8 of the Best Riding Destinations for Beginners

As a new rider, you’ve probably spent plenty of time cruising around town and practicing turns in empty parking lots, but now you’re ready for more. When it’s time to truly experience the freedom of the open road, you’ll have a variety of scenic routes across the country to choose from. To get you started, Cycle Trader has a list of eight of the best riding destinations for beginners. The routes selected are all 100 miles or less, making them less taxing for new riders.

1. Beartooth Highway

Check off a route that’s on many motorcyclists’ bucket lists when you ride along the Beartooth Highway. Begin your ride at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park then travel 68 miles to Red Lodge, Montana. Along the way, you’ll journey across the Wyoming-Montana state line with a full, panoramic view of the mountains and shimmering alpine lakes.

2. Cherohala Skyway

Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile scenic byway from Robbinsville, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee. New riders can take on elevations of up to 5,400 feet as they wind through the mountains and wooded backcountry. If you need a break along the way, pull off the road to one of the scenic overlooks offering sweeping, unobstructed views.

3. Georgia’s Dragon

Georgia’s Dragon is a chance for you, as a beginning rider, to put your riding skills to the test. This route boasts two loops, six gaps, and 715 curves, with changing elevations, through 77 miles of north Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the highlights of Georgia’s Dragon is The Suches Loop, with twists and turns of varying difficulty levels.

4. Kancamagus Highway

Climb your cruiser up to new elevations within White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire along the Kancamagus Highway. This 34.5-mile drive, traveling east to west, offers one of the most popular rides on the East Coast for fall foliage, but you can enjoy the remarkable views of the White Mountains, Lower Falls, Rocky Gorge, and Swift River throughout the year.

5. Pig Trail Scenic Byway

Enjoy a scenic ride through the rugged Boston Mountains, located within Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. This roadway is perfect for viewing the fall colors, but the Pig Trail has stunning views of nature year-round. If you’re looking for a longer ride after taking on this 19-mile trip, the Pig Trail is located near three of Arkansas’ other scenic byways.

6. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

South Dakota’s Black Hills is one of the most popular riding destinations in the country, especially in August during the renowned Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Beginner riders can enjoy the scenery of this destination along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. In less than an hour, new riders can tour this 19-mile stretch of road lined with mesmerizing rock formations.

7. Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap

Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap is one of the country’s most-visited destinations for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts. In just 11 miles, you can zip your sportbike around the 318 curves on Tennessee’s U.S. 129. As a new rider, you’ll certainly have the thrill of a lifetime as you hug these tight turns that border Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains.

8. Tunnel of Trees

You’ll be enveloped by a forest of hardwood trees as you ride from Harbor Springs to Cross Village on Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees. This 20-mile route on M-119 boasts sharp twists at Devil’s Elbow and Horseshoe Curve, while the rest of the ride is more relaxing. The two-lane roadway hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline, offering plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery from the bluffs.

Now that you know where to go, start planning your first motorcycle road trip. Before you navigate these motorcycle destinations, take some time to evaluate your skill level to make sure you’re up for any hairpin turns or more rugged roadways.

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