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Top 9 Motorcycle Rides with the Best Fall Foliage

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You’re probably ready for the summer heat to die down in exchange for sweater weather, hot apple cider and, of course, seeing the leaves change from deep greens to vibrant yellows, oranges and reds. While fall has a different meaning for every state in the U.S., there are many beautiful places you can go to view the breathtaking change of seasons. In fact, a road trip with stunning fall motorcycle rides might be just what you need before settling in for the holidays. 

If you’ve always been a leaf peeper, then we have a fall foliage list you’ll love. Wherever you are in the U.S., there is a breathtaking autumn experience waiting for you. Pack up your RV and take your motorcycle with you to get the full effect of fall this year.

1. Shenandoah National Park, VA

motorcycle rides

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Shenandoah National Park is an epic fall foliage destination for one of your next motorcycle rides. Within the park is Skyline Drive, known as one of the most scenic mountain drives in the state. Let your bike take you under the canopy of red Virginia creeper vines, yellow-orange hickories and violet dogwoods.

2. Olympic Peninsula, WA

Rev your engine in Seattle, Washington and ride your motorcycle along the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Take the 350-mile route and spot elk, cranes and sea otters under the stunning fall foliage. You may think that autumn only happens in the Midwest and on the East Coast, but Washington will quickly change your mind. You can also hike to see the 90-foot Marymere Falls or admire Sitka spruces at Cape Flattery.

3. Lake Michigan, MI

Start in Traverse City and make your way down 100 miles of Lake Michigan’s northeastern shores to find charming coves, heaping sand dunes and small fishing towns. In the fall, crimson-hued oak and maple leaves contrast green spruce, pine and fir trees. You can make a pit stop at Inspiration Point, the 19th century Grand Traverse Lighthouse or the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore while you’re there. If you’re going toward the end of autumn, make sure to visit Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm for apple picking of over 200 varieties.

4. Moosehead Lake Region, ME

For one of the best fall motorcycle rides, visit the stunning foliage of Maine’s largest lake, Moosehead Lake. To ensure you catch the leaves changing, check out Maine’s foliage updates ahead of time. Located on the shores of the lake, Rockwood is a great pit-stop before spending the night in Greenville. In the morning, ride your motorcycle beneath the spectacular tree canopies lining Greenville’s logging roads.

5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

As the most visited national park in the U.S., Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. For the best leaf peeping, start at the top of “Ole Smoky” and ride down the mountainside to reach Cades Cove. Zoom past golden-yellow beech and birch trees, as well as fiery red mountain ash, cherry and mountain maples. There’s an 11-mile loop around Cades Cove that brims with bright foliage amongst waterfalls and other panoramic views.

6. Gunnison-Crested Butte, CO

motorcycle ridesCome to Gunnison-Crested Butte in Colorado to find the country’s largest aspen grove full of gold, orange and crimson changing leaves. On the West Elk Loop, you can ride south past the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park between Montrose and Gunnison. You will not only see spectacular foliage, but also magnificent mountain views and canyon drop-offs.

7. Eastern Sierras, CA

You might choose to go all the way west to the Eastern Sierras of California for some leaf peeping motorcycle rides this fall. The Eastern Sierra mountains contain gorgeous alpine lakes and gushing waterfalls, as well as striking displays of yellow willows, orange aspens and red cottonwoods. You can travel from Lundy Lake to Mono Lake or visit the Mammoth Lakes to see a whole new side of California’s lush landscape.

8. The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, NM

If you’re looking to do some leaf peeping in the southwest this fall, head toward the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway in New Mexico. To see aspens ranging from vibrant golds to burnt oranges, make a loop from Taos to Eagle Nest to Angel Fire and back again. Your motorcycle will take you through purple cinquefoil and crimson cottonwoods, and you may spot a black bear or elk along the way.

9. The Driftless Region, WI

You can also head to the Midwest for stunning fall foliage driving routes, especially in The Driftless Region of Wisconsin. The region is a winding loop that starts and ends at Mineral Point with spectacular sumac and maple leaves streaking the hillsides. Don’t miss the twisted oak and wild hickory leaves display as you ride past the loop’s river valleys.


Before any road trip, it’s best to make sure you have the right insurance. Your RV needs Specialty RV Insurance and your motorcycle needs Motorcycle Insurance. Your regular Auto Insurance won’t sufficiently cover either vehicle. To find out what insurance coverage is right for you, speak with an Insurance Specialist at (866) 501-7335.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only. It does not represent contractual agreements. It is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.