Favorite Local Motorcycle Routes: Pennsylvania
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 22, 2021
Pennsylvania has two federal designated Scenic Byways and 14 state scenic byways. There is also a National Forest Scenic Byway, the Lake Erie coastline, the Pocono Mountains and rural towns and villages. You can even see battlefields along these roads and enjoy two major cities. Pennsylvania has something for every rider, but these are some of the favorite routes to enjoy within the Keystone State.
Grand Army of the Republic Highway
If you want to see as much of the state as possible, travel along this 374-mile route, which passes through towns and villages that are small and charming. These former mining towns make for an excellent ride and the long sweeps will take you across the state on a historical highway. You can enjoy a 1930s diner, ride on a real steam train, descend into a coal mine, and see more than you imagined during the ride. Take your time and thoroughly explore along this route and you won’t be disappointed in what you find.
Take US 30 for 40 miles and enjoy amazing views. You can see the mountains and have great look out points to stop. The historic road is one that Lincoln took on the way to Gettysburg, but most riders find they want to ride it over and over again and never stop. There are a fair amount of ups and downs and twists and turns and the roads are well maintained.
This 84-mile route runs north and south through the state. If your hands tend to get numb on long rides, you will want to get a pair of the new Anti-Vibe Adjustable Gel Gloves. You get to enjoy a few towns along the way as well as plentiful rivers and streams. There are enough twisters to keep any biker on his toes. Amenities are average, but the sites are well above average and worth the hour and a half long ride.
Laurel Hills Loop
This classic route site 40 miles south of Pittsburgh and is a grand escape from the larger city. You get to travel through the Laurel Hills and Allegheny Mountains with great views of the Youghiogheny River and some forests and farmlands as well. The road is especially beautiful in the fall and has some of the highest quality pavement in the state. You get it all on this route, which goes between twisty mountain driving to rolling farm country riding. There are also fun places to stop including a home built by famous architect Frank Lloyd Write that hands over a rushing river.
Forest Route 262
If you love driving through lush trees, you won’t be able to get enough of this 11-mile ride. The road follows the Kinzua Bay so you get water views on one side with forest views on the other. The road is flawless and gives you plenty of places to stop along the lakeside. It’s hard not to look at the scenery, but riders find they don’t want to take their eyes off the road either because it is so much fun to ride.
This route is only 12 miles long, but if you are from another part of the state or another state completely, you will want to ride this route just for the scenery. Peninsulate Drive is located on the Presque Isle State Park, which is a peninsula that stretches 9 miles into Lake Erie. You will feel like you are on an island with the lake all around you. On the way back, you’ll see beaches and picnic pavilions. The best time to ride is at sunset. It’s an easy, scenic drive. The speed limits are low and there’s a lot of traffic on the weekends.
Pennsylvania has a lot to offer motorcycle riders from the state or to those coming in from other areas. It has fun roads, unique views, and everything in between. Whatever type of ride you like, you can find within this state.