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!
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:
Another great route by Sam C, through the great state of Mississippi. It is 505 mile loop, half up and half back.
It is a remote, rugged and realistic adventure for anyone living here in the states. Accomodations are rustic, and feul is limited so plan accordingly and read up on this great ride at www.transamtrail.com
Here is a great ride around the beautiful NJ Pinelands. It is big bike friendly. We have some twisties, and great farm and Pineland roads, you will forget you are in the most populated state in our country.
I have noted some POI (points of interest) for you to take some photos or just check out.
There are a few places you can grab lunch that are noted and I have also noted a couple picnic benches that you can stop by and use for your lunch. One in particular is overlooking the lake that is a perfect setting and you can watch the kayaks and canoes finishing up their adventure.
The Trans-Canada Trail is an awesome route that touches 3, that’s right 3 oceans! It is perfect for Adventure bikes as well as other recreational 4×4 overland vehicles. It is a network of trails, but starts in St. Johns, Newfoundland and ends in via a ferry ride to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Trans-Canada Trail claims to be the World’s longest recreational trail system, but is still in progress but when complete it will connect the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans!
Trans-Canada Recreation Trail is great for Adventure WorldCrosser Motorcycle Riders!
It is broken down into a few sections as it traverses the great country of Canada. When complete it will have shelter and fresh water along the trail system. It is a combined effort of over 400 community trails and has been funded by the Canadian government.
One doesn’t have to do the entire route in one trip, if they do not have the time and resources, but a leg of the trail can satisfy your Adventure craving and provide you a taste and experience of Canada. Remember you may want to sharpen up on your French as some Canadian towns you will be going through and stopping in may not speak English.
Read more about the sections, some stories of travelers and the trail itself at– http://tctrail.ca/
More Adventure motorcycle and dual sport centric is the TCAT – Trans-Canada Adventure Trail.