3 Scenic Motorcycle Rides for Enthusiasts
- Tail of The Dragon Loop
- Chattahoochee National Forest Loop
- Ocala National Forest Loop
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My bucket list contain 3 scenic motorcycle rides that other bikers have found worthy.
I hope to venture out and tackle them soon.
I realize that the list of scenic motorcycle routes is virtually endless; however, harsh weather and distance away is a deal breaker some instances.
The three closest routes that I have select for me potentially allow for some end of season riding.
The choices are:
- Tail of The Dragon
- Chattahoochee National Forest
- Ocala National Forest
The Tail of The Dragon route is the farthest and potentially the worst weather as winter approaches.
Therefore, I may have to make it my first ride in 2022.
Nonetheless, I may luck up with the other two and get the opportunity to complete them.
What Is So Special About The Tail Of The Dragon?
The Tail of the Dragon (The Dragon) which is noted for its twists and turns is located in Deals Gap.
The route is a cut through the mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina.
This route begins at the intersection of NC 28 and US129 near Robbinsville, North Carolina.
The route ends 11 miles later in Tennessee at the Tabcat Creek Bridge.
This route trails the southwest boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Dragon contains 318 curves that riders must endure to complete the trip.
Since there are no intersecting roads, the route is virtually an 11-mile rollercoaster.
Sportbike riders may not have as much fun since the speed limit is only 30 miles per hour.
This stretch of roadway claims many victims every year as a result of recklessness.
The Deal’s Resort has a “Tree of Shame” that displays parts from many wrecked motorcycles over the years.
A return route offered by Rever is taking Hwy 360 to the Cherohala Skyway (Hwy 165/143) back to Hwy 129 outside of Robbinville.
If you decide to challenge this route, check out the safety tips offered by the Reader’s Digest.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with arming yourself with knowledge.
It could be the difference between fun and misery.
Second Ride Is The Chattahoochee National Forest Loop.
The route offers a combination of roadways to travel to make a complete circle without having to cut through or backtrack.
This route begins in Dahlonega, GA on Hwy 19.
On this leg, the Yahoola Creek Dam and Lake Zwerner offer views of the local trails.
The first turn is at Hwy 19 and Hwy 60, known as Stonepile gap, where you can follow tradition and throw a rock, one that you brought with you, onto the pile for luck.
Hwy 60 has some of the most beautiful views of the mountainous range, remember to stop at the Chestatee Overlook to see the scenic views of the area.
This route has an abundance of attractions for riders to enjoy as they travel these roadways.
Woody Lake and Abercrombie Bald Mountain are visible as you enter Success, GA.
On this stretch, you can detour on 816 to visit the longest swing bridge east of the Mississippi River, Toccoa Swinging Bridge.
Otherwise, the route takes you uphill ride to Wilscot Gap to Crawford Creek.
A few more attractions, Lake Blue Ridge, Morgan point, and Blue Ridge Dam are detours before hitting Hwy 220.
As an option, take Hwy 60 into Blue Ridge to take US 76 through town.
Take Blue Ridge Hwy for the next leg of the ride.
Hwy 19 south takes you along the Nottely River back up into the mountains towards Vogel State Park to Vogel Overlook.
Upon reaching Lark Gap, the rest of the ride is downhill to Hwy 129.
After a couple of turn before getting back to Stonepile gap, you will ride back into Dahlonega to end the loop.
What Does The Ocala National Forest Loop Have To Offer?
Ocala National Forest Loop offers a great deal of open road riding.
The route from Brooksville to Leesburg has several points of interest with this central Florida escape.
The ride is approximately 202 mile (4:18 hours) to complete the Ocala National Forest Loop.
The route shown assume that Palatka, FL is the starting point after traveling down I-95 south; however, taking I-75 southdown to Hawthorne would work better.
For the sake of simplicity, we will start from Palatka.
Starting on Hwy 19 South towards Salt Springs, is the first leg of the journey.
You can expect to see beautiful lakes, forests, and wetlands since this route in thinly populated.
The open road will make you what to open up the throttle a little.
After passing through Salt Springs, you will venture further south on Hwy 19 to South Bay Street in Eustis.
At this point in the ride, we are going to jump on Hwy 441 to Hwy 44 in Leesburg.
If you have time to burn, stop over in Leesburg and take in some sites.
Leesburg offers a fair number of city tours, wineries & vineyards, and parks.
According to Trip Advisor a visit to the Zephaniah Farm Vineyard is a winner.
You will stay on Hwy 44 and merge on to I-75 North to Exit 352 (Hwy 40) towards Ocala.
At which time, you will take Hwy 301North.
Hwy 301 will take you through Citra, Island Grove, and Lochloosa as you make your way to Hawthorne.
The final leg of the trip is on Hwy 20 back to Palatka. Not a bad day’s journey, eh?
What Do You Need To Know Before taking A Road Trip
Preparation for a road trip is a primary step for a safe and exhilarating trip.
Planning your stops allows you to mange your time and pack numerous adventures into you escape.
The first step is to plot out your route.
Find the main destinations with attractions where you may want to stop.
Measure you riding to to each destination or route change.
Be sure to include rest plenty of stops.
If you cannot make a route in a single day, be sure to plan for overnight lodging.
For example, if you over stay at a stop and your daylight is limited.
Where are you prepared to stay for the night?
Night riding is not recommended, so avoid it if possible.
Start fresh the next day to remain safe and rested.
In the event that you know you are stopping over night at a popular destination, make reservations ahead of time.
Pack several high energy snacks and water/drinks for those long stretches where you may decide to take an unexpected break/breakdown.
Remember to be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.
How To Prep Your Motorcycle For A Road Trip
You can start prepping your motorcycle by checking your tires.
Do the tires require replacing now; will you have to change them during the trip; or will they last for the amount of milage planned?
Ensure that the drive system is up to the task.
Inspect belt, chain, and sprockets for wear. For riders with chains, bring lube to periodically lube the chain during gas stops.
Get a tune-up and fresh lubricants and new filters if it is close to time for servicing.
Taking care of the bike allows the bike to take care of you.
Again, look at the safety tips offered by the Reader’s Digest.
Remember, you never have too much information.
So that concludes our breakdown on my bucket list’s 3 scenic motorcycle rides for enthusiasts.
Each route, Tail of The Dragon Loop, The Chattahoochee National Forest Loop, and The Ocala National Forest Loop are exciting routes according to bikers.
Take safety very serious as the success of your ride depends on it.
You cannot control the actions of other drivers; however, you can stay aware of your surrounding.
Evasive maneuvers can be required at a moments notice. Stay on top of things.
Hope you take the opportunity to ride somewhere before winter strikes.
And I close out by saying, we need what we need!
If we keep our minds right, we can keep our bodies tight!
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To your success and growth,
Founder of The Squirrelly Biker
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