1) Ride to Muenster by Dennis Tackett
2) Weatherford to Llano
Total mileage - 210
Overview of route
From seacoasts to mile-high mountains, Texas offers a little bit of everything including roads you'd swear were built specifically for motorcyclists. Here's the top 10, courtesy of Todd Nunnally and the Texas members of the Honda Sport Touring Association as reprinted from the June issue of the AMA magazine.
1. Texas Route 118 from Kent to Study Butte: Phenomenal curves, beautiful desert scenery and rich history in southwest Texas. The northern portion runs through the Davis Mountains, with tight twisties, smooth sweepers and the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis at 6,800 feet. Farther south are the Del Norte Mountains, and farther still are the open, desert plains of the Chihuahua Desert, where you can see forever. The capper is Study Butte and Big Bend National Park, an out-of-the-way desert mountain region filled with unusual lava landscapes, smooth, fast sweepers and (be careful!) strict park rangers.
2. Texas Route 170 (El Camino Del Rio) to Presidio: The ghost town of Terlingue gives way to a spectacular 50-mile ride through lush. twisting valleys, where wind-carved red-and-purple rock rises 1,OO0 feet off the Rio Grande river in southwest Texas. Threading through the Bofecillos Mountains formed by two ancient lava flows, the route takes you up a 15 percent grade at one point, winding up at Fort Leaton State Historic Site near Presidio.
3. Texas Route 16 between Liano and Bandera: Pleasant terrain with a bonus: There is little traffic on this 100-mile bit of asphalt heaven in central Texas. Route 16 is full of scenic elevation changes, sweepers tight switchbacks, beautiful vistas, wonderful tree-covered tunnels and gorgeous, clear rivers that invite the occasional wading party. Be sure to stop in Fredericksburg, where museums and quaint shops line Main Street. And the huevos rancheros at the Old Spanish Trail Restaurant in Bandera are tops.
4. Texas FM 337, from Medina to Camp Wood, then Texas Route 55 north to Rocksprings: A roller-coaster ride that rips up and over huge limestone karsts recalling scenes from John Wayne movies in south central Texas You really can't go wrong picking any of the FM (Farm-to-Market) roads in this area, but FM 337 is unquestionably among the best. Don't miss Last Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool.
5. Texas FM 1431, from Marble Falls to Cedar Park: This loop around the northeast side of Lake Travis is the tightest, gnarliest, nastiest, hilliest piece of two-lane blacktop in Texas. This amazing central-Texas road has more converts than a Billy Graham revival. Ride it. You won't be sorry.
6. Texas Route 4, from Palo Pinto to Granbury: Starting 12 miles west of Mineral Wells, Texas Route 4 heading south offers spectacular bluffs and scenery through the Palo Pinto Mountains, and it twists and turns all the way to Santo in east-central Texas. Palo Pinto Museum boasts an Old West jail and log cabins. Don't miss lunch in the Nutt House. a historic restaurant and restored country inn dating from 1893.
7. Texas FM 390, from Burton to Independence: Save this for one of those hot days, and you'll really appreciate the rich ice cream at the Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham in southeast Texas. FM 390 (get a good map) east and west from Independence offers attractive scenery and exceptional vistas. It is especially colorful around mid-April, during bluebonnet season.
8.Texas Route 852, southeast from Winnsboro: Typical northeast Texas-lots of piney woods, gentle hills and curves, Winnsboro was founded in 1854 and sponsors one of Texas' best-known salutes to fall foliage, the Winnsboro Autumn Trails. Held every weekend in October, the festival offers sightseers self-guided tours of east-Texas forest land.
9.Texas Route 224, north from Coldspring: Located between Sam Houston National Forest and Lake Livingston in east Texas, Route 224 is made up of hilly sweepers and great scenery. You'll need a good map to find it, and the great U.S. Forest Service roads nearby in Sam Houston National Forest, but your search will be richly rewarded.
10. Texas Route 762. south from Richmond to Brazos Bend State Park: This open road through southeast Texas will surprise you with nice sweepers through the lush cotton fields of the Gulf Coast plains. The park is a must-see 4,897 acres including the Brazos River bottomlands, beautiful live-oak woodlands draped with wild grapevines and Spanish moss, and oxbow lakes and marshes.
Copyright © 2000 NTNOA All rights reserved.
Revised: February 14, 2008 .