Mother Nature puts on quite a show this time of year. The changing colors make for beautiful scenery, but also serve as a reminder that, in some parts of the country, riding season is coming to an end. Get out there and experience a great fall road trip, before it’s time to let your motorcycle hibernate. Here are five solid recommendations.
Route 112, NH
The classic foliage road in the classic leaf peeping state. The 56 miles of east/west highway wind through the White Mountain National Forest. The views are long, offering sloping tree-covered hills, while the highway’s plenty of viewpoints and excellent road maintenance make this a biker’s dream. There are tons of campgrounds, or the nearby tourist towns of Bath and Conway if a bed & breakfast is more your style.
Route 7, VT
This 176 mile stretch of highway is a mainly rural two-lane road running through the western side of the state. Travel far enough on this north/south highway, and you’ll almost run into Canada. During the ride up there, you will see a lot of gently curved, worn out mountains, covered in dazzling red and purple leaves. The land has an old-world feel, and you can get a sense of what the first colonial settlers felt. In the more empty sections, pull over, turn off your bike, and listen.
Route 219, MD
Take a ride down one of the oldest paved roads in the country. Parts of Route 219 are over 100 years old, and for good reason. Even back in the day, people were trying to get out of the cities, onto the open road, and hit Deep Creek Lake. This state park offers high-contrast yellow, orange, red colors in the fall, but is movie set picturesque pretty much year round. While the road itself is busier than the ones above, it’s not unbearably so, and a Sunday morning is clear and empty.
Independence Pass, CO
More centrally located in the country, Aspen, Colorado offers a different take on fall compared to New England. There are a lot of trees here –the town is named after one- and the jagged granite Rockies in the background give this an invigorating fall feeling. This isn’t time for hibernation, Aspen is the fall of getting things done. This is reflected in the family-friendly/tourist environment. Move quickly if you want amazing pictures, as Aspen’s season is all of 3 weeks long.
Great River Road
It’s hard to beat this drive any time of year, but a fall motorcycle trip through the ten states along the Mississippi river is flat out epic. Start out in Minnesota and feel why you are headed south with the birds. Take in the scenery of each state on this newbie-friendly road trip. Be sure to stop and eat a bit of local flavor in each state; it is harvest time, after all. Take your time, see the sights, and at the end of the 2,000 miles, pull into the warmth of Gulf Coast Louisiana. Stick around, as riding season is longer down here.