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Top Tips For Planning Your Bucket List Ride

Tips For Riding in the Rain

Top Midwest Rides

We’ve hit you with our lists of the top East Coast and West Coast rides and now it’s time to give the Midwest a little love. Yes, America’s Heartland is filled with expansive farmland and agriculture, but that’s not all it offers. The Midwest also offers bikers winding roads that seem to go on forever, quaint pit stops, and stunning scenery – sounds like a perfect day for any rider. Check out some of our favorite spots to take a ride in the Midwest.

Tunnel of Trees (Michigan)

The Great Lake state is home to amazing routes for riders and the M-119 AKA the Tunnel of Trees is no exception. On this iconic route, you can expect to see coastline, small towns, and abundant forests. The narrow 16-mile road begins in Harbor Springs and ends in Cross Village. This ride is stunning during every season, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing. This route is rated among one of the most scenic in the nation. There are a few sharp turns near Devil’s Elbow on this road so keep that in mind while riding. Along the way there are many places to make a pit stop to enjoy a meal or just to take in the views.

The Triple Nickel (Ohio)

The Triple Nickel is a part of Athen’s County “Windy 9” Driving and Riding Trails located on Route 555. The Triple Nickel has famous curves full of rolling hills, farmland, and you’ll even pass through a portion of Wayne National Forest. There are many challenging twists and turns on this road which is great for sport or sport touring bikes. There is occasionally loose gravel on the ride and a few blind turns so take your time and keep a watchful eye.
Image: Moto Adventurer

Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway (South Dakota)

This 18-mile loop will excite any rider who wants to see some amazing wildlife. Take this ride in the morning and you are bound to see buffalo, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and so much more. Many travel through this park by car, so be mindful of where the animals are in proximity to your bike and be careful not to spook them. Make sure to slow down and enjoy the sights, as the views on this route aren’t something you see every day. You will need a state park pass to go through this route or you will need to pay a small entrance fee. We feel the fee is well worth the ride – don’t forget your camera.

Image: South Dakota Tourism

Shawnee National Forest (Illinois)

The Shawnee National Forest is located in Southeastern Illinois and provides riders with incredible scenery including numerous caves, lakes, and cypress swamps. The area is referred to as the Illinois Ozarks and comes complete with winding twists and turns perfect for riding. You will want to watch for waterfalls that are near the roads in the springtime. For the most part Illinois is known to be very flat, with a lot of farmland but in the forest there are many incredible rock formations that you won’t want to miss in an area of the park called Garden of the Gods.

Image: Wikipedia

North Shore Tour (Minnesota)

Minnesota’s North Shore Tour is a 154-mile ride perfect for those looking to connect with nature. This ride begins in Duluth and you just take US Highway 61 North until you reach the U.S. / Canadian border. You’ll pass beautiful shoreline scenery along with rivers and waterfalls. This route has gentle curves great for beginners or anyone who is looking for a calm ride. This trip is best taken in July, August, or early September before the cold hits Minnesota. There are tons of great stops to take on this route so you’re sure to be entertained.

Image: Breezy on Superior 

In our opinion, the Midwest shouldn’t just be considered the “fly over states” – we think they have some pretty awesome rides for motorcyclists that should be explored. Are you planning on taking a ride in the Midwest sometime soon? What are you favorite routes. Let us know below.

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Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the recreational brands RV Trader and Cycle Trader. Her mission is to provide thoughtful, practical content to those who are always on the hunt for their next adventure.

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2 Responses

  1. I have been on a couple of those roads and they are pretty nice rides. However there are several other rides in the midwest that are pretty great. Nebraska Hwy 12 is a nice run. Also the ride up to Copper Harbor in MI is very scenic. I'm sure there are many more if any of the other riders in the area would care to comment.

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