Motorcycle Rides

Best Motorcycle Roads & Destinations in Pennsylvania, United States

Best Motorcycle Roads & Destinations in Pennsylvania, United States

1. Introduction

Looking to get away from home or the city to explore the United States on your motorcycle? Then perhaps you should plan a trip to visit Pennsylvania or “the Keystone State.” You will find the roads cut through plenty of natural scenery from mountains, rolling hills, ridges, plateaus, canyons, and valleys. Aside from its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, other notable locations to look out for include the Appalachian, Allegheny, and Pocono Mountains.

This article is intended to provide a list of Pennsylvania’s famous motorcycle roads and destinations including supplementary information on this state’s motorcycle laws and possible luggage options.

2. Best Roads and Destinations in Pennsylvania

2.1 Grand Army of the Republic Highway

Grand Army of the Republic Highway - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

This highway crosses the entire northernmost region of Pennsylvania from the eastern border meeting New York all the way to the western border meeting Ohio. Departing from Milford, you will wind around the Delaware River as you start to head westward. You will come close to the foot of and the small lakes surrounding the Pocono Mountains.

Distance: 396 miles
Time: 8 hours 31 minutes
Start: Milford
End: Pennline, Conneaut Township

Navigating the sweeping road that continually rises and falls, you will eventually find yourself in the old coal mining towns of Honesdale and Carbonsdale. Continuing on your way, you will get to admire the steam powered locomotives at Steamtown. At Lackawanna Coal Mine, you will be able to descend and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a coal miner.

Winding around PA Route 6, you will eventually make it to Scranton where you should be able to check out the Pennsylvania Anthracite Museum. Embarking again, it will take you a while to get to Wellsboro which still has neighborhoods reminiscent of the 1930s and a place to eat called the Wellsboro Diner.

More than a couple of miles away from Wellsboro, you will stumble across the Pine Creek Gorge a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. You will soon find yourself descending into Susquehannock State Forest which will take you by the swift yet shallow river sharing the same name.

Though you will leave Susquehannock State Park, you will find yourself in the wilderness again after finding yourself in Allegheny National Forest. Drawing closer to the end, you may be able to take a slight detour towards the Kinzua Railroad Viaduct if you wish to behold the former highest and longest railroad in the world.

2.2 Lincoln Highway

Lincoln Highway - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

Starting in Breezewood, you can go hiking up the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike if you wish to stretch your legs before embarking. Continue to head eastward, you can take a short rest stop at Sideling Hill State Forest Picnic Area or get a better view of the surrounding wilderness at Scenic Overlook Buchanan State Forest.

Distance: 41 miles
Time: 1 hour
Start: Breezewood
End: Chambersburg

Around one of the bends on Lincoln Highway, you can grab a sizable lunch at the Mountain House Restaurant as well as get a good view of the height of Tuscarora Summit. Continuing on your way, you may be able to check out Fort Loudon if you are willing to take a slight detour on Brooklyn Road North.

After making it to Chambersburg, you can check out the exhibits on display at the Old Jail. If you wish to relax after your trip, you can take a walk through Mike Waters Memorial Park and Pine Woods Park.

2.3 Gold Mine Route to Route 125

Distance: 36 miles
Time: 57 minutes
Start: Green Point
End: Shamokin

As you begin in Green Point, you will find yourself on the edge of Swatara State Park. You can take a short hike up Trout Run Trail or State Park Lane plus get a better look of the surrounding scenery by heading up to Piedmont Memorial Overlook.

Beginning to head northward after exiting Swatara State Park, you will be able to head down closer to Gold Mine Run and Evening Branch if you decide to head down towards Gold Mine Gate. You will also encounter a collection of boulders referred to as the Boxcar Rocks or the Chinese Wall. Most of your surroundings will be valleys and mountaintops during the first leg of the journey.

If you happen to be passing through Hegins during the right season, you may be able to participate in the Schuylkill County Wine Festival. During the remainder of the trip to Shamokin, most of your surroundings will be open valleys and farmlands. It will provide a decent challenge due to traveling over rolling hills with plenty of twists and switchbacks.

2.4 PA Route 666

PA Route 666 - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

This entire route travels within the confines of the Allegheny National Forest. For the first couple of miles, you will travel within proximity of Beaver Valley and alongside Beaver Run. After traveling eastward for some time, you will turn towards southeast as you make for the first bend in the route.

Distance: 32 miles
Time: 45 minutes
Start: East Hickory
End: Barnes

Winding around Tionesta Creek, you should be able to catch sight of Kelletville Bridge with the aquatic greenery covering the banks. If you are looking for a place to go camping, you can head over to Kellettville Campground.

