Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Illinois

With its vast prairies, rolling hills, and vibrant cities, Illinois offers motorcycle enthusiasts a diverse array of unforgettable rides. There’s no shortage of scenic routes to explore, whether you want to snake your way through lush forests or cruise along the sweeping vistas of the mighty Mississippi River. Join us as we unveil the top 10 motorcycle rides in Illinois that showcase the state’s natural beauty and rich history, and be sure to click the links for route details.

1. The Great River Road

Embark along the iconic Great River Road, which follows the Mississippi River from the state’s northern border to its southern tip. This 550-mile stretch offers breathtaking views of towering bluffs, quaint river towns, and expansive wetlands.

2. Ohio River Scenic Byway

How could we create a list of scenic motorcycle rides in Illinois without naming an honest-to-goodness Scenic Byway? Explore the southern edge of Illinois along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, a 188-mile route that winds through the Shawnee National Forest, offering glimpses of the majestic Ohio River and charming small towns.

3. Historic Route 66

A list of Illinois motorcycle rides would only be complete with mentioning the legendary Route 66. This iconic highway stretches from Chicago to St. Louis, passing through the heart of the state.

4. Tunnel Hill State Trail

For a unique riding experience, head to southern Illinois and explore the Tunnel Hill State Trail. This 55-mile rail trail features several historic railroad tunnels, trestle bridges, and scenic farmland vistas.

5. Illinois River Road

Follow the Illinois River Valley along the Illinois River Road from Ottawa to Havana. This 291-mile route showcases the state’s agricultural heartland, winding through charming river communities and past sprawling cornfields.

6. Cache River Wetlands

Discover the untamed beauty of the Cache River Wetlands in southern Illinois. This 50-mile route takes you through the state’s southernmost natural area, home to bald cypress swamps, bottomland forests, and abundant wildlife.

7. Apple River Canyon State Park

Traverse the rolling hills of northwestern Illinois and explore the Apple River Canyon State Park. This hidden gem features a winding 20-mile route that passes through dense forests, alongside the picturesque Apple River, and past towering limestone bluffs.

8. Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive

Each autumn, motorcyclists flock to the Spoon River Valley for a Scenic Drive Fall Festival, a jaunt through the heart of Illinois. This 140-mile loop passes through charming small towns, historic sites, and brilliant changing foliage.

9. Lincoln Highway

Trace the footsteps of one of America’s greatest presidents along the Lincoln Highway. This historic route stretches from the Indiana border to the Mississippi River, passing through the state capital of Springfield.

10. Shawnee Hills Wine Trail

Combine your love of motorcycling with a taste of Illinois’ burgeoning wine scene along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. This 40-mile route meanders through the rolling hills of southern Illinois, past a dozen wineries that offer tastings, tours, and stunning vineyard views. Just remember: drinking and biking is never a safe combination.

Whether you’re exploring the state’s rich history, enjoying the natural beauty of its landscapes, or indulging in its vibrant local culture, these top 10 motorcycle rides in Illinois offer something for every rider. Always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate gear, riding within your limits, and being prepared for changing weather conditions. By following these guidelines and respecting the road and your fellow riders, you’ll fully enjoy the beauty and excitement of Illinois’ best motorcycle rides.

Stay Safe on the Road With Law Tigers

Whether you’re exploring Illinois’ scenic routes or hitting the road on your bike, Law Tigers has your back. If you’re injured in an accident, call Law Tigers at (888) 863-7216 for a free consultation. We’ll connect you to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney near you.