Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! The extra day off reminded me that some of us in this great country (and other great countries, as we are an international company!) can drive on some stunning roads in their free time.
Which begs the question, what are the best driving roads near you?
For us a trip around Georgian Bay take the trans Canada old hwy 69 to Sudbury from Parry Sound then west to Espanola south to Manitoulin Island from there take a ferry and lunch/dinner and beverages a 2hour sail to Tobermory and loop the southern coast of Georgian Bay thru Collingwood /Wasaga beach back to the hwy 69 north to starting point Parry Sound District summer or fall great trip usually a stop over roughly 450 mile ish round great roads fantastic scenery.Cheers R
Nice trip! I pleasant afternoon run is HWY 141 west Bracebridge to Lake Joseph Rd / 169 then south to Gravenhurst; then Muskoka Beach Rd. back to Bracebridge. Be sure to stop in Rosseau for antique browsing and lunch. Enjoy.
NY RT 14 along the side of Seneca Lake one of New York’s Finger Lakes, to Watkins Glen. Many car people associate Watkins Glen with just one thing, "The Glen" auto racing. However, there is a glen (called the gorge) in Watkins Glen, and yes it's gorgeous! This route has impressively beautiful scenery plus great pit stops at many wineries’. I recommend driving this route slow in a slow car, top down any time, especially magnificent views in the fall.
During my working career I flew out of Buffalo a fair amount and looked out at the finger lakes but had never drove that area then I had the time and opportunity to travel by car that area and yes the area is stunning i was not expecting how beautiful the lakes were nestled in large wooded areas quaint villages and a trip thru Watkins Glen wonderful area of New York State.R
Rt 515 between Winesburg Ohio and Walnut Creek. It is an old road that followed the path of the Buffalo hundreds of years ago that was turned into the paths by the Native Americans in the area 300 years ago. The hills and turns make this a road that is as interesting as a race track. Care must be taken as the Amish are out in Buggy’s.
The other road is from Wallback WV to Clay WV. RT 36 to RT 4. This is the head of the Dragon. It is a smooth road through the mountains with major climbs and down hill runs and winding along a creek. There is one banked turn that is banked near Bristol levels.
You can be moving along at a good rate and then a local in a rusted out truck will catch you and pass you on a blind curve.
These are some of my favorite roads in the areas I travel.
Do you want to drive Fast or do you want to drive a challenging road with wonderful deep forest scenery that will test your ability to drive smoothly? If the latter, then pick up the road east out of Beaver, Oregon (along US 101) and take it to Willamina where it intersects with Oregon 18. You follow a river along a paved old school county road (858) that has hundreds of curves and few straight sections. It does not reward high horsepower cars if that's all the car and driving skill you can show. But if you have a car with responsive steering that can dance through corners , I've seen few that are better. I used to drive if often with my 78 Datsun 280Z resto-mod, and I've never had a better driving experience.
The Ortega Highway 74 from Lake Elsinore, California to San Juan Capistrano, California. I IMO the closest thing to the ‘Ring on the West Coast and is known as one of the most dangerous roads in the US. Sections of it have their own nicknames: Ricochet Alley, Dead Mans’ Curve, et al. The thing used to be to go race from Elsinore to Capistrano for a “swallow”.
My favorite road is actually not local, but one I happened upon on a road trip a few years ago. It is the Talimena National Scenic Drive which goes from Talihina, Oklahoma (State Highway 1) to Mena, Arkansas (State Highway 88)!
it has everything from gorgeous scenery to thrilling curves on a well designed road with nicely banked turns! It was practically deserted when we were there on a Saturday in mid August! Turns out summer is the best time to enjoy few crowds before the tourists arrive to see the fall colors. The Queen Wilhelmina State Park made a nice spot to take a break and explore!
Great to crowd sourcing idea Sanjeev!
Along the lower Hudson River here in NY I do love the stretch of Rt 202/6 out of Peekskill north toward the Bear Mountain Bridge. It’s one of the best curvy Mt roads with stunning views of the Hudson River and the bridge. You can travel North on rt 9D toward Beacon or cross the bridge Westward and travel through Bear Mountain and explore Perkins Peak Eagles Roost then move onto Seven Lakes District. There dozens of routes through these areas each one more rewarding then the next. It can seem like my you are traveling through The Rockies or Maine. I never new these places existed until I got an old convertible and just got out drove. They are not all high speed proving grounds (but toward Storm King there is some great hill climb sections!) but they can be a challenging joy where you can push your nerve and your understanding of your ride or just enjoy driving with the top down. And I’ll tell you in the autumn you will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful experience. I look forward to more suggestions from other drivers.
These beautiful old winding back roads are getting more and more clogged with 29 mph campers, tour buses, Sunday drivers and yes, buggies. This takes most of the fun out unless you just want to meander along to see the scenery.
There is a two lane mountain road on the way to a friend's that I always use because it's a blast to drive, no matter what I'm in. And I have some fat American cars. I also had a '93 Lincoln Continental Signature with Airbags and lots of early technology that could run the doors off most of the competition (not Porsches). Much fun.
As the owner of a 1989 Continental Signature (sadly, without the airbags and dual mode shocks) I hope you aren't considering that one of your fat American cars. 😉
Close to your Traverse City HQ and on the way to East Jordan, MI: M32 from US-131. Only about 18 miles, but lots of ups, downs, twists and turns (our kids used to call it "the twisties"). Going back and forth from our home in Indiana to our cottage in Charlevoix for almost 40 summers, I've driven this route in everything from an F350 Powerstroke diesel dually to a Viper GTS. The bonus? I have seen exactly ONE county sheriff patrol car on that road in all that time.
The San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway in Southwest Colorado. It forms a 233-mile loop traversing the heart of the San Juan Mountains. This loop is formed by a triangle of three highways, US 160, US 550 and CO 145, summiting Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass and Lizard Head Pass. The scenic byway goes through Mancos, Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Rico and Dolores. The experience is beyond description, especially when the aspen turn color in September and when the route is plowed during winter!
I was just going to write this up exactly the way you did. I just got back from doing this very thing in my FFR Cobra with two other Cobra buddies. 1100 miles and it was wonderful, even if it was raining some and 36 degrees F on two of those passes…with the top in the trunk!
I came back via Great Sand Dunes and Salida. I would add that the flat routes between mountain ranges are stellar drives too.
My favourite is hwy 542 up Mount Baker in Washington State. I actually live in Canada so have not been able to cross the border for a year. But I love the drive. Lots of twisties for my Miata and when at the top the views of Mount Shuksan are beautiful.
Recently drove Michigan M66 from US10 north to Charlevoix (where M66 ends) in my 2015 Stingray. A nice, relaxing drive with some nice scenery, nice drive through Lake City and part of Missaukee Lake. Very little traffic on a Saturday Morning.
Up in the clouds today at 4700 ft on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I took NC Route 276 out of Brevard NC, which is a great little town to stop in. Route 276 to the Parkway is 15 miles upwards through the Pisgah National Forest with many curves and a top grade of 9%. Very enjoyable, except for all of the tailgaters. Then I drove northeast to Asheville about 25 miles and exited the Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway is pretty Epic.
Along the Ohio River through Athens Ohio is a pretty ride also.
M36 West in MI through Gregory.
Roads around Gull lake MI.
And M22 up in the Traverse area of MI.
Up here in the northern lower peninsula in MI M22 always gets the credit but I think some of the best driving roads are further east where some of the smaller inland lakes are at. Tight and twisty. Nice scenery and lots of trees for sound to echo off of.