Continuing on, you may notice a strange green colored rock sitting in the middle of Tionesta Creek. It most likely is Frog Rock which was painted to resemble the common amphibian.

Still heading towards Barnes, you will find yourself besides the Minister Creek Recreation Area. If you would prefer setting up camp closer to civilization, you can find a spot at Minister Creek Campground.

2.5 PA Route 44

Distance: 90 miles
Time: 2 hours
Start: Elmsport
End: Coudersport

The first half of the journey after leaving Elmsport tends to be calm and uneventful which makes for a leisurely ride. As you get close to West Branch Susquehanna River, you may be able to explore Antes Fort Village Park within Antes Fort.

Turning northward, you will ride alongside Pine Creek until you reach where PA Route 44 meets PA Route 414. You will turn west and begin to head in the direction of The Nature Conservancy, West Branch Forest Preserve. You will pass by Upper Pine Bottom State Park.

You will coast outside the dense forests until you turn into Susquehannock State Forest. Continuing to dive into the wilderness, you will head northwest which will take you through both Cherry Springs State Park and Patterson State Park.

2.6 Pocono Cruise

Distance: 75 miles
Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
Start: Easton
End: Jim Thorpe

If you happen to visit Easton during the right season, you should be able to pick out fresh produce from the Easton Farmers Market. If you wish to stretch your legs, you can spend time at Butz Park and Vanderveer Park. After you depart, you will head northward while traveling alongside the Delaware River.

Continuing north, you will travel close to the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border for the first leg of the trip. You will pass by Gollub Park, Paxinosa Point Ridge, and Frost Hollow Overlook.

You will eventually stop hugging the Delaware River when you transition onto North Delaware Drive. Riding northeast, you can stop to sample drinks at establishments such as Richmond Farm & Brewery and M & M Vineyards. You will then cross over into New Jersey via the Portland-Columbia Toll Bridge.

Returning to hugging the Delaware River’s coast, you will enter Worthington State Forest before you re-enter Pennsylvania. You should be able to make out Point of Gap Overlook and have the chance to head up Tammany (Red Dot) Trail.

Turning towards the west, you will soon travel on PA Route 715 which temporarily turns straight south before resuming its original course. You will pass by the Big Woods Natural Area, West End Regional Park, and Storm Ave Trailhead.

The remainder of the trip to Jim Thorpe will involve traveling on Interstate 209. You will travel alongside Beltzville State Park until you finally make it to the city. You will have the opportunity to see the exhibits at Asa Packer Mansion Museum.

2.7 PA Route 144

PA Route 144 - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

Departing from Galeton, you will encounter many hollows along the sides of the road including Deer Lick, Huggler, Newcomb, Acid Factory, Leech, Mott Hill, Zundel, Blumenthal, and Bohunk Hollows. You will eventually enter Susquehannock State Forest from the northern side.

Distance: 76 miles
Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
Start: Galeton
End: Moshannon

As you cruise through Susquehannock State Forest, you will pass through Ole Bull State Park and by Forrest H. Dutlinger Natural Area. Continuing to head further south, the road will pass in between or in close proximity to Bucktail State Natural Area, Sproul State Forest, Russell P. Letterman Wild Area, and Burns Run Wild Area.

Following all of these natural sites, you will exit the wilderness and finally make it to Moshannon.

2.8 PA Route 87

PA Route 87 - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

As you are leaving Montoursville, you will travel alongside Loyalsock Creek which will take you beside Indian Park and Rider Park. Continuing to follow the river’s path, you will have the chance to hike up Loyalsock Trailhead or Painter Run Trail. You should also be able to spy upon Dry Run Falls, High Knob Overlook, and Hillsgrove Covered Bridge.

Distance: 66 miles
Time: 1 hour 21 minutes
Start: Montoursville
End: Mehoopany

If you happen to pass by Forksville during the right season, you may be able to witness the festivities at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds. As you continue to head east, you will pass close by State Game Lands Number 66 and 57. Before you arrive in Mehoopany, you will be able to admire the natural scenery in Creek Junction Park.

2.9 Wrightsville to Columbia via The Conowingo Dam

Wrightsville to Columbia via The Conowingo Dam - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

Starting on the left side of the Susquehanna River, you will begin heading southward after leaving Wrightsville behind. You will first encounter Klines Run Park, Native Lands Park which are right beside Clarke Lake. Just a short distance away, you can dine at the River House if you have a taste for Chinese cuisine.

