two-mile stretch of road known as Baby Gap. This road has some medium radius turns that will hopefully warm up riders for the much more technical App-Gap ahead. In between Baby Gap and App Gap is a stretch of sweepers and straights.
Another route that is laden with twisties is a section known as Smugglers Notch Pass, which is located between Jeffersonville and Stowe on Route 108. This technical road boasts a lot of different features to keep a motorcyclist on his toes, including steep inclines and switchbacks. A word of warning, one section of this road is not only extremely narrow, but riders are also unable to see if there is oncoming traffic ahead.
If riders are still in need of more twisties, they can head to VT-232. This is 14 miles of very technical road that rolls through the Groton State Forest in undulating waves punctuated with sharp curves. In addition, the road has narrow shoulders and there are steep drop-offs in some areas, so it is a road best left to skilled riders. Luckily for bikers, this route was repaved in 2010.
Another fun road that is worth mentioning is Middlebury Gap, a road that crosses from east to west over the Green Mountains. This road, which is also known as VT-125, features some steep ascents and descents. Motorcyclists can start this 16-mile ride, which is also designated as a scenic road, in Texas Falls and follow it to the small village of Ripton.
VT-100 is a road that riders either love or hate. It stretches the entire length of the state, from north to south, for 216 miles, passing through the beautiful Green Mountain National Forest, quaint New England towns and countryside. It is considered by many to be the most scenic route in New England. Many motorcyclists love it because this road boasts a ton of sweepers, curvy sections and some fast straight a ways. On the other hand, many bikers also loathe this road because it attracts slow-moving tourists in cages and motor homes that can pretty much suck the fun out of this route, especially on weekends and during the leaf-peeping season.
Riders who are interested in a pleasurable, scenic ride will enjoy Route 2, which curves through the Lake Champlain Islands and is escorted by the beautiful Adirondacks on one side and the Green Mountains on the other. This road stretches from Alburg to Burlington for about 40 to 50 miles and offers up a gorgeous slice of Vermont for riders to cruise through.
In addition to its numerous fantastic roads, Vermont also is the site of many motorcycle shows, events and rallies. The Killington Classic is one of this state’s most popular events and features five days of rides, live music acts and fireworks. The rally is typically held at the end of August.
|With mile after mile of open, scenic roads that carve through mountains, valley, farmlands and the coast, Virginia is an outstanding state for motorcycle cruises. In addition to its many excellent roads, Virginia is also the starting point for the famous Rolling Thunder ride that is held during Memorial Day weekend.|
One of Virginia's best and most well-known roads is the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive, which weaves its way through the scenic vistas of the Shenandoah National Park,
|from the town of Front Royal to the park's southern end. The entire ride can be done in about three hours if the weather is good and traffic is flowing. Motorcyclists should be forewarned, however, that on weekends during the fall foliage season, Skyline Drive can be a parking lot. Because this road is located in a national park, there is a fee to access it.|
The Blue Ridge Parkway begins where Skyline Drive ends in Waynesboro, and continues on into North Carolina. This is a fun ride for those who enjoy a lot of twists and turns and miles of uninterrupted beautiful mountain scenery.
Another don't-miss road is the Colonial Parkway, which is located in Virginia's Historic Triangle region. This is a 23-mile road that begins in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the United States, and ends in Yorktown, the site of the last major battle in the Revolutionary War. The Colonial Parkway follows the picturesque York and James Rivers and is well shaded by trees in the hot summer months. In the fall, these same trees show off in a blaze of color.
For something a little different, riders can cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel complex or CBBT, which connects the Virginia Beach area to the Eastern Shore, with a combination of a long tunnel and bridges. The highlight of this cruise is a long bridge, where riders will be surrounded by shades of blue, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Chesapeake Bay on the other, and the sky above.
Experienced riders looking for a twisty challenge with changes of elevation should head to Route 33, which snakes its way from Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley to West Virginia. This is an approximately 206-mile ride that features plenty of tight turns, long sweepers, and challenging switchbacks. This road also features many beautiful vistas, but only if a rider is brave enough to take his eyes off of the carving road in front of him.
Virginia is also the site of a number of rallies and rides. The state's largest and oldest rally, the Virginia Beach Bike Classic, is held each year at the end of April in Virginia Beach. In addition, each year, large numbers of bikers assemble at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, before rumbling out to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.
Another ride that passes through Virginia is the America's 9/11 Ride, which begins in Somerset, Pennsylvania, stops in Virginia and ends in New York. The ride is held in August and honors all those who perished in the tragic attacks that happened on September 11, 2001.
|Few people realize that Washington State not only boasts gorgeous scenery, but that it is also loaded with great motorcycle roads, as well. Its Cascades Mountains include a restless volcano, Mt. St. Helens, which last erupted in 1980, and its coastline is ruggedly stunning. Washington’s motorcycle roads include twisty, crazed rides down and over its mountains, as well as relaxing cruises overlooking the Pacific Ocean.|
Twisty lovers should head out to State Route 20, which is also known as the
|North Cascades Highway. This road crosses through the Cascades in northern Washington and is a route that challenges its riders with plenty of twisties, long sweepers, and elevation changes that take motorcyclists from sea level to 8000 feet. The views on State Route 20 are simply stunning, with towering snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and picturesque lakes. Riders can pick up Route 20 off of Interstate-5 and take it east until it merges with US-97, near Omak. This route, which crosses through the North Cascade National Park, is only open from April to October. |
Washington’s Spirit Lake Highway, which is also known as State Route 504, takes riders through the St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, an area that was practically destroyed by the restless volcano’s devastating 1980 eruption. Today, the land is in the midst of renewing itself and riders will see new growth and trees starting to reclaim the blast zone. Spirit Lake Highway is a sweeper lover’s heaven, offering up mile after mile of smooth turning corners and steep inclines and declines. This 54-mile road will take riders past several beautiful lakes, including Silver and Coldwater Lakes, and ends at Johnston Ridge, where riders can view the volcano’s gaping crater. A word of warning: motorcyclists should be on the lookout for slow-moving tour buses, especially around blind corners. To reach Spirit Lake Highway, riders can pick up State Route 504 in Castle Rock, which is exit 49 off of I-5, and then just head east.
Scenery and twisties make Chuckanut Drive – or State Route 11 -- a popular ride with both motorcyclists and cagers. This is a 21-mile narrow road with tight curves that often come in bunches. This road with a funny name first takes its riders through some deceivingly flat farmland, before showing its real colors, as it climbs up a mountain and through forests, eventually leading to stunning views of Puget Sound. Unfortunately, because this road is so scenic, it can be clogged with cagers, so riders wanting to avoid a traffic jam should plan their rides to avoid peak sightseeing hours. To get to this route, which begins in northern Burlington, motorcyclists need to take I-5 to exit 231, which will place them on Chuckanut Drive.
Motorcyclists looking for another technical road that boasts pretty scenery will want to head over to Washington State Route 261. This approximately 30-mile road has a lot of tight twisties, fast sweepers, straights, elevation changes, and it has the added bonus of a spectacular 198-foot waterfall at its end. A word of caution: the last bit of the road leading to the falls is an unpaved, well-maintained gravel stretch.
Riders can pick up this route, which is located in eastern Washington, by heading south out of Washtucna on Highway 260 until they reach Highway 261. Riders then take this road for 11 miles until they spot a sign for Palouse Falls. A left here will take motorcyclists onto the gravel road that leads to the waterfall.
