by Rick Wilson,
The latest industry reports compiled by HighBeam Business reveal motorcycling remains one of the nation’s most popular forms of recreation and transportation. The number of bike enthusiasts is comparable to the number of people who take part in activities such as golfing, fishing and camping.
According to MSN Autos, more and more women of all ages are said to be coming to the sport for pure enjoyment and for an inexpensive, environmentally sound way to travel.
If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, why not go for a ride that will allow you to see some of the nation’s beautiful fall foliage? Viewing the brilliant array of colors from the seat of a motorcycle on an idyllic mountain road offers an unsurpassed experience for all types of riders. As most states require helmets, make sure you have all the gear you need before heading out. Products such as Bike Bandit motorcycle helmets are often discounted in what’s considered the off season, making now a good time to find bargains.
Denver to Cripple Creek
Colorado is well-known for its incredibly scenic mountain roads that are ideal for motorcycles. Views of rich red and gold nature colors are enough of a reason to trek out. While Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular destination for fall foliage, there are many less crowded routes that are no less spectacular.
Instead of following the herd, consider this 224-mile roundtrip journey to Cripple Creek. Once you reach Highway 67, you’ll find plenty of switchback turns, as well as picture-postcard scenes around almost every corner. When the Sangre de Cristo Mountains come into view, pull over at one of the many turn-outs, as OurColoradoNews.com recommends. Breathe in the crisp, cool air and gaze out at the landscape painted with fiery reds, golden yellows and glowing orange hues.
Arriving at your destination, you’ll find lots of casinos housed in Victorian-era buildings, museums and other attractions, as well as an array of hiking trails all lined with the colorful shades of autumn. The Golden Loop Historic Parkway connects this 1880s gold rush town with its smaller sibling, Victor, according to its site VictorColorado.com. There are no casinos here, but you may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time with very little development and plenty of historic character.
Back in Denver, participating in all types of fun fall activities is possible with Elitch Gardens (ElitchGardens.com), the city’s premier amusement park transformed into a “scream park” for Halloween, complete with haunted houses, ghosts, ghouls, and zombies. At Anderson Farms just north of Denver, enjoy a fall festival that runs from late September through October 31, featuring the longest running pumpkin patch, a corn maze and much more.
Portland, Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge
This scenic drive from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge offers a dazzling show of reds, yellows and oranges, set among dozens of cascading waterfalls. This route spans across northern Oregon from the mouth of the Sandy River to the Deschutes River, along the Columbia Historic Highway for a 140-mile round trip journey.
Visiting GuideToOregon.com reveals how this is a breathtakingly beautiful trip anytime of the year, but autumn truly brings out its best. Wind through the small towns of Springdale and Corbett, where you’ll start to see peek-a-boo views of Mount Hood, as well as the magnificent Columbia River. Switchbacks will take you to Crown Point State Park for a picture-perfect photo op.
If you make this trip anytime between October 18 through October 20 in 2013, visit Hood River, which is about about 60 miles east of Portland. Catch its annual Harvest Festival featuring local produce, food products, arts and crafts, wine and beer tasting, art vendors, live music, and more.
Idaho’s Teton Scenic Byway
The Teton Scenic Byway begins on Highway 31 at Swan Valley and heads Northeast, ultimately ending in Ashton, Idaho, as TetonValleyChamber.com reveals. This 137-mile round trip adventure takes riders through the quiet west side of the Teton Mountain Range. Here, you’ll probably find more wildlife than people, as an abundance of elk, deer, bald eagles, and other animals are set among brilliant fall foliage.
The ever-present towering Tetons, set against the frequent bright blue skies and painted with the golds and reds of the aspens, create a canvas that rivals any prized painting.
Towns along the way, such as Victor and Tetonia, are known for offering genuine small town hospitality. World-famous Jackson Hole, just 20 miles east of Victor, is filled with upscale eateries, art galleries and numerous attractions, according to JacksonHole.net.
Central Adirondack Byway, New York
This awe-inspiring drive through the Adirondacks of New York stretches for 153 miles from Glen Falls to Rome across the center of the Adirondack Park in Northern New York, according to VisitAdirondacks.com. The drive winds along the shores of Lake George and the Hudson River, passing through Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake. Discover a colorful burst of reds, purples and yellows in a region known for one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the nation.
Take a break from the long ride by hiking on one of the numerous trailheads throughout the area with the chance to see deer, moose and even bears.
Through mid-October, the Adirondack Museum (Adkmuseum.org) in Blue Mountain Lake, known as the “Smithsonian of the Adirondacks,” hosts a series of fall festivals, with a variety of exhibits to celebrate the season.