Distance: 84 miles
Time: 2 hours 13 minutes
Start: Wrightsville
End: Columbia

As you curve around in view of Weise Island, you will pass by Apollo Park and Urey Overlook. Continuing further south, you can check out the exhibits at Indian Steps Museum. You will eventually cross over into Maryland which will take you by the Hosanna School Museum and Conowingo Fisherman’s Park.

After crossing over towards the right side of the Susquehanna River, you will turn northward and return back into Pennsylvania. You will pass by Fishing Creek Nature Preserve, Drumore Park, and Downpatrick Gibson Farm. You will make your way around Muddy Run Power Reservoir.

Winding further upward, you will come across many natural sites including Kelly’s Run Nature Preserve, Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve, State Game Lands Number 288, Safe Harbor Park, Conestoga River Park, Chestnut Grove Nature Area, and Creswell Park. Upon making it to Columbia, you can visit the exhibits at the National Watch and Clock Museum.

2.10 South Central PA Countryside Loop

South Central PA Countryside Loop - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

While still in Newville, you should be able to visit historical sites such as Laughlin Mill, William Denning Monument, and the Newville Historic District. Keeping on course, you will find yourself heading northward on Waggoners Gap Road. Along this route, you will come across Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch and Cliff Jones Field Station, National Audubon Society.

Distance: 127 miles
Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Start: Newville
End: Newville

After clearing the northern bend, you will head southwest on Big Spring Road which will take you into Tuscarora State Forest and Big Spring State Park. When you travel on the southern side of the loop, you will arrive in Chambersburg. Within the vicinity of the city, you can spend time at the Chambersburg Heritage Center & Gift Shop or the Garage Studio.

Cruising along the right side of the loop, you will be outside of the perimeter of Michaux State Forest. However, you will pass within close proximity of Greene Township Park and South Hampton Park. You will eventually return to the starting point in Newville.

2.11 The Tiadaghton & World’s-End Tour

The Tiadaghton & World’s-End Tour - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

Starting in Williamsport, you can check out historical establishments such as Millionaires’ Row, Taber Museum, and World of Little League Museum. Departing eastward on Susquehanna Beltway, you will pass by Riverfront Park, Indian Park, and Twin Hills Memorial Park and Mausoleum.

Distance: 157 miles
Time: 3 hours 38 minutes
Start: Williamsport
End: Williamsport

Traveling on the right side of the loop, you will head up Interstate 220 which takes you beside The Rocks in Picture Rocks Park and Davidson or Stonestown Covered Bridge. Transitioning to PA Route 154, you will travel through Worlds End State Park. This region has the Loyalsock Canyon Vista, Cold Run Road Falls, and Double Run Trail.

Moving along the top section of the loop, you will find lots of hiking trails and natural sites right before you turn back southward. You will observe Water Tank Hollow, Rattlesnake Rock, and Gillespie Point Trail.

Heading down along the left side of the loop, you will skirt around the outer edges of State Game Lands Numbers 75 and 68 plus the Wolf Run Wilderness Area. You can take the time to climb or observe Black Forest Trail, Golden Eagle Trail, and Upper Pine Bottom State Park.

2.12 Renovo to Kettle Creek Loop

Renovo to Kettle Creek Loop - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

Starting in Renovo, you will be able to admire the beauty of Mountain Glen, Sixth Street Hollow, and Greater Renovo Area Heritage Park. Heading norwest, you will travel along Tamarack Road which will take you into the lower regions Susquehannock State Forest.

Distance: 34 miles
Time: 52 minutes
Start: Renovo
End: Renovo

After clearing the northern bend of the loop, you will turn southward on Kettle Creek Road. Heading further down, you will find yourself beside Kettle Creek Lake. You will also pass by Kettle Creek State Park, Kettle Creek Vista, Alvin R. Bush Dam, and Whiskey Springs Trailhead.

Traveling on the southern side of the loop back towards Renovo, this section of the route will have you riding alongside the West Branch Susquehanna River. You will pass by Bucktail State Park Natural Area and Sproul State Forest.

3. Motorcycle Laws in Pennsylvania

Motorcycle Laws in Pennsylvania

3.1 Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Laws

All motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required by law to wear an approved motorcycle helmet while traveling on Pennsylvania’s roads and highways. If you are above the age restriction, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle without having a motorcycle helmet strapped on. However, it is best that you have protective headgear since it will help prevent severe or fatal head injuries.

The types of motorcycle helmets accepted in Pennsylvania are three-quarter and full-face helmets. Both models have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, were manufactured by the Snell Memorial Foundation, and provide both ample protection and visibility.

