Taking on a winding road is one of the best parts of being a biker. You become one with your ride as you crank back the throttle and navigate the twists and turns. Grab your gear, fuel up your bike and get ready to head out on a great road trip. Anyone can hop behind the wheel of a car and drive around looking at scenery. Only a biker can understand the magic of leaning into the curves while the wind rushes over you.
Take a Legendary Ride or Cruise Off the Beaten Path
The almost mystical sensation of riding intensifies when you take on a stretch of winding road. One such road passes along the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and it’s called Tail of the Dragon. Another option runs through north central Ohio’s Mohican State Park and Ohio’s Amish Country. These are both great trips for bikers, because riding the Dragon’s Tail gives an advanced rider some prime bragging rights, and the trip through Ohio lets bikers of any skill level enjoy the fun of riding through lots of twists and turns.
Stunning Views at the Legendary Tail of the Dragon
First up is the legendary Tail of the Dragon, which boasts a total of 318 curves in an 11 mile stretch of road. It follows the southwest border of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and the scenery is as stunning as the curves. It’s easy to navigate the pull-offs on a motorcycle, so take advantage of that. Take your camera and make a stop at the Calderwood Dam Overlook to take in the natural beauty and snap some keepsake photos.
Sharing the Dragon’s Tail Stretch of Road
Expect to encounter some traffic on this popular stretch of road. It’s important to maintain your focus, so you’re able to avoid over-braking and eating asphalt. This is a popular path for bikes and cars, and you might also see some light truck traffic. It’s common for drivers of oncoming vehicles to flash headlights as a courtesy warning that you’re headed into slow traffic or other obstacles in the road.
Refreshments and Souvenirs
Grab a bite to eat or a cool drink at Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort before heading down this winding road. This is a great opportunity to hang out with others who love riding. Take pictures of the scenery or the infamous Tree of Shame while you’re there at the resort, and enjoy lunch at one of the picnic tables with friends. Enjoy the motorcycle statues and the view of bikes parked in front of the clubhouse and the split rail fence.
Rev Your Engine and Get Ready to Take on The Tail of the Dragon
Most advanced riders take this on as a downhill run for the sheer excitement of it. The downhill run starts at Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort in North Carolina. The road meanders its way downward through a gut-tingling series of hairpin curves and natural beauty, both of which take your breath away. The run ends at a spot known as Parkway, Tennessee. Know your skill level as a rider and set your pace accordingly when you take on the Tail of the Dragon.1
Winding Roads You Won’t Want to Miss in Ohio
If you want to go a bit off the beaten path, plan a ride on some of north central Ohio’s most winding roads. This is a road trip you won’t find detailed on many lists of popular winding roads for motorcycles, but it should be. It’s great for riding in groups when the riders have different skill levels. The relaxed route doesn’t give you the downhill road-racing sensation of spots like the Tail of the Dragon. Instead, it delivers breathtaking views, places to stretch your legs, some great places to shop and really good food.
Mohican State Park
This road trip takes you right through north central Ohio’s Mohican State Park, but the winding roads begin long before you arrive there. Get started by picking up the trail near the town of Mansfield, Ohio on Possum Run Road. Follow the winding Possum Run Road to the south until you reach Bunker Hill Road. Take Bunker Hill to Mohican State Park, and go in at any of the entrances to cruise through one of Ohio’s most beautiful old stand hardwood forests. Mohican is like a biker’s paradise. Riding through Mohican on a motorcycle is kind of like riding a roller coaster. Almost every road in the park is hilly and full of twists and turns.
Ohio’s Amish Country
This trip is about enjoying the feeling of riding your motorcycle on a winding road and making some great memories. No biker’s road trip is complete without some great food and maybe a souvenir or two. Jump onto OH-39 heading southeast, and ride the double yellow line that follows that ribbon of curves through Amish country. You may be tempted to see what your bike can do on this stretch of road, but this is a good spot to ease off on the throttle. Keep it in mind that you’re sharing the road with slow-moving Amish buggies and young Amish people on pedal bikes.
Stretch Your Legs and Do a Little Shopping
If you’re going too fast, you might overlook a shop you would enjoy visiting. Stopping at the little shops in Amish country is an enjoyable way to take a break and stretch your legs if you’re starting to get sore after riding so long. Plus, if you find something you want, most of the shop owners know the road is frequented by bikers, so they have processes to ship your packages home for you. You can shop to your heart’s content, and you don’t have to worry about getting out the bungee cords to strap awkward packages on your bike.
Amish Places to Eat
Stopping for a meal when you’re traveling the highways and byways of this land on your motorcycle gives you a chance to relax and unwind. Consider one of the Amish restaurants, like Der Dutchman, if you want classic comfort food and a tourist’s experience. Amish restaurants are known for hearty food and cordial service. Oh, and the pies. The pies are epic. These spots are frequented by both bikers and cagers.
Biker-Friendly Spots and a Few More Miles of Winding Roads
If you want to grab a bite to eat at a true biker’s spot, head out a little farther on OH-39 until you reach a little crossroads town called Napoleon. Head south on HWY-53 and weave your way through another six miles of curvy road until you reach the town of Glenmont. Right on the main street, you’ll find the Glenmont Tavern. Put your bike up on the center stand, because you’ll want to hang out a while and enjoy the meal and new friends you make.
Relaxing or High-Energy Activities?
This isn’t a one percenter’s club hangout, but it is a spot where bikers hang out. Bikers come from miles around to enjoy the ride and the food at this spot. After dinner, or while you’re waiting, grab a seat on the porch and chat with others who enjoyed the same ride that brought you to the quiet town of Glenmont. For more excitement, hop over to the Tree Frog Canopy Tours facility for some zip-lining before you get back on the road.
Plenty of excitement and vistas are scattered across these two different road trips for bikers, but in the end it all comes down to the experience. That experience comes from the way your bike connects you with the road and your surroundings.