If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast looking for the ultimate ride in Connecticut, you’ve come to the right place. Connecticut boasts a diverse landscape, from winding country roads to picturesque coastal byways, making it an ideal state for motorcycle adventures.
While you may be tempted to hit the open highway, there’s so much more to explore off the beaten path. Venture through the tranquil countryside, past charming farmhouses and historic towns, or take a cruise along the scenic coast, with stunning ocean views for miles. No matter what route you choose, you’re sure to be captivated by the natural beauty and rich history that Connecticut has to offer.
For even more adventurous rides, neighboring states offer their own unique experiences. The scenic Berkshires in Massachusetts offer mountainous landscapes and charming New England towns, while Rhode Island’s Ocean Drive boasts breathtaking coastal views. Whether you’re keen on winding forest routes or coastal rides, these northeastern states are a motorcyclist’s paradise. From the breathtaking Litchfield Hills Loop to the majestic Connecticut River Valley Run, there’s something for every rider in this top 10 list.
1. The Scenic Route 169 Ride
I’ve always been captivated by the natural beauty and historical charm of Connecticut, and there’s no better way to experience it than by taking the Scenic Route 169 Ride. This picturesque journey offers an unforgettable motorcycle adventure, showcasing some of the state’s most breathtaking landscapes and quaint towns.
Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to embark on this scenic ride is during the fall season, when the foliage begins to change color, providing an astonishing backdrop for your ride. However, spring and summer months also offer lovely vistas and agreeable weather for motorcycle enthusiasts.
- Distance and Time to Travel: The entire route spans approximately 32 miles and takes around 1 hour to complete, without accounting for any stops you might make along the way.
|Starting Point||Ending Point||Distance|
|Norwich, CT||Woodstock, CT||32 miles|
Places to Stop: While cruising through the byways of Route 169, you’ll come across numerous picturesque towns, historical landmarks, and stunning vistas. Some highlights to explore include:
- The Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury
- Roseland Cottage in Woodstock
- The charming town of Pomfret
- Numerous family-owned farm stands selling fresh produce and treats.
Level of Difficulty: This ride is considered easy to moderate, with well-maintained roads and few challenging twists or turns. It’s perfect for both expert riders and those seeking a more leisurely excursion.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the distinctive Scenic Road signs featuring a green and white leaf symbol, which indicate you’re following Route 169. Additionally, there’s an abundance of picturesque photo opportunities along the way, so don’t forget your camera!
2. The Merritt Parkway Adventure
The Merritt Parkway Adventure is a scenic ride with stunning landscapes, curves, and turns that are sure to captivate any motorcycle enthusiast.
Best Time to Visit : The ideal time to enjoy this ride is between April and October, when the weather is pleasant, and the foliage is most vibrant.
Distance with Time to Travel : Taking you from Greenwich to Stratford, The Merritt Parkway Adventure covers approximately 37 miles. It usually takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to complete the journey, depending on your speed and stops.
Places to Stop : There are plenty of intriguing locations along the way that are worth a stop:
- Silvermine Arts Center: As you pass through Norwalk, make sure to visit this historic art hub.
- The New Canaan Nature Center: Just a short detour off the parkway, this nature center boasts 40 acres of quaint gardens and woodland trails.
- Bridges: The Merritt Parkway is famous for its meticulously designed Art Deco-style bridges, so don’t forget to capture some photos.
Level of Difficulty : The Merritt Parkway Adventure is moderate in terms of difficulty. It’s not a particularly challenging ride but does require some level of experience, particularly due to its tight corners and occasional traffic.
Keep in mind that The Merritt Parkway has a few essential rules for motorcyclists to follow:
- Helmets are mandatory for all riders.
- Be cautious of the low clearances under bridges.
- Be aware of the vehicle restrictions on the parkway. Commercial vehicles, including trucks, trailers, and towing vehicles, are not allowed.
3. Greenwich to Stamford Coastal Loop
The picturesque scenery and smooth, winding roads make it a fantastic experience for riders of all levels. Here’s everything you need to know about this captivating route:
Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to ride the Greenwich to Stamford Coastal Loop is during late spring, summer, and early fall when the weather is warm and pleasant. You’ll get to enjoy the beautiful coastal views without worrying about cold temperatures or icy roads.
Distance and Time to Travel: The entire loop is about 25 miles long, and takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, depending on your preferred pace and the number of stops along the way.
Places to Stop:
- Greenwich Point Park: This beautiful park offers beach access, walking trails, and picnic spots. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze.
- Cove Island Park: Home to a stunning beach and natural sanctuary, this park in Stamford is perfect for a pit-stop during your ride.