As you select your motorcycle helmet, check that they meet the following requirements and are designed with the proper features:

  • Has a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker
  • Can be fitted around your head snugly
  • No visible signs of damage
  • Has a face shield with no scratches (Full-face helmet only)
  • Requires separate eye protection with no scratches (Three-quarter helmet only)
  • Has a hard and durable outer shell that is shatter-resistant
  • Gives you a clear, peripheral view
  • Can be fastened with a neck- or chin-strap
  • Allows airflow without fogging up
  • Can allow you to wear sunglasses or goggles underneath
  • 3.2 Pennsylvania Motorcycle Passenger Laws

    If you wish to transport another person on your vehicle, keep in mind that there is no minimum age requirement for motorcycle passengers in Pennsylvania. However, any passengers under the age of 21 must wear an approved motorcycle helmet if they wish to ride behind you.

    You are only allowed to transport a passenger on your motorcycle if it is fitted with the following equipment: a designated passenger seat, handholds, and footrests.

    The passenger seat can either be fixed to the side as a sidecar, at the rear as a separate saddle, or at the back of a large driver’s seat.

    Characteristics to look for in potential passengers are individuals who listen to directions, follow your movements, cannot be carrying packages in their arms, are wearing protective attire, and can reach the footrests.

    3.3 Pennsylvania Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

    If it has been a while since you have closely examined the state of your motorcycle, it would be safer to conduct periodic inspections more often. Especially if you are about to head out on your motorcycle trip throughout Pennsylvania. It would be inconvenient if your motorcycle were to experience mechanical failure while on the road, leaving you stranded on the side. Because even a single primary component becoming faulty could suddenly halt the direction of your trip, it would be preferable to conduct maintenance when you are still in your garage or close to a reliable repair shop.

    You need the following minimum requirements fitted to your motorcycle for the vehicle to meet the safety requirements in Pennsylvania. They must be working at optimal capacity to help you quickly avoid obstacles, improve your visibility to other drivers, and increase awareness of your surroundings:

  • Horn
  • Wheels
  • Handlebars
  • Front & Rear Brakes
  • Controls
  • Headlight
  • Rear light
  • Brake Light
  • Turn Signals
  • Exhaust System
  • Muffler
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Fenders
  • Footrests
  • 3.4 Pennsylvania Lane Splitting Laws

    In Pennsylvania, any motorcyclists that are caught lane splitting will be penalized by local law enforcement. You cannot ride on top of the dividing lines in between traffic lanes, ride in between adjacent rows of stopped vehicles, nor attempt to overtake a larger vehicle in front of you while both of you are traveling in the same lane.

    You should make sure to act with caution when you are attempting lane sharing. Motorcyclists are entitled to make full use of the space within their current lane. They can also share a lane with another motorcycle so long as the vehicles stay apart at least two abreast and both parties consent beforehand. You should refrain from engaging in this practice unless you are alongside someone you trust with riding experience.

    4. Motorcycle Luggage for Pennsylvania Motorcycle Tour

    Motorcycle Luggage for Pennsylvania Motorcycle Tour - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

    While you may prefer staying on your motorcycle for the duration of the Pennsylvania motorcycle tour, there can be circumstances that force you to stop. You may need to refill your gas tank or make repairs to any minor damage sustained. But you do not always have to get off your bike out of necessity. Sometimes you will come across roadside attractions, historical sites, and places of interest that you can only access by walking. During these occasions, you may want to bring easy-to-carry items to help make the most of your time such as a camera, provisions, etc. But you first need to have a reliable means of storing your belongings on your motorcycle.

    Listed below are the motorcycle luggage options you can choose from. All of them have zippered and/or mesh pockets, are made of durable and weather-resistant materials, and come with an installation guide for easy mounting. They differ in terms of design, color, size, and placement position to offer you diverse choices:

    5. Parting Words

    Parting Words - Motorcycle Roads & Destinations

    Excited as you may be to plan out the details and set out on your Pennsylvania motorcycle trip as soon as possible, it does not hurt to be a little cautious when making your preparations.

    Picking up the necessary motorcycle gear, equipment, and personal belongings you may need ahead of time will save you a trip to a desolate store or from wasting time stranded on the side of the road. Learning the rules of the road in Pennsylvania will also ensure you practice safe motorcycle maneuvers as you travel from place to place.

    You may find your excursion through Pennsylvania’s landscape to be a great opportunity to accomplish many different goals. You can visit interesting locations that were previously out of reach, test your current riding skills, or just enjoy a short vacation away from the stress of everyday life.

    Remember to be responsible when handling your motorcycle and try to have fun as you prepare to head out on your Pennsylvania motorcycle trip.

    Reading next

    Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Pennsylvania, United States
    Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Pennsylvania, United States

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