It’s an exhilarating feeling when the wind hits your face while cruising the back roads on two-wheels. In the fall, there just seems to be something more special about riding the motorcycle. Maybe it’s the rejuvenating crisp autumn air, the vibrant fall colors making the ride even more beautiful or the fact that here in Ohio our riding time is limited so riders are enjoying every last moment on the open road.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Scenic Routes are a collection of four routes (each approximately 75-130 miles) comprising of more than 300 miles of well-maintained country roads in southeastern Ohio. All routes begin in Marietta, request a map from the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau or pick one up at several locations in Marietta (along the routes, cell reception is limited, I would recommend having a map). This collection of routes features roads that are perfect for cruising with sweeping curves and open stretches and more challenging roads with sharp twists and hairpin turns.
Taking the weekend to explore all four routes on our Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, we enjoyed cruising along the Ohio River, riding the numerous twists and turns of the Triple Nickel and the Son of the Dragon, watching Ohio’s farmers harvest the land, seeing the lush Wayne National Forest and finding historic covered bridges. It was a fantastic Ohio autumn ride!
One of my favorite routes we explored was leaving Marietta on State Route 26 north (a designated Scenic Highway). This two-lane rural paved road snakes northeast through Wayne National Forest. Passing by farmland, lush forest, oil wells in the fields, the Little Muskingum River and several covered bridges, this challenging route is curvy with several elevation changes. At the intersection of SR 26 and County Road 333 (Hills Bridge Road), you will find the Hills Covered Bridge (constructed between 1871 and 1881). Continue northeast on SR 26 (for about 12 miles) where the Hune Covered Bridge (built in 1879) spans the Little Muskingum River. Drive north approximately 1.5 miles northeast of the Hune Covered Bridge to find the Rinard Covered Bridge (originally built in 1869 and rebuilt in 2006). While you can continue north on SR 26, we decided to take SR 800 south to SR 7 south and cruise along the Ohio River back to Marietta. Although this challenging route provides gorgeous scenery, there are no amenities (fuel, bathrooms, etc.) on this route until you get closer to Marietta, so remember to fuel up prior to your ride.
Cruising through Washington County on this collection of curve-hugging roads will give you an exhilarating ride. There is no better way to explore Ohio’s amazing scenery, scenic highways and byways than on a back of a motorcycle…especially in the fall!