Motorcycle Rides Near Me in Minnesota

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Have you ever asked the question:  Where are the best motorcycle rides near me in Minnesota (MN)? 

Whether you are simply looking for new motorcycle rides & roads in Minnesota to try or if you are focused on trying to find only the best motorcycle rides in Minnesota, learning of all your motorcycle road options can be more difficult than you may realize.  Even those riders with many years of experience driving motorcycles in the The North Star State can find a great motorcycle ride that they had driven near or past a million times without ever thinking to try it.  Or, these same riders may just happen to talk to another motorcycle rider and learn about some nearby great motorcycle roads in an area that they’ve never thought to check out.  So, (McR) has put together this short little guide aimed at helping you better answer the question - What are my best options for motorcycle rides near me in Minnesota?”  

*Rankings for Minnesota motorcycle rides were accurate at the time this guide was published/updated in Feb of 2020 (for more information, see Note 1 at the bottom of this article).  Additionally, McR uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate motorcycle ride popularity (for more information, see see Note 2 also at at the bottom of this article). 

Closest US Motorcycle Riding Hotspot to Minnesota

First, if you are a Minnesota motorcycle rider that is willing to travel a bit to wherever the best motorcycle rides are, then I need to tell you about some motorcycle riding HOTSPOTS across the United States.  After 20+ years of collecting data on 1,000s of great US motorcycle roads & rides, motorcycle rider reviews and ratings of those motorcycle roads, along with thousands of photos and videos, it has become clear that some regions of the USA are simply motorcycle riding Hotspots.  And, the particular motorcycle riding hotspot that is the nearest to the state of Minnesota is located to not too far away in southeastern Ohio.  I'll provide you some specific information about that hotspot below but you need to realize that there are other hotspots located in different regions of the US that you may want to consider traveling to at some point in your "motorcycle riding lifetime."  Each of these hotspots act like “magnets for motorcycling” and are depicted in the map image below.

US motorcycle riding hotspots


Showcase: The Southeast Ohio Motorcycle Riding Hotspot

mc riding hotspot near Minnesota - Southeast Ohio

The nearest motorcycle riding hotspot to Minnesota is the surprising Southeastern Ohio. Now, the route most Minnesota motorcycle riders would take to get yourself down and over to Southeast Ohio would to be to travel south through Wisconsin, Illinois, at some point (either just south of Chicago or from further down south in Illinois, say by Bloomington) head east through Indiana and then into Ohio getting yourself to Columbus Ohio where you’ll be on the doorstep of the Southeast Ohio motorcycle hotspot and can choose from any of its many wonderful roads. Of course a trip of this length will take an investment of your time and travel expenses but if you are up for the trip and really want to take in some world class motorcycle riding that riders have been flocking too more and more over recent decades, you need to put Southeast Ohio on your radar for an eventual motorcycle pilgrimage. 

Admittedly, Ohio is probably not one of the first states that may come to mind when a motorcycle riders hears the concept of a motorcycle riding hotspot, but the amount of visitor traffic, the raving reviews, and the enthusiasm around Ohio’s southeast corner unmistakably point this area out as a US motorcycle riding hotspot.  This region draws in riders from all over the USA. 

ohio hotspot appalachian plateau

The wonderful Southeastern Ohio curves are a result of the 'marvelous for motorcycling' topography/terrain of this region which is referred to as the Appalachian Plateau.  The Appalachian Plateau is area covered in rolling hills and valleys.  The Appalachian Plateau covers portions of a number of US states but is part of a particularly that get particularly steeper and more pronounced as you go further south making this the most rugged region of Ohio and potentially that of the entire US Midwest.  To be clear, the premium motorcycle roads in this area tend to be at least an hour or so South of Cleveland and generally in the areas east of Columbus.  In any case, this area of Southeast Ohio absolutely dominates in terms of the most popular motorcycle rides in the Midwest region with 4 of the Top 5 ranked routes.  So if you are looking for a Midwestern motorcycle hotspot and love curves and twistees, check out these favoritesOnce in southeast Ohio you will want to focus on these stand out Ohio motorcycle rides:

Since the remaining three motorcycle riding hotspots are significantly further away than the Southeastern Ohio hotspot, I didn't go over those other hotspots.  However, if you are interested in learning about those any of those other US motorcycling centers of gravity, simply visit our Motorcycle Rides Near Me in the USA guide where you can read the detailed and full report.