- The Stamford Museum & Nature Center: A must-visit for nature enthusiasts, this place offers an opportunity to explore wildlife exhibits and relax amidst lush greenery.
Level of Difficulty: The Greenwich to Stamford Coastal Loop is a relatively easy ride, with gentle curves and manageable hills. Beginners should find it quite accessible, while more experienced riders can enjoy the scenic views and cruise through twists and turns at a comfortable pace.
- Traffic: Be aware of traffic buildup during peak hours, especially on weekends. Plan your ride accordingly to avoid congestion.
- Road Conditions: The roads along this coastal loop are generally well-maintained; however, be cautious of occasional potholes and debris.
- Gear: Don’t forget to wear appropriate gear, like a helmet and gloves, to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
4. The Litchfield Hills Loop
I highly recommend the Litchfield Hills Loop for anyone seeking stunning vistas and charming New England towns. This motorcycle ride is perfect for those looking to escape city life and enjoy the natural beauty of Connecticut.
Best Time to Visit : Best time to ride the Litchfield Hills Loop is late spring to early fall. During this time, the roads are clear of snow, the trees are lush and green, and the temperatures are pleasant for an enjoyable ride.
Distance and Time to Travel : The Litchfield Hills Loop spans about 100 miles, so you’ll want to allocate at least 3-4 hours for the ride, depending on your speed and stops along the way.
Places to Stop : There are several fantastic places to stop along the Litchfield Hills Loop. Some of my favorites include:
- Kent Falls State Park: A scenic waterfall that’s perfect for stretching your legs and snapping some photos.
- Litchfield Green: The heart of Litchfield, offering shops, restaurants, and historic architecture.
- Lake Waramaug: A tranquil, picturesque spot to rest and enjoy the serene beauty of the water.
Level of Difficulty : The Litchfield Hills Loop offers a moderate level of difficulty. The roads are mostly well-maintained with some twists and turns and mild elevation changes. Seasoned motorcyclists and confident beginners alike should find this route enjoyable and manageable.
Additionally, ensure your motorcycle is in good condition and that you have plenty of fuel, as some stretches of the route have limited availability of gas stations. Lastly, be aware that wildlife, like deer and other animals, can often be seen along the roadside, so always stay alert and ride cautiously.
5. The Elizabeth Park Exploration
There’s something incredibly serene about winding through the picturesque parklands on a motorcycle. One of my favorite routes in Connecticut is the Elizabeth Park Exploration. This delightful ride takes you through a beautiful park, with plenty of spots to take a break and enjoy your surroundings.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Elizabeth Park is during spring and early fall, when the weather is pleasant, and the foliage is at its most vibrant. However, the park remains open year-round, welcoming motorcyclists even in winter months.
Distance with Time to Travel: The Elizabeth Park Exploration route is approximately 15 miles long, and it generally takes around 1-1.5 hours to complete, depending on how many stops you make along the way.
Places to Stop:
- Pond House Café: A charming café inside the park that offers delicious food, making it the perfect place for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.
- Rose Garden: Elizabeth Park is home to the oldest public rose garden in the US, making it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
- Scenic Overlooks: There are several lovely scenic spots within the park where you can stop to take in the views, snap a few photos, or simply relax.
Level of Difficulty: The route is ideal for both beginner and experienced riders, as it’s mostly flat and well-paved. While there are some tighter turns and twists, they’re not overly challenging, making it an enjoyable ride for everyone.
- The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, allowing for plenty of flexibility in planning your ride.
- There’s no admission fee for Elizabeth Park, and parking is available in various locations throughout the park.
- Do remember to bring a helmet, as Connecticut law requires all motorcycle riders to wear one while riding on public roads.
6. River Valley Cruise
There’s something magical about the River Valley Cruise route that I can’t get enough of. The ride offers a mix of stunning scenery, quaint New England towns, and thrilling twists and turns. The route runs along the Connecticut River, providing a spectacular view of the river and its lush, green surroundings.
Best Time to Visit: Fall is the ideal time to ride the River Valley Cruise route, as the foliage transforms into vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow. However, the ride is also enjoyable during summer and spring when the weather is mild.
Distance with Time to Travel: The route covers approximately 100 miles, which can easily be completed in 3 to 4 hours depending on the speed and number of stops made.
Places to Stop:
- Goodspeed Opera House: A historic theater that offers Broadway-style productions.
- Gillette Castle State Park: Explore the unique stone castle and its beautifully maintained grounds.
- East Haddam: A charming small town with a picturesque main street featuring several quaint shops and dining options.