Motorcyclists will also find a number of rallies, rides and shows in Washington, including the Sound Rider! Rally in the Gorge. This is a five-day event held in August that actually combines four mini rallies – the Sport bike Northwest, Sport Touring Northwest, Dual sport Northwest and the Maxi Scoot Northwest rallies -- into one. This combo rally is held in the Columbia River Gorge and features rides and seminars.
|When John Denver wrote his ode to country roads, he was singing the praises of West Virginia's many rural, winding, and rolling routes. Riders who get the chance to cruise these state’s wild and wonderful asphalt stretches soon learn why he felt compelled to write a tribute to West Virginia's awesome roadways.|
Though it’s hard to narrow down a few of the best rides out of the many that spider-web across West Virginia’s mountainous landscape, SR-150 is considered by those in
|the know to be one of this state’s most scenic roads. An approximately 25-mile road, SR-150 -- which is also known as the Highland Scenic Highway -- cuts through the beautiful Monongahela National Forest, as well as natural cranberry glades. SR-150 is the highest major road in West Virginia and is also a National Forest Scenic Byway. This road is a pleasurable cruise with easy turns and stunning views of the valleys and the mountains. It is especially captivating in the fall when the surrounding hills are ablaze in colors. This road can be reached from US-219 going northbound or, if you are heading southbound, from US-219 via Route 39.|
For those bikers seeking more of a challenge, two roads in the same general area, SR-15 and SR-39 are popular rides that not only have great scenery, but are also enhanced with excellent sections of twisties, as well as nice long sweepers. SR-15 travels from I-79 around Sutton to US-219 in Valley Head.
SR-39, which carves through the George Washington National Forest and boasts over 3,500 feet of elevation change, can be picked up from Route 55 in Marlinton and ridden all the way into Virginia. Rider Magazine selected this fun and scenic road as one of its top 25 routes in the United States.
Riders looking for a nice twisty ride in the north-central part of West Virginia will enjoy Route 20 from Buckhannon to the Webster Springs area.
US-33, is a favorite with motorcyclists in West Virginia because it offers just about everything a rider could wish for out of a road -- elevation changes, twisties, sharp switchbacks, sweepers, horseshoes, as well as simply gorgeous scenery, for those brave enough to take their eyes off the road. This road, which actually begins in Virginia in Harrisonburg, crosses through the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Some cyclists end this thrill ride in Elkins, an approximately100-mile ride, while others prefer to continue on for another 100 or so more miles.
For riders who happen to be in the New River Gorge area, ogling its impressive monster of a bridge -- the western hemisphere’s longest steel arch span -- there is an extremely challenging white-knuckle road that should only be attempted by very experienced bikers. It is called Fayette Station Road, and it is the old route that motorists used to have to negotiate in order to cross the gorge area before the bridge was built. Some compare this road to Tennessee and North Carolina’s famous and terrifying Dragon’s Tail road. Hairpin curves, schizophrenic grade changes, sheer drop-offs without guardrails and occasional sprays of dangerous gravel on the asphalt make this route the ultimate test of a biker’s skills.
West Virginia is also home to a number of rallies rides and other motorcycle-related events, including two large ones that occur during the summer. These are the West Virginia State HOG Rally, which has been held in Charleston recently, and the Wild and Wonderful Mountain Fest Motorcycle Rally, which is held in Morgantown.
|There is nothing cheesy about the many motorcycle roads that Wisconsin has to offer. Riders can travel through miles of bucolic farmlands, the Northwoods, or cruise alongside one of Wisconsin's many rivers or by one of this state's approximately 15,000 lakes. Hog owners will want to make sure and set aside time to make a pilgrimage to the Harley-Davidson Museum, which is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.|
One of the most scenic rides in Wisconsin is the 250-mile Great River Road, which
|runs parallel to the Mississippi River from the Illinois state line to Prescott. This road is the only one in Wisconsin that has been designated as a National Scenic Byway. Located along Wisconsin's western border, the Great River Road winds through many quaint towns, where riders can take a break from the saddle and stretch out their road-weary legs or grab a bite to eat.|
A nice ride that cuts through the beautiful Northwoods and alongside some of this area's many lakes and flowages begins in the small town of Hayward on County Highway B and proceeds west to County Highway Cc, which runs alongside and crosses over several lakes. Riders wanting to make a loop back to Hayward can then take County Highway Nn back to County Highway B.
