6 Great Motorcycle Road Trips in Texas
Many motorcyclists begin to view the roads they travel very differently than people driving cars. The experience of riding in the open air on a good road is very different than taking the same route in a car. Somehow the world seems to open up more, rather than being distanced by the effect of being insulated inside the cab of an automobile.
When I've gotten outside of the city and stumbled across an area where the roads are good and the scenery is nice, I almost invariably think about how it would make a cool area to ride my motorcycle. So I started doing some research to find a few great places around the Lone Star State to ride, and unsurprisingly there are quite a few areas all over Texas that come highly recommended for a motorcycle road trip. Here are a few worth checking out.
6. Three Sisters (or The 100 Mile Loop) About 100 miles northwest of San Antonio is a series of roads widely considered to be the best Texas has to offer for experienced motorcyclists looking for a scenic road trip. It is possible to take a journey beginning and ending in the town of Leakey - a trek full of twisting roads through beautiful and rustic Central Texas landscape. The trip consists of panoramic views, through canyons and hills, and is not recommended for inexperienced riders. There are a handful of stops along the way that motorcyclists will find interesting, including a motorcycle museum, making the trip ideal for riders with a decent amount of riding experience under their belts.
5. Willow City Loop A few miles outside of Fredricksburg in Central Texas is the Willow City Loop, a beautifully scenic 20 mile ride starting in the tiny town of Willow City. The loop will take riders up and around beautiful hills, and the trip is a destination for people who enjoy wildflowers, as they are particularly noteworthy in the area. There are a couple of bars catering to motorcyclists in the area, and the trip is a pretty one. Riders are cautioned to watch out for cattle on the road, as well as areas with cattle guards and other potential road hazards, and to be aware that sightseers in cars will sometimes jam up the area.
4. Farm to Market Road 149 Just west of Montgomery is about 30 miles of twisting road that cuts through the edges of Sam Houston National Forest, providing motorcyclists with a scenic ride through some beautiful pines, before the journey gives way to hilly fields, which are great for seeing wild flowers when they're in bloom. There are enough places to stop to eat or stretch one's legs along the ride to make it a pleasant one for a motorcyclist with an intermediate level of skill.
3. Sam Houston National Forest Trails Owners of dirt bikes can also enjoy the natural beauty of the Sam Houston National Forest, as there are 85 miles of marked trails open for their use near the northeastern and northwestern areas of Lake Conroe. The trails go through the lush forested park and over many bridges, making for a fun day on two wheels, and only costs $5 per person per day to ride them. Most of the rides on this list are for road bikes, but the Sam Houston National Forest is beautiful, and makes for a great ride for any owner of a dirt bike.
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2. Farm Market Road 170 Presidio County
Starting in the tiny far western community of Candelaria is Farm Road 170, a highway which offers adventurous motorcyclists the opportunity to travel a little over one hundred miles along the Texas border. 170 is also known to locals as "The River Road," because part of it skirts along the U.S. Side of the Rio Grande River. The road winds its way through some scenic areas of West Texas, including ghost towns and a portion of Big Bend Ranch State Park. The latter part of the journey is through a more mountainous area which includes steep inclines and sharp turns. This trip is considered by some to be one of the cooler motorcycle routes in Texas, which is impressive considering just how many great ones there are here.
1. Galveston Seawall Through Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Adventurous riders can ride their motorcycles down I-45 all the way to Galveston Island and cruise along the Seawall for a nice break from Houston. I won't lie and say that the freeway trip out of Houston is a lot of fun, but once a person gets on the road out of Houston, things change quickly. There's always been something magical to me about the fact that our city is located so closely to the ocean, and my mood always changes for the better when I get to the coast for the day. In my opinion, there's no better way to travel along that coastline than on a motorcycle, on a nice day. With a little planning, a person can make their way from the Seawall until they find County Road 227, which will lead them through the coastal prairies and marshes of the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge". They can then get back to 45 and head back to the Houston area, creating a large loop from the trip.
One of the best things about living in Texas is its sheer size and the very distinct regions it encompasses. Containing everything from pine forests and swampland to mountainous areas that look like a setting for a Spaghetti Western, coastal areas, and the hilly regions of Central Texas, this state has all sorts of areas to explore on a motorcycle. Since there are roads snaking all over, it is possible to see most of it and this list is really just a short one, as the possibilities are almost endless, and only limited by individual taste. Whether a rider wants to travel from Austin to Enchanted Rock, or Houston to Lake Summerville, Texas has plenty of places to see while feeling the wind in your face on the back of a motorcycle.
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