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate. The route includes both sweeping curves and tighter twists, making it a fun and slightly challenging ride for experienced riders.
- The River Valley Cruise route starts in the town of Old Saybrook, where you can fuel up and grab a bite to eat before starting the ride.
- Be sure to take River Road (Route 154) on the west side and Route 82 on the east side for the ultimate combination of scenery and twisty roads.
- Don’t forget to pack a camera, as the Connecticut River Valley offers plenty of scenic photo opportunities.
7. The Last Green Valley
The scenic area stretches across Connecticut and Massachusetts, encompassing 35 towns within its beautiful landscapes. It’s perfect for bikers that enjoy discovering the natural beauty New England has to offer. Here’s what you can expect when embarking on this fantastic motorcycle ride.
Best Time to Visit : Fall is arguably the most stunning time to visit The Last Green Valley. As the foliage turns into vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellow, it makes for an incredible backdrop while riding. However, the region looks good throughout the year, with blooming flowers in spring and lush green in summer.
Distance and Time to Travel : The Last Green Valley comprises various routes, and when combined, they can reach about 100 miles. Since it’s a leisurely ride, plan on dedicating about 3-4 hours to complete the journey. You can customize the trip based on your preferences and time constraints.
Places to Stop : Numerous spots along The Last Green Valley are worth pausing to take in the majestic view. Here are some of my favorite stops:
- Mashamoquet Brook State Park
- Roseland Cottage
- Goodwin Forest Conservation Center
- Wolf Den State Park
Level of Difficulty : The ride is perfect for bikers of all skill levels, especially if you’re interested in a relaxing, scenic adventure. The roads are well-maintained and relatively straight, with only mild curves throughout the journey.
While exploring The Last Green Valley, keep an eye out for the various scenic byways that branch off from the main route. Some of these include:
- Air Line State Park Trail
- Quinebaug River Water Trail
- Route 169 National Scenic Byway
8. Glastonbury to Old Saybrook Run
Whenever I embark on the Glastonbury to Old Saybrook run, it’s always a thrilling ride. The journey kicks off in Glastonbury at the junction of Route 17 and Route 160, meandering through beautiful landscapes and quaint towns, ultimately reaching the scenic shoreline of Old Saybrook.
Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to tackle this ride is during the spring or fall months, when the weather is mild and the natural beauty of the area is at its peak. Summer can be enjoyable too, but tourist traffic may be heavier.
Distance and Time to Travel: The entire route covers about 35 miles and takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to complete, depending on your speed and the number of stops you make.
Places to Stop:
- Old Wethersfield: A detour into historic Old Wethersfield offers great architecture, charming shops, and a chance to explore Connecticut’s largest historic district.
- Devil’s Hopyard & Chapman Falls: A short side trip from East Haddam brings you to this beautiful state park, where you can admire nature’s beauty, including the picturesque waterfall.
- Gillette Castle State Park: Situated atop the Seven Sisters Hills, this historic site offers sweeping views of the Connecticut River Valley, and the castle itself is an architectural masterpiece.
- Old Saybrook Harbor: Concluding your ride at the harbor, travelers can take in serene water views, relax at the beach, or explore the historic downtown area.
Level of Difficulty: This route is moderately difficult, with a mix of winding roads and elevation changes to challenge and delight experienced riders, while still remaining accessible to novices.
- Road Conditions: This route is generally well-paved, but be aware that some sections may have uneven surfaces, occasional potholes, or debris.
- Attractions: Along the way, you’ll find historical sites, restaurants, and recreational opportunities, all adding richness to the overall experience.
- Scenery: With a diverse mixture of dense forests, open farmland, and enchanting waterfront views, this ride offers breathtaking panoramas that’ll leave you speechless.
9. The Quinebaug River Valley Ride
I can’t help but mention the beautiful Quinebaug River Valley Ride when discussing the top motorcycle rides in Connecticut. This scenic route offers riders an unforgettable experience as they wind through lush forests, charming towns, and amazing views of the Quinebaug River.
Best Time to Visit: For the best riding experience, I suggest visiting between late spring and early fall. During this time, the weather in Connecticut is pleasant, and you’ll have the added benefit of witnessing the vibrant foliage change colors throughout the season.
Distance with Time to Travel: The Quinebaug River Valley Ride covers approximately 45 miles of stunning scenery. Plan for about 1.5 to 2 hours of ride time to fully soak in the sights. Obviously, if you choose to stop and explore some of the unique spots along the way, it’ll take longer.
