Many people say fall is the perfect time to explore New England on two wheels. You have the chance to see leaves changing color from vibrant green to warm oranges, yellows and reds, while the temperatures are comfortably cool.

The crowds have thinned, beaches and their surrounding communities are still open and the frigid coastal winds have yet to arrive. What could be better? Check out some of the region’s most road trip-worthy destinations.

Fall Riding Safety

colorful fall foliageBefore an autumn motorcycle ride, it’s important to think about safety. The changing leaves are beautiful to see, but once they fall from the trees and gather on the road, leaves becomes dangerous.

Riders should be on the lookout for piles of dry leaves that could be covering hazardous road conditions like potholes. Always be looking at the road ahead and make sure to steer around any piles.

Wet leaves are another danger. Your motorcycle could lose traction with the road if your tires make contact with a slick surface. Also be sure to slow down and maneuver around wet piles of leaves.

In addition, watch for other motorists who may be taking in the scenery and not see your bike. Always make eye contact before proceeding at an intersection and dress to make yourself visible to others.

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire

Commonly called “The Kanc”, this highway cutting through the White Mountains leads outdoor enthusiasts right to hiking and ski trails. It covers roughly 34 miles of canopy-like foliage that lines the winding road and passes through many small towns. September through October is peak foliage season here, so schedule your itinerary before frost sets in.

Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts

This scenic route officially starts on the New York border, then takes you 60 miles through the Berkshires. It’s a day’s journey that wanders by some of the region’s best sights to enjoy the panoramic scenery. Along the way, you’ll ride by 18th and 19th century homes and bridges to stop and admire.

State Route 169, Connecticut

Winding through Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, this route goes from Jewett City to the Massachusetts border. The relatively rural section takes you through quintessential New England landscape: Maple trees turning bright shades of red alongside tall, majestic pines, old stone walls and structures dating back nearly 200 years.

Route 100, Vermont

This scenic byway takes you from the Massachusetts border, through Vermont into Canada. The route runs alongside the Green Mountains with beautiful, panoramic views where you may actually see the foliage changing in real time. You’ll spot more green in the Southern part of the state and as you travel farther north, the colors gradually turn up the intensity.

Cape Ann, Massachusetts

The “other Cape” lies north of Boston, right on top of Massachusetts Bay. Another seaside retreat, its crowds tend to thin out by summer’s end and come fall, its beaches, fishing villages and nearby woods feel practically your own. Many riders turn Cape Ann into a stop for exploration and overnight rest before heading north to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

Route 7, Connecticut

On the other side of the state, Route 7 serves as the gateway to the Litchfield Hills. Starting just above Danbury, it’s the prime local spot for leaf-peeping and winding through many off-the-beaten-path towns. This route is also known for its covered bridges dating back to the 19th century, including Bulls Bridge in Kent and Cornwall Bridge in West Cornwall.

Route 1, Maine

Maine is generally known for its expansive wilderness and extensive, rugged coastline. Route 1 outlines the latter, getting you close to its jagged peninsulas, long, sandy beaches and roughly 60 lighthouses. Seaside towns are a great place to stop, stretch your legs and grab some seafood. Depending on how far you travel, you may pass by Acadia National Park – New England’s only national park!
 
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