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50 Shades of Fall: 4 Scenic Motorcycle Tours to Take this Month

by Donald Somers

Whether you ride for beauty or adrenaline, autumn is a great time for motorcycle touring. Amid cool breezes and gorgeous foliage, you can take hairpin turns at exhilarating speeds or make frequent stops to dally in restaurants, shops and roadside attractions. Knowing where to go for extraordinary views and experiences is important, and the best roads can be found both in well-known areas and in hidden spots.

Phantom Canyon Road, Colorado

Photo by JERRY AND ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikimedia Commons

An adventurous ride for the modern thrill-seeker, Phantom Canyon Road is a detour off the more well-known Gold Belt Scenic and Historic Byway. You'll see awe-inspiring landscapes as you navigate between and over canyon walls. The area was once home to the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad and still sports some evidence and scars associated with abandoned ghost towns.

You can find Phantom Creek Road about an hour south of Colorado Springs. Access to the route is available from Highway 67 on the north end or Highway 115 on the south end. Phantom Creek Road is a rough route meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace, so ride carefully, and make sure you have the right gear. Riding with the right gear and motorcycle tires will ensure you're ready to tackle any trail.

Farm and Heartland, Pennsylvania

Photo by Nicholas via WIkimedia Commons

For scenery without the twists and turns of mountain roads, consider a leisurely ride through the heart of Pennsylvania. There are dozens of routes to choose from, and you can plan your ride with the help of Consider starting in Harrisburg, Pa., and taking one of the outlying country roads for a short, scenic loop that takes you an hour out of the city and brings you back again in time for lunch.

If you're looking for something with a bit more historic value, consider taking SR 3008, known as Couchtown Road, through the countryside near Centre County. You'll drive through a lovely covered bridge, which is the perfect spot for a quick photograph or two.

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Photo by Hugh Morton, Smart Destinations via Wikimedia Commons

Asheville, N.C., is a great hub for motorcycle touring. From the visitor's center in Asheville, you can access several gorgeous fall rides, including both a north and south route on the infamous Blue Ridge Parkway.

To travel north from Asheville, take a right out of the visitor's center and travel on Montrose Avenue until you go over the bridge, and then take a left on Haywood. Go left on I-240 E, and take the exit for Charlotte Street (5B). Go right out of the exit, turn left on College, and left again on Town Mountain Road. Travel on Town Mountain Road through increasing scenery for six miles, and then turn left on the Parkway. Continue touring north to see sites like Mount Mitchell, which is the highest peak on this side of the Mississippi.

Bluegrass Twists, Kentucky

Photo by Peter Fitzgerald via Flickr

Mix adventure and leisure with the twists of a Kentucky bluegrass road. Start southeast of Cincinnati in the town of Alexandria, which is just off Highway 27. In Alexandria, drive southeast on Main Street, which is also KY-10 E. Follow the signs for KY-10 E all the way to Maysville, which is a 57-mile route through four counties. Although you'll travel through a few residential spots, most of this route is in the country with a decent speed limit of 55 miles per hour and plenty of curves to get the adrenaline pumping.

Donald Somers Don is an auto mechanic and father of four from Tallahassee, Florida.

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