The same motorcycle ride can be dramatically different depending on the time of year. Some of the most enjoyable times to get out and ride are when the seasons change. And one of the best opportunities of the year is upon us—riding amidst the stunning colors of autumn. We can bet you’re itching to get as many riding miles in as you can this year, so we’re here to share recommendations for some crisp fall foliage motorcycle trips.
Best foliage areas for long weekend motorcycle trips
If a freeform motorcycle tour is your style, consider traveling to regions where you can find several days’ worth of beautiful foliage. These areas offer a multitude of colorful drives, and you won’t need to follow a map to find them. Add to your autumn motorcycle adventure by checking out the local tourism and economic development groups in these scenic areas.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Eastern Shore, Maryland
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Door County, Wisconsin
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Great River Bluffs, Minnesota
Best scenic motorcycle routes to enjoy fall foliage
These truly epic, well-known roads are enjoyable regardless of the season. But when autumn arrives and the tree colors start to change, rides on these routes are among the best of the best. Because these are popular routes and attract large numbers of visitors, they usually have some heavy traffic during peak fall color season. Consider traveling mid-week to enjoy less traffic. Some roads may have service and facility restrictions this year, so be sure to check ahead.
Best national parks and forests for autumn road trips
Our national parks and forests are home to some of the most scenic motorcycle rides. In addition to their colorful scenery in the fall, our parks offer recreational opportunities you can add to your riding experience. For example, camping is typically available and a great travel option during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
To find motorcycle routes that combine thrilling roads with magnificent fall foliage, head to the mountains. When you drive along tree-lined mountain roads, you’ll ride through tunnels of crisp, colorful leaves. Along with curving roads and elevation changes, mountain rides offer scenic pull-offs where you can stop and enjoy the color changes around you.
Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Catskill Mountains, New York
Green Mountains, Vermont
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Adirondacks, New York
Black Hills, South Dakota
The Cascades, Oregon
Best towns known for fall foliage motorcycle rides
Are you seeking a single destination for your fall ride? One of the benefits of staying at one location for several days is eliminating the time and effort of packing and unpacking your cycle every day. You’re also able to enjoy other aspects of the town you’re in, like sampling seasonal cuisine at local restaurants. These communities are in prime fall foliage areas and are known for welcoming visitors.
Bar Harbor, Maine
North Conway, New Hampshire
Taos, New Mexico
Many riders try to experience a new place each year. If you’re in pursuit of the perfect fall foliage ride, these 35 wonderful destinations across America are all worthy of a long-distance journey.
If staying local is your preference this season and none of the above locations are nearby, consider looking for state parks and national forests in your area. You don’t need to travel far to take a beautiful ride.
We all know this year presents special challenges for travel due to COVID-19. Before leaving for your fall adventure, be sure to follow local guidelines and research service changes for any places you plan to visit.