Motorcycle Road Trips

When it comes to riding motorcycles, you don’t ever need a reason, you just need a destination. But if you’re like most dedicated riders, you’ve already ridden your Royal Star Venture or your FJR1300A–whatever you ride–on all the obvious routes in your area, and been on all the best roads. And while, to a large extent, on a motorcycle, the journey is the destination, it’s fun nevertheless to have an objective or a theme for your ride.

Fortunately, there is one simple way to break the old mindset and open your eyes to new explorations, even in your own well-covered neck of the woods. They’re called “auto trails” and they’re a legacy of the early years of the 20th Century when roads were first being connected to create what became highways. Today, the remnants of the old auto trails stand out as interesting street names all over the country. St. Louis has King’s Highway; Lincoln, Nebraska, has the Cornhusker Highway; and Virginia has the Stonewall Jackson Highway. Similar roads are found in most places, but nowadays most people have no idea of their origin, their route, or how they came to have these names. What better way to explore, ride different routes, and learn a little history at the same time than to do some research on some of these old routes in your area and then retrace them.

Nationally, it’s a big thing these days to retrace the route of old Route 66. You can do the same thing in your own backyard, or you can chart your own cross-country trip on a road far less traveled than “get your kicks” ride.

Let’s take a look at some of what’s out there. You can do this yourself just by searching for “auto trails.” Please note that much of the information you’ll find is scant, including perhaps only the name and the two ends of the route. In other cases, there is a lot of information about the road’s origin, the towns along the way, the current highway numbers that comprise the route, and more.

Lackawanna Trail — This auto trail runs from Binghamton, NY, to Delaware, NJ. Starting out as a railroad roadbed, it became a highway after the train was moved to a different route.

The Lakes-to-Sea Highway — Beginning in Erie, PA, this road that was also known as the “Ship to Shore Highway” terminates at Atlantic City. It passed through Harrisburg and Philadelphia on its way. The Massachusetts-Champlain Highway — Information is sketchy about this road but its terminals were Boston and Rouses Point, NY. The George Washington Highway — This collection of roads ran from Washington, DC, to St. Louis.

Don’t confuse it with the George Washington National Highway, which ran from Marshall, MO, to Seattle. The Horseshoe Trail — Here’s a route that winds through New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Elmira, NY, is one terminus, Cumberland, MD, is the other, and it passes through Williamsport, Lock Haven, Bellefonte, State College, Altoona, and Bedford in Pennsylvania along the way.

The Capitol Trail — From Philadelphia to Atlanta, this road crosses through Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina on its route. While some of the towns on the route are known, you could find it interesting doing the research to figure out where it goes in a couple of those states. So you get the point. These examples don’t even scratch the surface. There are opportunities for exploration all around you, and what better way to add extra interest to your next ride than to go see a bit of the past and what changes over the years have wrought. Enjoy the ride!

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by AWS
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap