Fall is one of the best times to enjoy a getaway on your bike. The crisp fall air is a welcomed change from the heat of summer and the leaves are changing color to create the perfect scenic backdrop. No matter where you live in the contiguous United States there is a beautiful fall motorcycle adventure awaiting your tires.
So take one (or a few) weekend rides before parking your bike for the winter and check out these top road trips for leaf peeping!
Here are our favorite fall motorcycle road trips to see the fall foliage (no matter where you live!)
It’s hard to beat the northeast in the fall. After all, who doesn’t imagine rolling Vermont hills speckled with orange and yellow leaves when they think of fall? And a motorcycle trip to the Northeast is the perfect way to truly enjoy all that autumn has to offer.
Moosehead Lake, ME
Moosehead Lake is Maine’s largest lake, and the second largest lake in all of New England. Located in the northwestern part of the state, it offers beautiful views year round, but in the fall it is pretty unbeatable. Ride up to the Attean Overlook to see all of Moose River Valley and stop at one of the lakeside towns such as Greenville or Rockwood to grab a bite to eat or stay the night.
Coastal Route 1, ME
Take a ride up Coastal Route 1 on the other side of the state to see the Atlantic coast in fall. From the Canadian border at Calais you can drive down to see all of the lighthouses and seascapes while the leaves change colors. There are tons of quiet villages to visit, but you will never be bored driving down the coastline and seeing all that the coast has to offer.
US Route 7, VT
Vermont is at its best in the fall, and a perfect way to see it all is to take a drive up US Route 7. It weaves from Green Mountain State Forest up to Burlington and is full of gorgeous views, small towns, and roadside attractions. And with so many parks and covered bridges along the way, you are sure to take in some gorgeous fall scenes.
Route 666, PA
Pennsylvania has some beautiful regions, and fall is the perfect time to enjoy the scenery. Route 666 (also referred to as Route 666-One Hell of a Ride!) is in the northwest part of the state in the Allegheny Mountains. Full of twists and turns, it’s a fun ride as well as a scenic one, full of natural rock formations, babbling brooks, and beautiful views. While the route is only about 30 miles, there are tons of other routes and towns nearby that you can enjoy, so it’s well worth the trip.
The Fall in the southeast might be a little warmer than up north, but it is just as full of beautiful scenic rides. There are countless mountains and national forests in the south that can be enjoyed year round but are especially beautiful in the fall months.
Blue Ridge Parkway, NC & VA
The Blue Ridge Parkway is lovingly referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive”, and with good reason. This 469 mile road runs from The Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. In the nearly 500 miles of this stretch you can see the highest mountain peak in the eastern United States (Mount Mitchell), the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon (Linville Gorge), and the highest waterfall east of the Rockies (Whitewater Falls). And there is no better time to visit than in the fall when the leaves are changing.
Tail of the Dragon (Deal’s Gap),TN & NC
Deals Gap runs along the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina and Tennessee border. Also known as The Tail of the Dragon, the road is 11 miles of twists and turns that take you through a scenic wonderland of fall foliage. With over 318 curves and turns with names such as Copperhead Corner and Brake or Bust Bend, it is perfect for any thrill-seeking motorcycle enthusiast.
Blue Ridge Mountains, GA
Georgia has some stunning fall drives, but the Blue Ridge Mountains are definitely at the top of the list. From the Russell Brasstown Scenic Byway in northern Georgia you can ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the Chattahoochee River. There are a number of great small towns on the way, including Helen and Clayton, that you can stop at on your way to Brasstown Bald. Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia, offering stunning views of the state.
The midwest transforms itself in the fall as the temperatures start to drop. From the tip of Michigan down to the scenic byways of Kansas, it’s hard to go wrong with a midwest tour of fall.
Tunnel of Trees, MI
Michigan in the fall is simply beautiful, especially if you start out near Lake Michigan. One of the best features of this area is the Tunnel of Trees, part of the M-119. This 20 mile stretch runs on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, and has some sharp twists and turns that make it a fun ride as well as a scenic one. Continue on Lake Michigan’s northeastern shores to visit some small fishing towns, lighthouses, and beautiful coves.
Shawnee Forest Country, IL
Leaf peepers from everywhere flock to Route 127 between Murphysboro and Jonesboro during the fall months. Located along the Shawnee National Forest, it is a beautiful motorcycle ride with rolling hills and lots of beautiful trees and scenes. Surrounded by dense forests, it is the perfect place to see the leaves change colors. You can round out your trip with apple picking, or by heading to one of the local wineries or breweries.
Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive, WI
Kettle Moraine is a beautifully unique region in Wisconsin that really shines in the fall. The area is highly glaciated, meaning it was formed by glaciers millions of years ago (it’s even part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail). Because of this, it has a hilly terrain and lots of glacial landforms, making it a distinctive and fun ride for any motorcycle rider. The incredible fall foliage only makes it that much better.
No matter where you are on the west coast, it’s pretty beautiful in the fall months. You are guaranteed to find a beautiful leaf peeping drive in any of the western states.
Columbia River Gorge, OR
The Columbia River Gorge begins in Portland and runs to the Columbia River, separating Oregon and Washington. It has been shaped by geological events over the course of time, and while the river is at sea level, cliff sides run as high as 4000 feet on each side. With countless twists and turns, the Historic Columbia River Highway is perfect for any motorcycle lover. Waterfalls, fall colors, and gorgeous cliffsides make this a perfect fall riding destination.
Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte has the largest aspen grove in the United States, making it a beautiful fall road trip destination. Located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Crested Butte is famous for its stunning alpine lakes and wildflower meadows. A motorcycle trip on The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway is the perfect way to celebrate fall, with a stop in town to stroll Elk Avenue and see this historic Colorado mining town.
Eastern Sierras, CA
The Eastern Sierras have so much to offer in the autumn months. This region contains parts of Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park making it an amazing destination year round. Take your motorcycle on a ride from Lundy Lake to Mono Lake to see the best that this area has to offer, from waterfalls and alpine lakes to beautiful displays of willows, aspens, and cottonwoods.
Those are our favorite leaf peeping motorcycle trips to take in the fall.
The fall is one of the best times to enjoy your motorcycle. There are so many routes to take, just be sure to check the local guides to see the best time to see everything in all of its glory. While early October may be best for certain regions, late November may be better for other regions.
Fall is also a great time to check in on your finances and make sure you aren’t overpaying on your motorcycle payments. If any of the following apply to you, you might be eligible for a lower monthly motorcycle payment:
- Your credit score has improved since your initial financing
- The market rates have decreased since your initial financing
- Your debt to income ratio has decreased since your initial financing
If you are overpaying on your motorcycle payments, Auto Approve is here to help. We have relationships with lenders across the country and can secure you the best refinancing rates possible. Spend more time enjoying the fall scenery and less time worrying about payments.