Iconic US Motorcycle Rides

Now if you are interested in not just hotspots but the USA's hottest individual motorcycle rides that are generally considered to be the very best motorcycle roads in the entire USA, then I need to tell you about the motorcycle rides that have reached iconic status. Unfortunately none of these motorcycle rides are located in Minnesota, they are rides that all die hard motorcycling riding enthusiasts should add to his/her motorcycle riding bucket list.  The short list of these premium motorcycle rides in the USA are as follows:


  tail of the dragon photo

The Dragon – This is a route that starts at the North Carolina and Tennessee border and goes north from there for 11-miles into Tennessee.  This motorcycle ride goes by many names such as The Dragon, the Tail of the Dragon, Deal’s Gap, and/or the Dragon’s Tail.  Call it what you want, but this is most likely the most famous motorcycle road in the entire world … yes, world.  It is known for its collection of incredible curves compressed into a short stretch of 11-miles ... 318 curves in those mere 11-miles.   


  blue ridge parkway photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway – like The Tail of the Dragon discussed above, the next iconic motorcycle ride is also world famous yet this is anything but a short ride as it covers a whopping 469-miles!  This route is covers large portions of both Virginia and North Carolina and has been enchanting both motorcycle riders and car drivers for decades.


  three sisters motorcycle ride texas

Three Sisters – the next iconic motorcycle ride takes us down way down south & “deep in the heart of Texas” with a motorcycle ride that also goes by a few different names (Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a, or “The Twisted Sisters,” or simply “The Three Sisters”) and is positioned in an area known as Texas Hill country just northwest of San Antonio, Texas.  The ride has a cult following of riders and like the other iconic rides, draws motorcycle riders in from not just the USA but all parts of the world. 


  pch motorcycle ride

Hwy 1 - Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) – Beyond a doubt, the most iconic motorcycle ride in the west is the Pacific Coast Highway and is also one of the most famous scenic drive in all of the world.  This quintessential road trip up (or down) the California coast became popular when it was glamorized by a variety of movies and TV shows and has only grown in popularity over time.  It offers gentle curves and breathtaking scenery as well as world class amenities along the coast and in the cities/towns that grace its path.  


  tunnel of trees motorcycle ride michigan

If you’re looking for a iconic motorcycle ride in the Midwest, The Tunnel of Trees Road is like the PCH of the Midwest and like PCH (described above), this route is also a “shore hugger.”  It offers riders great lake shore scenery off to the west with a canopy of green foliage from above.  The ride is a favorite among Midwestern motorcycle riders and is particularly captivating in the fall when the autumn colors mesmerize riders as the ride beneath a canopy of golds, oranges, and scarlet reds.  


  beartooth motorcycle ride montana wyoming

The last iconic American motorcycle ride on our list is the most extreme in many aspects as it is located in a sparsely populated area in northern Wyoming and crossing over into an equally sparsely populated area of Southern Montana and is referred to as Beartooth Pass .  The route is extreme for the fact that for the sheer mountain cliffs and switchbacks as well as the fact that it can throw snow & ice into the mix as late as July.  It not only offers riders unrivaled mountain scenery but also has the added bonus of putting riders within a short drive to the quintessential US National Park - Yellowstone.   





