Top-5 Motorcycle Routes Near Philadelphia

Jul 26, 2021


Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden near Philadelphia.

Virtue, liberty, and independence. This is the motto of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State, named for its central location among the original U.S. 13 colonies is home to quiet Amish communities, humble coal mining towns, and big cities ripe with history. A trip through Pennsylvania is like a journey through American history. (Pennsylvania is also home to the city of Hershey, the chocolate capital of the country).

Sitting on the eastern border is Philadelphia, colloquially known as “The City of Brotherly Love”, or simply “Philly”. Here the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the United States Constitution was drafted, too. Home to the Liberty Bell and the legendary Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, Philadelphia stands as an icon among American cities.

Take a run up the 72 steps in front of the Museum of Art like Rocky Balboa or pay a visit to the original manuscript of the Gettysburg Address. These are just a few ways to experience the triumph of liberty which this city stands for. However, after indulging in all this history, nothing says freedom like hopping on a motorcycle and hitting Pennsylvania’s legendary roads. So, here are five memorable routes to ride on.

1. PA Route 340 through Amish Country

One-day trip — 41 miles

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share the road with horse-drawn buggies? You can do just that if you ride 39 miles outside of Philly, hop onto Route 340. Begin in Downingtown, and follow it all the way to Lancaster. The roads are smooth and make for an easy, relaxing ride.

Following this route will take you through some of Pennsylvania’s beautiful countryside. In addition, you’ll witness the more simple life of the Amish. (If you really want to get a taste of how they live, there are plenty of opportunities for tours along the way.)

As if the beautiful scenery and interesting Amish tours weren’t enough, there are also many great restaurants and shops along Route 340. For some amazing burnt ends, try Smokehouse BBQ and Brews. And then once you’ve had your fill of great barbecue, pay a visit next door to The Amish Experience Theater! 

2. The Loop

One-day trip — 27 miles

Going for a ride on The Loop will take you through two states, along the Brandywine river, and the occasional old, abandoned factory. The best way to start is with a hearty breakfast from Hank’s Place near the intersection of highways 100 and 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. (This is about 33 miles outside of Philadelphia.)

After your belly’s full, jump on your street bike from Philadelphia and follow 100 south for a few miles until you reach route 82 where you’ll head west. After a while you’ll pass through the charming town of Kennett Square, which is known as the mushroom capital of the world. Take a moment to stop here and have some coffee; or better yet, try to be in town during the annual mushroom fest! After passing through Kennett Square, make a right onto route 926 and head east. Eventually you’ll hit 100 south again, and you can follow that back down to Hank’s Place.

A ride on The Loop will take you down into Delaware and then back up into Pennsylvania, passing through some really scenic countryside along the way. The roads are narrow at certain parts of the route, so just be mindful of this and you’ll have a truly pleasant ride. 

3. 32 North Along the Delaware River 

One-day trip — 50 miles

Just 31 miles northeast of Philly, the 32 North Along the Delaware River begins in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Take a trip north on the 32 along the tree-lined Delaware River. Just on the other side of the river is the state of New Jersey. This route runs through Narrowsville, and eventually turns into Highway 611. Follow 11 north for a final 9 miles into Portland, Pennsylvania, where you’ll finish.

In addition to views of the forested river, the northern portion of this route has scenic cliffs—great places for some awe-inspiring pictures. On your ride you’ll pass by some great parks like Tinicum Park, Delaware Park, and the Ralph Stover State Park. Make sure you stop in the town of New Hope where you can check out interesting antique shops, eat a locally-sourced burger at MOO, or eat some good ol’ Creole cuisine at the popular restaurant Marsha Brown. 

If you really want to make the most of your trip, consider starting the day off six miles south of the starting point in Yardley where you can tour Washington Crossing State Park. George Washington’s historic “Crossing of the Delaware” took place here on Christmas, 1776. If you love this country’s long history of freedom, this destination is definitely worth a look.

4. Coal Miner Town’s Loop

One-day trip — 140 miles

If you’re in the mood for a taste of the rugged lifestyles of old coal mining towns, then ride 57 miles north of Philly on the Coal Miner Town’s Loop. Start on the 309 north just outside of Allentown and follow it past Tamaqua before heading left onto route 54. You’ll ride through many coal mining towns before reaching Ashland. Once there, you should check out the Pioneer Tunnel, which is an interesting coal mining tour.

Once you finish visiting Ashland, head back on route 54 to 61 south, where you’ll ride through many more mining towns until you reach Hamburg (making a left into town). Turn right on State Street, otherwise known as the old 22, and follow it back to Allentown. 

Along the route you’ll pass by many historic coal mining communities with many options to stop and get a bite to eat. Have a sandwich at Farlow’s Famous Philadelphia Deli, before taking a tour at the popular Yuengling Brewery and Museum.

5. Wrightsville to Columbia via the Conowingo Dam

One-day trip — 90 miles

If you want more river views and sights of old train bridges, then take this route which runs along the Susquehanna River. Beginning 91 miles outside of Philadelphia in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania at the John Wright Restaurant. You should fill up with a good meal here because there aren’t many restaurants elsewhere. 

Along the way, you’ll experience Pennsylvania’s rolling hills and lush countryside. You’ll also experience the state’s dense woods and small towns rich with charm, as this is Amish country. You may even have a bald eagle sighting or two! Have your camera at the ready, because the views from the Norman Wood Bridge and the Conowingo Dam are stunning year round.

You’ll finish this ride on the other side of the Susquehanna River in Columbia, Pennsylvania, also home to the Turkey Hill Experience amusement park.

Visit Philadelphia and you’ll soon see why it’s known as the City of Brotherly Love. With all its history and beautiful scenery, you will miss out on all the action. If you’re itching to get some miles under your belt let Riders Share help.