GREAT MOTORCYCLE ROADS IN NEW YORK

The Best Roads Are Here

What Are The 8 Best Motorcycle Rides In New York?

- Malone to Otter Lake (138 miles)
- Paul Smiths to Underwood (56 miles)
- US Route 20 (95 miles)
- NY Route 22 (107 miles)
- Hawk's Nest (68 miles)
- Walton to Catskill (88 miles)
- Seven Lakes Drive (17 miles)
- Alder Creek to Sangerfield (42 miles)

Below is our in-depth list for the best New York motorcycle rides!
Beyond the borders of the Big Apple are motorcycle roads along deep, sweeping mountain ravines, rocky crags, swiftly moving rivers, and quaint villages. From the scenery of lush forests and crystal-clear lakes of the Adirondacks, to the long stretches of beautiful farmland in the south - these are the best motorcycle rides in New York. Our first two routes feature the best of the Adirondack Mountains region. Click on each NY motorcycle map link for the direct Google Maps route.

MALONE TO OTTER LAKE

NY-30, NY-28
DISTANCE: 138 miles
TIME: 3 hours

One of the best NY motorcycle rides in the Adirondack region is this route which starts at NY-30, and passes along lakes and mountain views and leading into the curvier portion near Saranac Lake. As an option, circle around this lake region looping around Route 186 and 3 for more great scenery of this Adirondack Mountain region. Look out for slow moving traffic near downtown Old Forge area. There are a lot of options to tour the Adirondack area, but Malone to Otter Lake on Routes 30 and 28 is one of the best to take by motorcycle.

Raquette Lake

Saranac Lake

Long Lake

PAUL SMITHS TO UNDERWOOD

NY-86, NY-73
DISTANCE: 56 miles
TIME: 1 hour

This motorcycle road in New York through the Adirondack Mountains connects from Route 30 and Route 9. East of famous Lake Placid, Route 73 is particularly impressive, riding along the Giant Mountain Wilderness region. The pavement quality is in excellent condition as of 2022, which makes for a smooth ride with amenities and great upstate NY scenery by motorcycle.

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

US ROUTE 20

US-20
DISTANCE: 95 miles
TIME: 2 hours

New York's longest surface road is also one of the best motorcycle roads in the state. Motorcycle riders will experience a variety of elevation changes as the road repeatedly switches between two and four lanes. This scenic NY motorcycle ride climbs high ground and descends into valley ridges. Portions of this historic road is named Cherry Valley Turnpike, and expands among vast hillsides and farmland. It's a nice, wide road, with lots of history along the way. The best part of the route to ride by motorcycle is from Pompey, NY to Esperance, NY.

Manilus, NY

Readsboro, NY

Richfield, NY

NY ROUTE 22

NY-22
DISTANCE: 107 miles
TIME: 2 hours

One of the best motorcycle rides in New York is NY-22, which is a fantastic route through the foothills of the Berkshires. Route 22 can be taken all the way up to the Canadian border, but some of the best riding is from Comstock, NY to Millerton, NY. Rolling hills and farmland occupies this relaxing scenic road as you ride among the twists of the eastern part of the state, close to the Massachusetts and Vermont states lines. Further south towards Millerton, the road really opens up with incredible views of the nearby mountains. Motorcyclists will not get much by way of traffic on this route, making it a leisurely but thoroughly enjoyable ride you would not want to miss!

Photos by S. Profenna

NY-22

Hillsdale, NY

HAWK'S NEST

NY-97
DISTANCE: 68 miles
TIME: 2 hours

This southern New York motorcycle ride runs along the Upper Delaware Scenic River region and the scenic Hawk's Nest. The Hawk's Nest is a popular motorcycle destination for riders who travel from all over America to experience it. This great NY motorcycle road features numerous curves along granite walls and exceptional valley views of the Delaware River from hundreds of feet above. Due to the popularity of this motorcycle route, it's best to ride this fantastic NY motorcycle road on a weekday to avoid the crowds. There are also a lot of great back roads in this area to check out if you're looking to explore the area. This is one of the best motorcycle rides near Manhattan, as it's only about 1.5 hours away from the Big Apple.

via Google Maps

WALTON TO CATSKILL

NY-30, NY-28, NY-214, NY-23A
DISTANCE: 88 miles
TIME: 2 hours

If you're looking for a scenic motorcycle ride in New York, check out this route from Catskill, NY to Walton, NY. The scenery by motorcycle is spectacular. You'll spend the day surrounded by the Catskill Mtn. range, carving your way through mountain passes and skirting along crystal clear reservoirs and rivers. Rte 30 hugs the shore line of Pepacton Reservoir. In Margaretville take Rte 28 E (through Pine Hill and Shandaken) to Rte 214 in Phoenicia. Then Rt 23A East through Tannersville all the way to Catskill, NY. Ride past long, flat vistas of working farms, cornfields and cows as you motorcycle through steep, swishing mountain passes.

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

SEVEN LAKES DRIVE

Seven Lakes Dr.
DISTANCE: 17 miles
TIME: 25 min

This is one of the best motorcycle rides near New York City. Seven Lakes Drive is a beautiful road through Harriman State Park. The route starts at the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson River, and continues south for 17 miles to Hwy 87. It's a relaxing ride with beautiful lake scenery. If you're looking to explore more of this state park area, be sure to check out Kanawauke Rd and Arden Valley Rd, both of which connect off this route. These roads are a bit more technical with hairpin turns weaving around the surrounding lakes. If you're looking for the best motorcycle routes near NYC, be sure to travel through the Harriman State Park area!

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

ALDER CREEK TO SANGERFIELD

NY-12
DISTANCE: 42 miles
TIME: 1 hour

This NY motorcycle road runs through the entire state, but the section near Utica is a beauty. Located just south of the Adirondack region, this is a classic two lane road that features vast farmlands as you ride among the relaxing scenery. The best part of this New York motorcycle road? There's minimal traffic. If you need a nice motorcycle route to clear your head, this is the road for you!

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

via Google Maps

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Can you ride a motorcycle in New York?

To operate a motorcycle in New York State, you must have a motorcycle operator's license (Class M) or a motorcycle junior operator's license (Class MJ). You can drive a motorcycle in New York if you are a resident of another state or country and have a valid motorcycle license from there.


What are the best motorcycle rides in Upstate New York?

The best motorcycle roads in Upstate New York can be found in the Adirondack Mountain region, Mohawk Valley, Schoharie County, as well as the Finger Lake region.


Where can I ride my motorcycle around New York City?

US Route 9W to Hudson Valley is withing two hours ride from NYC. Harriman State Park is within one hour drive from the city, and offers some great riding. if you're willing to venture to New Jersey, the Delaware Water Gap region is approximately an hour and a half ride west from NYC.


Can you ride a motorcycle without a helmet in NY?

New York State law requires the use of motorcycle helmets for both drivers and passengers. Protective eye wear is also required.

How Can I Find The Best Motorcycle Roads Around New York State?

GreatMotorcycleRoads.com is the place to find the best motorcycle roads and rides around New York State. Discover great motorcycle roads in states around New York with our route descriptions and Google Maps links!

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