The Best Motorcycle Riding areas in the state of Minnesota  

So far we have told you about the closest motorcycle riding hotspot to the North Star State, Southeast Ohio, as well as went over some of the most iconic US motorcycle roads in America, but all of these motorcycle rides are a considerable distance from Minnesota.  And, some motorcycle riders simply aren't up for the long haul to get to these exceptional motorcycle roads (or at least not at the moment).  So, if instead you simply want to find the best motorcycle rides near you in Minnesota, then read on as I describe 5 of the very best motorcycle rides in Minnesota below.  Each of these rides has been a top ranked motorcycle ride in Minnesota for years as our ranking algorithm doesn't let a newly added ride simply jet right up to the top of the list of motorcycle roads but instead factors in the route's popularity over time by looking at many different factors that indicate a motorcycle road's popularity (e.g., page views for that motorcycle road, the number of motorcycle riders following that route, the number of times that route has been saved to riders' To Ride list, the number of times that motorcycle ride has been saved to a riders' Rode It list, the number of motorcycle ride photos or videos that have been uploaded to that page, etc, etc.).  Keep in mind however, that even though we use a somewhat complex rating algorithm to keep 'undeserving routes' from erratically rising to the top, certainly the ratings can & do change over time and so the list you see below of the best motorcycle rides in Minnesota was current at the time of the publication of this guide to the best motorcycle rides near me - Minnesota (date of last update is found at the top of this guide in the "note" section). Currently Minnesota has 25 of its motorcycle roads registered on McR yet this puts the state below the national average of 45 registered motorcycle roads per state (that statistic was current at the time of this publication) however, despite the fact that the North Star State is below average in the number of registered rides, the state does well in annual rankings of routes in its region (the Midwest (see the Midwest ranking of motorcycle rides at the bottom of this page)).  And, Minnesota motorcycle rides can be found within the countries top routes (the latest rankings of the countries motorcycle roads can be found here - Top 100 Motorcycle Rides in the USA

Below are short descriptions of 5 of the best motorcycle rides in Minnesota (complete/updated listing of all Minnesota motorcycle rides).

The 5 Best Motorcycle Rides in Minnesota: 


  1. The Incredible North Shore Tour

One of the easiest routes to follow, the journey begins at Duluth (a place worth exploring) and leads up to the US-Canada Border. Riding along the mighty Lake Superior’s shoreline presents ocean-like views! Laden with gentle curves, this motorcycle ride route also houses plenty of high-end lodges to small eateries. Reviews recommend going prepared for a nice, chilly lake experience!


  1. The Welch Village Twisties Run

It’s famous because it is the twistiest road in Southern Minnesota! Beginning at Red Wing, this 21-mile motorcycle ride is Minnesota’s most exciting! From US Highway 61, this thrill of a ride takes a detour to some of the most adventurous roads, like Highway 19, County 7 Boulevard and through Welch heads back to US Highway 61. The heavenly valley rides feel a world apart, say reviewers.


  1. Highway 61 - LaCrescent, MN to Red Wing, MN

This trip from LaCrescent goes up along the West Coast of the Mississippi River and ends at Red Wing. Riding along the Mississippi River opens you up to some of the most exquisite views motorcycle rides can offer in all of America! The author says that nothing in 28 states he has visited compares to it! You can cross the river into Wisconsin and cruise down the East Coast of the river to make an amazing return trip.


  1. Triple State Mississippi River Run (MN, IA, WI)

Like the name suggests, this route begins at Minnesota and through Iowa crosses over to Wisconsin before completing the loop. The entire Triple-State motorcycle ride is along the Mississippi River, so there is no dearth of great views! Hills, curves and getting to view the scenery from both the coasts of the river are sure to make it a memorable ride. Such enjoyable features have ranked it among the Top 5 motorcycle rides of Minnesota.


  1. The Waconia to Henderson Run

This sweet 30-mile motorcycle ride begins at Wabasha and goes through West Albany, Zumbro Falla and Mazeppa. Riding through the heart of the Richard J Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest and paralleling paths with the Zumbro River means you’re in for some great views! The curvy roads are thrilling, but riders are cautioned to obey posted speeds and ride carefully along sections that haven’t been repaved lately.


