Great Ride. Great Views.
The PA Grand Canyon is an incredible location to ride your motorcycle– no matter what type of bike you ride. On a nice day riders are everywhere, because the roads, trails and scenery in this area of Pennsylvania are awesome for motorcycles. Whether a dual sport, big adventure bikes or even sport bikes and cruisers. I recently rode a ADV bike up there. It was a full day of riding to get there from my house in New Jersey and when I arrived you could hardly find a spot in either of the two relatively large designated motorcycle parking areas. Both areas were packed full of bikes– all types. There must have been 75 bikes there if not more. The majority were cruisers but there were also adventure motorcycles, dual sports and the one that really caught my eye was a cool traveling scooter with traveling soft bags and the whole package. Looked like they were doing some serious cross country travel on the scooter. It is called the PA Grand Canyon by all and the souvenirs and shirts, all tout “PA Grand Canyon” as well, but technically it is the Pine Creek Gorge. And it is beautiful. There are two sides to the Gorge and each is a separate Pennsylvania State Park and, if you are into hiking like I am, the Turkey Trail connects the two parks together. Please note, if hiking the Turkey trail, you will need to cross the Pine creek to hike the whole Turkey trail from one side/park to the other, there is not a bridge and depending on the water table it can be an obstacle.
One side of the gorge is the Leonard Harrison State Park and the other is the Colton Point State Park. The Leonard Harrison side is more popular, as it has a visitor center, food truck, camping, bathhouse, ranger station, running water, and some other signs of a popular destination. The Colton Point side is much more subdued, it offers primitive camping and much more remote, although amenities do include pit toilets. ; ) So it depends on what you are after in your visit to the Pine Creek Gorge.
ADV Motorcycle Camping in Pennsylvania.
I camped on the Leonard Harrison side and it was a great spot, nice trees to hang my hammock tent, and only about a quarter mile from the trail entrance, lookout point and visitor center into the Gorge, campsites were clean and spacious, and the staff was so nice and friendly, for that matter so was everyone up there, visitors I met, as well as a local neighbor who sold me some wood for great price. It was a clear night and the stars were amazing up there, so bright and so many, I forgot how unbelievable the night sky can look when you are nowhere near a city and up in that higher altitude. There is cool phone app called Skyview that lets you identify stars, galaxies and constellations. See Skyview App.
The roads are amazing, twisty, and some steep hills that were like roller coasters on the bike. I advise planning a few days there, one for hiking, one for dual sporting and one for riding the wild PA Grand Canyon roads!
There are so many great roads and trails , but one great road in PA Route 6, also 414, and a cool water crossing at (41.573041, -77.335406), and there are just tons of great dual sport dirt roads and trails to ride around all day on. In short, the great roads and awesome tracks all around the area, make it an overall awesome adventure/dual sport location that you should put on your list to ride.
Awesome Photo courtesy of
Awesome Photo courtesy of
Awesome Photo courtesy of
I forgot to take picture of the onslaught of bikes parked up there at the PA Grand Canyon overlook, so if anyone happens to have a pic of all the bikes that are there on a nice day, please be so kind as to send one along for me to post. (feedback)
Thanks for reading and, as always, ride safe and have fun!
Ricketts Glen State Park is a great place ride your motorcycle to in Pennsylvania. There are some awesome windy roads and great mountains to go up and over. After a day of riding around Benton PA, you have to camp out at Ricketts Glen, they have very nice facilities and best of all a great hike where you will see some beautiful waterfalls.
It is best to make a reservation online prior to just heading up there as they can fill up fast. There is a nice large lake, which as of summer of 2015 was drained for maintenance, so please check if this is important to you. But even if lake is not there you will hike the waterfalls and love your time at Ricketts Glen.
- 22 Waterfalls you can walk around a nice trail to check out.
- The forest service puts on little events and info seminars or walks to educate – a great little amenity
- Pick up Wood before you get to camp as it is not available there and you are no around the corner from well, anything.
Picking up some wood for tonight’s fire.
- 245 Acre lake
- Cabins can be rented as well.
It is a great destination to ride to, there are also snowmobile trails too, so I would assume you can ride your adventure dual sport bike during the warm weather there, but I did not get a chance to check them out.
- Cell service is very spotty or nonexistent in the park.
- There are supposed a lot of bears in the area- although I did not see one.
Here is a link to PA state park info – Click here
Thanks for reading and ride safe!!