Wisconsin's Route 33, from LaCrosse to Reedsburg, is a good road for motorcyclists looking for something to challenge their riding skills. In addition to passing through beautiful farmlands and Amish country, the Wildcat Mountain State Park portion of Route 33 features some fun switchbacks and curving roads.
The northeast portion of Wisconsin is known for having some of the best rides in the state, including Highway 55, which runs parallels to the Wolf River and cuts through beautiful old-growth forests. This scenic road, which stretches from the Village of Mole Lake in the north to Shawno in the south, travels through the Menomonee Indian Reservation and features some good rolling stretches and fun curves. This road's main drawback is its speed limits, which tend to be in the 35- to 45-mile range.
Another fun and popular road is Highway 108 between West Salem and Jackson County. This route is also known as Mindoro Cut. This short ride, which winds through rock walls that were cut by hand in 1907, offers up some twisty sections and zigzags. In addition, riders will find some very pretty countryside to motor through.
Wisconsin is home to a rather unusual motorcycle gathering. Twice a year, on the first Sunday in May and then again in October, a thousand or more motorcyclists gather in southern Wisconsin to participate in the Slimey Crud Run. This is a loosely organized, unadvertised, but well-known event that runs between Pine Bluff and Leland and travels through the Wisconsin River Valley via Crud Run.
|Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states in the nation and tops many a motorcyclist’s list of must-ride places. Its diverse terrain includes the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains, and it is home to the stunning Teton National Forest and the most unique national park in the United States, as well as its first -- Yellowstone.|
One of Wyoming’s most recommended routes is the 47-mile-long Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. This road, which is also known as Wyoming Highway 296, has breathtaking
|panoramic views of majestic mountains and beautiful valleys. Chief Joseph Scenic Highway is named after the famous Nez Perce Indian chief who led his tribe through this area as they fled the US Calvary, who was trying to capture them to place them on a reservation. This route, which connects the town of Cody via US 120 to the Beartooth Highway, boasts numerous switchbacks and the highest bridge in Wyoming, the Sunlight Creek Bridge. |
Riders wanting more of the same spectacular ride can continue on the Beartooth Highway and Beartooth Pass, which is also known as US 212, for another approximately 50 miles. This is a route filled with a lot of steep inclines and declines, numerous hairpin curves and switchbacks. The Beartooth is the highest elevation highway in Wyoming and Montana.
Another fun road for bikers is the Sylvan Pass or Wyoming 14/20/16, which is located in the Absaroka Range and is the only way to access Yellowstone’s east exit. This is a fun ride that has some sweepers, as well as some technical portions. Riders should be aware that a segment of this route does run through Yellowstone, albeit a less visited area of the national park. Still, bikers need to be on the lookout for tourists and wildlife, both of which have a tendency to make inexplicable moves into the paths of motorcycles. Park Rangers can also ruin a great trip, so watching the speed limit is important in this section. The Sylvan Pass ends in Cody.
A popular ride from the famous Sturgis motorcycle rally every year makes a loop from that South Dakota town to Wyoming’s famous Devils Tower and back. Devils Tower, which is a 1267-foot natural monolith that seems to jut out of nowhere, was America’s First National Monument and played a large part in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” From Sturgis, riders would take I-90 west across the border to Wyoming to Route 111 north to Aladdin. In Aladdin, riders then head take Route 24 to Devils Tower National Monument.
To get back to Sturgis, riders need to take Route 24 south until they reach US 14 east. In Sundance Wyoming, riders then pick up I-90 back to Sturgis. This is a nice ride through some rolling hills and past beautiful scenery.
Every year thousands of motorcyclists pass through Wyoming on their way to the mother of all motorcycle rallies in Sturgis,South Dakota. But Wyoming also has some fun events as well. One of the largest is held in Hulett, Wyoming, a small town of 409. Every year, this little town throws the Ham 'N Jam event, which attracts thousands of riders from the monstrous South Dakota rally.
|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.|