As any New England motorcycle enthusiast can attest, one of the greatest things about riding is taking long road trips. There’s nothing like the thrill of breaking away from bumper-to-bumper traffic in favor of mile-long visibility and long stretches of the open road.
New England offers countless places for riders to open up the throttle and go. To inspire you to get on the road this summer, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to ride throughout New England.
Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor Loop, ME
Maine, a.k.a. The Pine Tree State is famous for its lush forests and ample pine trees, but that’s not all. Maine’s vast coastline stretches a whopping 3,500 miles, which includes the coastline around the nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds.
Whether you’re looking for sandy beaches, rocky coastlines or pristine parks, Maine will deliver. Expect to find the quintessential New England experience with fishing villages, historic lighthouses, and of course, lobster!
One of the most popular areas for riding is the Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor loop. Acadia is made up of an array of islands along the coast and on the Schoodic Peninsula. The loop begins in Bar Harbor, traveling from Rt. 233 to Rt. 3. You’ll travel all along the coast and through Seal Harbor, ending up back in Bar Harbor.
The Mount Desert Island loop in Maine offers riders panoramic views of ocean coastlines and more than two dozen mountains, including the famous Cadillac Mountain. It’s at this peak, more than 1,500-feet high, where the sun shines first in the United States each morning. Well, at least during the months of January to March and October to November.
Kancamagus Highway, NH
Come ride the most famous highway in New Hampshire, the Kancamagus. “The Kanc,” an official National Scenic Byway, is a portion of NH Route 112 that spans from Lincoln to Conway.
Preparation is key. As you approach The Kanc, you’ll see a sign stating: No gas for the next 32 miles. As the sign says, it really is just you, your bike and the open road for the next 30-miles. Of course, when you consider the bears, falcons, moose, deer, porcupines and other wildlife, you’re far from alone.
Your journey along The Kanc is a series of hairpin turns that peaks at the Kancamagus Pass. This is the highest point of the byway’s elevation at nearly 3,000-ft. For the next 21 miles, the road runs along the Swift River, providing amazing views of waterfalls and whitewater cascades. Three overlooks along the route are your opportunity to take in the majestic views of the White Mountains.
If you’re a thrill seeker at heart, you can opt for the “Ride to the Sky” at Mt. Washington Auto Road. If you’re brave enough to tackle the narrow roads, missing guardrails and changing weather extremes, you’ll be rewarded at the top with spectacular panoramic views and dramatic cloud formations. If that’s not enough, you’ll also be eligible for one of those stickers that proclaim: “This Bike Climbed Mt. Washington.”
Finally, if you’re headed to New Hampshire during the second week in June, be sure to check out the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week rally, the oldest national gypsy tour in the country.
The Green Mountain Byway, VT
Riders in Vermont, a.k.a. The Green Mountain State, have thousands of miles to choose from. The 10 designated byways range in length from 14 miles to more than 400 miles, but the ultimate ride is the Green Mountain Byway. This route runs from north to south, right down the center of the state.
The scenery along the river is breathtaking, offering stunning mountain views with every twist and turn. The Green Mountain Byway provides easy access to many of Vermont’s famous villages, including Smuggler’s Notch in Stow and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury.
If you’re looking for a route in southern Vermont, check out the scenic Green Mountain Forest loop. This loop takes you around Bennington, Brattleboro and Manchester Center, Vermont, where you’ll encounter forests, fields and rock formations, along with many elevation changes. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, as bears, coyotes, deer, and moose travel the winding curves and switchbacks the loop offers.
Mohawk Trail, MA
Looking for a must-ride route in Massachusetts? Look no further than the Mohawk Trail. Once the North American trade route, this trail connecting Atlantic tribes with tribes located in upstate New York and beyond.
The Mohawk Trail begins in Greenfield and goes through the Berkshire Mountains, ending in Williamstown, close to the Massachusetts, Vermont and New York border.
If sightseeing is your thing, you’re in for a treat. On the trail, you’ll encounter the Bridge of Flowers in Shelbourne Falls. Moving on to Charlemont, you’ll pass by the “Hail to the Sunrise Statue” in Mohawk Park. There’s also the Whitcomb Summit, located in the Berkshires, just between Charlemont and North Adams, Massachusetts.
Adams is also the home of Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain peak in the state. Take the time and ride up to the top of the mountain and breath in the incredible beauty of the Berkshires.
On your way down from the Whitcomb Summit, you’ll drive through the Hoosac Range slope and Hairpin Turn. The trail follows the Cold and Deerfield Rivers, as well as the challenge of the infamous Dead Man’s Curve. It’s a little bit of everything that makes the Mohawk Trail not to be missed.
Western Rhode Island/Eastern Connecticut Loop
New England motorcycle riders can hit two states in one ride by taking the Western RI-Eastern CT loop. The ride offers well-maintained country roads, and a variety of curves, turns, hills, and straights. You’ll encounter it all, from coastlines and forests to mountain views and state parks.
Riders in Rhode Island typically begin the route in the Newport/Jamestown area, heading west on Route 138 to Route 1N, before hopping onto Route 102N. Route 3 to Route 165 will bring you to Connecticut, before turning on Route 49 to 14A and looping back to Rhode Island. This route lets riders soak up the beauty of Boone Lake, Beach Pond, Hammitt Hill, and more.
The western RI/eastern CT loop can be customized, depending on what sights and activities you’re in the mood for. Instead of turning onto Route 3, stay on Route 102N until you hit Route 44. Follow this road through the villages of Chepachet and Harmony, Hawkins Pond Town Forest, Pascoag Reservoir, and Casimir Pulaski Memorial State Park.
Follow Route 44W into Connecticut you’ll find Mashamoquet Brook State Park. The park features the Wolf Den national historic site, the Brayton Grist Mill, and the Table Rock and Indian Chair natural stone formations.
What’s your favorite route?
If you’re looking for fun this summer, New England is a motorcycle enthusiasts best friend. For more tips on the best places to ride and upcoming group rides, join the “New England Motorcycle Enthusiasts” Facebook page and the “New England Motorcycle Forum”
At Carl P. DeLuca, Attorney at Law, we’re passionate about Rhode Island riders. For over 30 years, we’ve worked with clients injured in motorcycle accidents. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.