Dual sport motorcycle in NJ Pine Barrens
In the most congested state there is is still an area the has not been developed and is great for dual sport and adventure motorcycle the Pinelands. Also know a the Pine Barrens. There are a few state parks that encompass the Pinelands, the largest is Wharton state park, there are plenty of fire roads and dirt roads throughout the pine barrens, plenty of stream crossings and lots of large puddles, unless it hasn’t rained in a while. A couple cool place to check out are Apple Pie Hill – a forest ranger tower that on a clear day you can see Philly and Atlantic City. Batsto village an old glass making town or village that has a great lake , visitors center etc, also ride along the mullica- some great roads there, Atsion Lake and Goshen Pond are a few more areas to explore. There are so many roads and trails that you could spend weeks going through it all and still find cool places to ride.
There are trails for all type of adventure riders, there is a lot of single track, although rumor is Hiking club is trying to stop all single track riding, there are some nice “quad size trails”, say double track, these are my favorite, and of course there are dirt roads that are not inundated with sand that the big Adv bikes will love. So bike choice, small dual sport, 250cc-400cc for single track, KLR or DR 650-ish bikes for medium trails and sandy forest roads are perfect, and big bikes are best on the forest roads and some packed trails/roads. Okay, Okay, I hear you yelling, now there is always the exception, where you can ride your big bike down a single track that is a blast and fun but that is the exception not the general rule when riding the Pines. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of miles to ride and explore in the Pines, and there it would take a number of days to see just get the highlights. Always a nice serene place to ride, that I ride often.
Couple tips when riding in the Pines:
- Make sure you are running low pressure and knobbies as there is a ton of sand, but it is a great time.
- If you stop for lunch our in the bush- bring bug spray they grow mosquitos big in NJ
- Always ride with a buddy
- Plan you ride, ride you plan (I know that goes against the adventure spirit)
- Let a loved one know where you are planning to go.
- Bring your GPS, as cell service works but it’s not very strong
- Remember some areas of the Pines cell service is limited or nonexistent
- There can be some deep and big puddles, be careful
- Watch out for the Jersey devil!
And after it rains there are some serious puddles!
[message type=”Be Warned”]Supposedly Rangers are cracking down on single track riding in the Pines, and they have released a “Motorized Access Plan” or MAP for roads that one can be one. Here is Wharton State park’s “MAP” Map that shows legal roads for motor Vehicles.
Click on Wharton State Forest map to see larger version or see original on NJ website here.
Get your very own NJ ADV Pine Barrens Sticker – click the image below:
The Trans-America Trail, or TAT for short, is a American dual sport dream ADV ride across the US of A! It is a mix of dirt roads, farm roads, back roads, trails, and forest roads that go from southeast Tennessee and ends in southwest Oregon. And just like the TCAT, Trans-Canada Highway or many other long routes it can be broken down into sections or parts for shorter expeditions. As many of us don’t have a month or so to explore all that is offered on the TAT trail.
TAT or Trans-America Trail – An Adventure Motorcycle Ride Across the back roads and trails of the USA!
The TAT was originally mapped out by Sam Correro and he runs the website – http://www.transamtrail.com/ where you can get maps/gps files of the Trans-America Trail. Now Sam Correro, is respected as the father of the TAT trail, but many other passionate Adventure riders have extended the TAT and have improved the trail system even further by offering routes for different class adventure bikes. See ADV bike classes. And have also mapped out a complete coast to coast route as Sam’s route didn’t quite reach the east coast. So it is safe to say the TAT is a living growing trail system that many are now involved in making an amazing trans American route.
If you are interested in riding the TAT, another site that offers the maps and gps files for the TAT is gpsKEvin, see here. There is some controversy as to the ethics of gpsKevin’s offering these routes, many if not all gps files, after Sam has done so much of the leg work. gpsKevin’s initial take was “open-source” view where the trail and gps route is free to ride, but many feel it is a slight to the father of the TAT– now I believe the gps files are no longer free but he is charging for a MicroSD card for your GPS which obviously include his tracks. There is some concern that gpsKevin’s route may take riders across private land, where the land owner’s are not happy about the trespassing.
Another source for TAT route is TATtracks which takes Kevin’s route, but rerouted around all the private property, blocked roads, and closed gas stations. and best of all it’s free.
I’ll let you do your own due diligence and decide your own viewpoint on this one, but it is safe to say riding across America on an adventure bike will give you a taste of America from a real roots level.
And also check out the Big Dog who has rode many parts of the TAT and has a lot of great stuff on his site. http://www.bigdogadventures.com/
So get out there and Ride the TAT and explore the true America the ultimate way– on a motorcycle!
WorldCrosser has uniquely USA themed Trans-America Trail (TAT) stickers in stock.
Show off with a cool USA themed TAT sticker today.
as well as TAT vinyl decals too . . .
make sure stop at hot dog johnny’s
motorcycle lunch spot nj route 46