Overall, Minnesota is a mix of natural beauty and awe-inspiring spectacular centers of art, culture and more. It is a state that offers an array of recreation. It isn’t just a land of 10,000 lakes, it has so much more.  Combining any of the great Minnesota motorcycle roads listed on McR with any of the popular Minnesota destinations below could make for a great motorcycle overnight trip or a simple day-trip:

  • Mall of America, on the outskirts of St. Paul, is one of the largest malls in the country since its opening in 1992. It has a plethora of more than 500 shops, dozens of restaurants, theaters, hotel accommodation and several amusement engagements. It hosts more than 400 events a year. It’s great for a stay-and-shop kind of vacation.
  • St. Paul Cathedral from the 1900s stands today as a pilgrimage site, the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. With a Classical Renaissance design, it can hold up to 3,000 people. Guided tours are available to help gain a historical perspective.
  • Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is an aerial transfer bridge originally constructed in 1905. It later expanded to a roadway in 1929 and is a prominent icon of Duluth. It connects Minnesota Point to the mainland and has made its place in the National Register of Historic Places. Tour boats are available to witness the spectacle when it raises and lowers to let freight ships and sailboats through.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art features a collection of about 89,000 astounding pieces of artwork ranging from American modernism to ancient artifacts from all over the globe. Jpanese, Korean, decorative art, textiles are just a few things. Doryphoros – one of the four surviving Roman copies of an ancient Greek Sculpture – is a major attraction. The place offers free admission, hosts daily public tours and a four-day Art in Bloom annual spring festival.
  • Superior National Forest, with its pristine lakes and rivers, covers most of the state’s northeast. Ely here is home to the educational International Wolf Center that supports and promotes wolf survival. It offers Wolf Photography Workshops among other activities. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness along the US-Canada border is popular among paddlers. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing and exploring the unspoiled landscape are some things one can do in this rich 3-million acre stretch.
  • The Voyageurs National Park is a rare combination of history and scenic natural beauty. It’s a great spot to fish, boat and canoe. The park also houses wildlife such as bears, loons, moose and more. The place holds historical significance as it played an important role in fur trading when French-Canadian Voyageurs traveled the waters. The waterfront Wooden Frog Campground is one of the best in the state.
  • The Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, 20 miles off the Northern Shore of Lake Superior, is home to its namesake lighthouse built in 1910. Other places of attraction here include the foghorn building, keeper’s house, many hiking trails through forests, pebble beaches and some great view points along the shoreline. Winter creates fat tire biking opportunities here. Campgrounds, some with personal views of the lighthouse are also available.


Interested in more motorcycle ride articles like this?

  Midwest's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Midwest  


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Northeast  
  South's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the South  
  West's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the West  


Note 1:  All facts and figures below were gathered during early Jan 2019 and will change over time as new motorcycle roads are added to the collection. 
Note 2:  How were these popularity ratings calculated? 
A motorcycle road’s popularity can be based on a wide variety of factors.  Our analysis considered some obvious indicators of motorcycle road popularity such each roads’ “Rider Rating” scores (star ratings) and which motorcycle road description pages were visited the most.  But, the analysis dug deeper and looked at some less obvious yet valuable indicators of a motorcycle road’s popularity such as how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “To Ride” lists, how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “Rode it” lists and enthusiasm indicators such how often photos and/or videos were uploaded for a given road and which roads are attracting the most buzz among motorcycle roads indicated by those roads that are receiving the most number of new/recent comments.  For the sake of being consistent and as objective as possible we use a popularity algorithm that “crunches those number” and allows us to develop a ranking of the popularity of each of the motorcycle roads used as a basis for this guide.



As always, I hope to provide you with insightful & valuable motorcycle riding community information to help you get the most out of all of your motorcycling experiences.

I'm always looking for ways to make better and more helpful so if you have any suggestions to improve the website, just contact me through the Feedback button you'll find near the top of every page.  And as always, if you have a favorite motorcycle road of yours that is not yet registered on, please get that favorite of yours "on the map" by registering it at  Registering a motorcycle road (or event, or club, or place) is quick and easy and you'll be helping out our motorcycle riding community!!! 

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McR - Great motorcycle roads lead to great motorcycle rides!