Places to Stop: There are several noteworthy stops to enjoy during your ride:
- Old Furnace State Park: Home to picturesque views and a fascinating history related to the early iron industry.
- Prudence Crandall Museum: Learn about the life of a pioneering educator and women’s rights advocate.
- Brooklyn Green Historic District: A charming area with historical homes and a picturesque town green.
Level of Difficulty: The Quinebaug River Valley Ride is considered moderate in terms of difficulty. It’s suitable for riders of varying skill levels, but be prepared for some twisty sections and elevation changes.
Other Information: It’s essential to keep a few safety tips in mind while riding this route, such as:
- Be cautious of wildlife, as the area is home to deer, raccoons, and other critters that might wander into the road.
- Pay attention to the posted speed limits, particularly in the numerous small towns you’ll pass through.
- Connecticut state law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet, so don’t forget yours!
10. Haddam Neck Peninsula Tour
There’s nothing like exploring the beautiful Haddam Neck Peninsula Tour on a motorcycle. I’ve found that the best time to visit is during the fall season, when the foliage showcases a vibrant array of colors, adding to the overall riding experience.
The entire trip covers a distance of about 32 miles and only takes approximately 1.5 hours to travel. However, you’ll likely want to add in some extra time for stops and attractions along the way.
Some noteworthy places to stop on this ride include:
- Eagle Landing State Park: A scenic spot with panoramic views of the Connecticut River, perfect for a relaxing break or a photo opportunity.
- Goodspeed Opera House: This historic Victorian theater is home to fantastic musical productions worth catching if you’re in town.
- Haddam Meadows State Park: A picturesque spot, great for taking a break to stretch your legs or picnic next to the river.
When it comes to the level of difficulty for this ride, I’d rate it as easy to moderate. The route consists of a mix of rural, scenic roads and some more trafficked, busier sections. There are also gentle curves, making it a suitable route for riders of various skill levels.
Other information worth noting about the Haddam Neck Peninsula Tour:
- You’ll experience varying terrain, such as riverbanks, rolling hills, and wooded areas, which will keep you engaged throughout the ride.
- Be sure to fuel up before setting out, as gas stations might be scarce along the way.
- If you’re planning a longer trip, consider booking accommodations in the nearby towns of East Haddam or Haddam.
What is one of the best motorcycle rides in Connecticut?
The “Northeast CT Country Loop” Is A Popular Ride Recommended By Motorcycleroads.com, Featuring Small Villages, Old Farms, And CT Forests.
Where can I find a list of great motorcycle roads in Connecticut?
You Can Find A List Of Top Motorcycle Rides In Connecticut On Websites Such As motorcycleroads.com, rever.co, And greatmotorcycleroads.com.
What are some scenic beach destinations for motorcycle riders in Connecticut?
Some Scenic Beach Destinations For Motorcycle Riders In Connecticut Include Walnut Beach And Hammonasset Beach Along The Long Island Sound.
What are some other popular motorcycle rides in Connecticut?
Other Popular Motorcycle Rides In Connecticut Include The Litchfield Loop, Durham To Old Saybrook, And The Eastern CT And Western RI Loop.
Where can I find a map of great motorcycle roads in Connecticut? A:
A Map Of Great Motorcycle Roads In Connecticut Can Be Found On The Best Biking Roads Website (https://www.bestbikingroads.com › United-States › Routes).
It’s been quite a journey discovering the top 10 best motorcycle rides in Connecticut. To help you plan your own adventure, I’ve gathered crucial information to aid in your decision-making. Before we wrap up, let’s summarize what we’ve covered.
Connecticut offers scenic motorcycle rides from spring to fall, with varying climate conditions:
- Spring: April to June
- Summer: June to August
- Fall: September to November
Each route presents numerous opportunities for memorable stops:
- Historical sites
- State parks
- Quaint towns and eateries
- Beautiful scenic overlooks
- Rest stops
Be sure to incorporate these breaks into your itinerary, as they’ll enhance your overall experience. Choose a route that matches your riding abilities, and remember that safety always comes first.
Lastly, don’t forget the essentials before embarking on your motorcycle adventure:
- Check your gear
- Inspect your motorcycle
- Plan your route using maps or GPS
- Stay informed about weather conditions
With all this information at your fingertips, you’re ready to explore the top 10 best motorcycle rides in Connecticut! Ride safe and enjoy the journey!
Motorcycle Rides in the US by States
I am Vishwanath Mathpati, a full-time Blogger and Motorcyclist from Bidar, Karnataka. I love writing about my Motorcycles Stories and Riding Gears on this blog.
Know More About Me.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer.