Top 5 Motorcycle Trips near Dallas, Texas

Aug 24, 2021


Man riding in Dallas on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Dallas is the economic and cultural center of north Texas. The ninth most populated city in the United States, Dallas is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and overlooks the rolling hills of the surrounding prairies.

With man-made lakes and forested rivers, the motorcycle routes around Dallas prairieland have become a staple for motorcycling enthusiasts. If you plan on riding in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this scenic countryside offers plenty of small-town charm and hill country views to enjoy. 

Here are five routes you can’t miss; any of them would make a great weekend outing and a fine introduction to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

1. The Lizard’s Tail Pt. 1

One-day trip — 30 miles

This leisurely route, which traces the west bank of Lake Worth, has been nicknamed “The Lizard’s Tail.” 

This is your go-to motorcycle road if you plan on taking in beautiful lakeside scenery without venturing too far from civilization. This ride is ideal in the spring, when flowers are in full bloom. Although it gives the impression of rural riding, with trees overhanging the road and plenty of shade, the Lizard’s Tail sticks to the northwestern limits of the city. Check out the park halfway for some sightseeing on foot. Make a point of looking for the spectacular stone mansion on Lake Worth’s south shore, Old Heron Castle.

Expect several twisties and sharp turns on this route. The road is narrow—one lane in each direction. Road quality is fair, although expect some rough patches along Silver Creek. There aren’t a ton of amenities along the way. You can find food and drink at the intersection of Silver Creek and N. Las Vegas Trail.

2. North Dallas Twistys

One-day trip — 48 miles

The North Dallas Twistys motorcycle route is a convenient way to get your fill of twisties while cruising through rural North Texas. This route is a long straightaway with wide and tight twists thrown in for good measure. 

You’ll come away with more of a varied riding experience than you’re used to getting on old, two-lane country roads. Get a taste of Texas small-town living as you pass mom-and-pop eateries, historic buildings, bridges, creeks, and large fields. 

This route is well cared for as there aren’t any rough patches or potholes. Although traffic is negligible, you’ll want to watch out for debris like dust and rocks.

There aren’t many gas stations after Weston, so fuel up in Celina. There are a few great family-owned restaurants on the route, too. Stop by Pedro’s Tex-Mex grill in Pilot Point or consider stopping by Lucy’s on the Square in Celina; their chocolate meringue pie is reason enough to make the trip.

3. Texas Turns, Turns, & More Turns

One-day trip — 63 miles

If you need to relax and get away from Dallas, nothing beats a pleasant rural riding. Beginning in McKinney, about 30 miles north of Dallas, the Texas Turns, Turns, & More Turns route features the classic farmland, ranchland, and country home scenery of rural North Texas. 

Rural Texas isn’t all flat—you’ll encounter some intense sweepers, 90-degree corners, and blind S-curves. You’ll also get some elevated views of the surrounding countryside on Highway 271. Road 470 is lined with trees and looks especially scenic. Get a closer view of the prairies and tree-lined vistas as you hike through Bonham State Park. The park is a great place to picnic as well. 

While traffic is low on this route, there are a few things to watch out for. Keep an eye out for a large pothole on FM-981 North from Leonard. The 470 and 271 are a little rough and uneven due to construction patchwork. 

Rural areas like this don’t offer much in the way of services, but Cattleman’s Cafe in Blue Ridge is a good place to stop for a quick bite. If you need fuel before entering the more rural section of the route, you can find it in Celeste. Wolfe City boasts a gas station and a small cafe. Bonham offers a few neat eateries.

4. Ride to Hard 8 BBQ

One-day trip — 147 miles

If you want something longer and less rural, but just as beautiful as the preceding routes, the Ride to Hard 8 BBQ is the perfect alternative.

This route starts in Weatherford, about an hour or 60 miles west of Dallas via I-30 W. North Texas is famed for the Palo Pinto Mountains, which tower over the surrounding country on either side of the road. This route gives you the chance to admire them while navigating twists and turns. This is a mandatory ride during springtime, when blankets of bluebonnets bloom along the route. The Parker County Courthouse in Weatherford is a fine example of the Second Empire style of architecture, popular during the reign of French Emperor Napoleon III.

You’ll get your fair share of gentle curves along this route, but you won’t encounter any major twisties. You’ll be welcomed with food and gas at plenty of places along the way, especially in the town of Palo Pinto. 

Mouth-watering Hard 8 BBQ lies in Stephenville, and the pie in Lone Camp is a must-try. The BBQ joint across the street from the National Guard Armory in Stephenville is a favorite with rodeo stars. If that doesn’t satisfy you, you’ll also pass through Fort Worth, Weatherford, and Mineral Wells.

5. The Red River Cruise

One-day trip — 130 miles

If you’ve got an intense craving for open-road cruising, “The Red River Cruise” motorcycle route takes you through classic North Texas hill country.

Start in Denton, about 40 minutes and 40 miles northwest of Dallas via I-35E. As you ride past the Red River in Montague County, you’ll take in gorgeous views of the river valley. You can also catch the beautiful sight from a second viewpoint as you ride north from Saint Jo back to Muenster. Approaching Muenster from the northwest, you’ll see a futuristic wind-power generation farm with giant wind turbines! 

Expect a mix of straightaways and long sweeping curves, though not many twisties. Traffic is minimal, and the roads are well-maintained throughout. The only exception is the first part of 677, i.e. the portion of the route running through Wise and Cooke counties—it’s a little rough.

The length of the Red River Cruise is short on services, so you’ll have to wait until Muenster or St. Jo for a bite to eat. We recommend trying Doc’s Bar and Grill, The Center, or Rohmer’s in Muenster and Lazy Heart Grill in Saint Jo. 

Don’t feel limited to one type of route or landscape—there’s such a variety of roads and terrains in North Texas that you’re guaranteed a variety of riding experiences. Consider combining these routes in any manner you choose, or merge them with routes in Houston for a real adventure.