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Motorcycle routes: Must-ride hidden gems

A motorcycle rider driving through a scenic moutain road

The best part about riding a motorcycle is being up close and personal with the scenery around you. It can be hard to find new places to take your bike and get the most out of every ride. If you are craving a new adventure, look no further! This list of routes highlights some lesser-known areas that are definitely worth a ride.

Cherohala Skyway

The Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina is a frequent #1 must-ride for bikers all across the U.S. With 318 curves in 11 miles, it is perfect for any thrill seeker. Bordered by the Great Smokey Mountains and Cherokee National Forest, it is breathtakingly beautiful and thrilling. The only downside is that its invigorating charm makes it one of the most crowded rides in the country.

Travel 25 minutes southeast and you will find Cherohala Skyway. This 43-mile long ride is less busy, and leads you through the mountains of North Carolina and the forests of Tennessee.

The lack of tourists and buildings make Cherohala the perfect place to get away. There is no civilization for about 41 miles, except for a bathroom or two. If you are looking for a smooth ride with no distractions (other than nature’s overwhelming beauty), this is the ride for you.

Moonshiner 28

Not too far from Cherohala, Moonshiner 28 offers an entirely different riding experience. The road features good food and plenty of places to stay during your trip. If you are looking for more action during your ride, Moonshiner 28 is for you.

This 103-mile ride extends from Deal’s Gap to Walhalla, South Carolina, cutting through Georgia along the way. You will encounter beautiful mountains, crashing waterfalls and several lakes on this spectacular route. You won’t want to miss it! Fun fact: Moonshiner 28 was once home to illegal moonshiners on the run from the law, hence the name. Stop at the (now legal) moonshine distilleries along the way to learn about the area’s rich history!

Beartooth Highway

Ready to experience the Wild, Wild West? This 68-mile ride follows U.S. Highway 212 through Montana and Wyoming. Featuring dozens of hairpin turns and switchbacks, this dreamy route is perfect for an experienced rider looking for some serious fun.

The highway will take you through snow-capped mountains and glacial tundra where you can take a break in the alpine meadows and enjoy the scenery. Due to the high altitude, this route is closed from October to May, making it the perfect summer ride. But be cautious! Beartooth Highway is always subject to extreme weather, even during the summer. Be sure to check in with the Beartooth Ranger District before you head out to ensure that conditions are clear for a safe ride.

Peak-to-Peak Highway

Colorado is known for stunning scenery and a plethora of mountains. Peak-to-Peak Highway is a 60 mile-long ride that boasts incredible, unobstructed views of the Front Range in Rocky Mountain National Park. Be sure to bring hiking boots and a camera so you are prepared for any adventures! There are endless locations to snap pictures or explore the park with easy pullouts along the way.

The ride will take you through Estes Park, which is home to beautiful, clear Lake Estes. Whether you ride past and take in the sights or decide to stop and enjoy the water, the experience is like nothing else. Also, be sure to check out the Continental Divide! This is the location that splits the continent in two with water flowing down both sides of the peak. It is definitely a sight to see.

There are bikers that say the best rides to take are the ones that you have never heard of. Traveling away from the beaten path can lead to some pretty incredible moments. Next time you are out on a ride, take a surprise left! Who knows what you might find.

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