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  1. Default Southern PA to Anamosa, Iowa by Motorcycle

    Hi All,
    I am trying to plan a trip from Lancaster, PA to Anamosa, Iowa, end of June, 2013.

    I would like to see nice country, avoid large cities, and NOT spend all of my time on freeways. We plan on riding 5 - 6 hours max, each day. Nice leisurely ride, to see the sites, then arrive in Anamosa for a 2 day event at the JP Cycles open house, where we will undoubtedly spend more money on my bike!!

    We would like to see interesting attractions along the way, but not the typical large and crowded tourist attractions. For instance, near York, PA, there is an interesting house shaped like a shoe, originally built by a local shoe manufacturer. I'd rather visit places like this than 6 Flags over Timbuktu!

    As I try to use mapping tools, on this site, and others, I find that not knowing what is along the way means that I am picking major routes. The original map I created wanted to send me up around Chicago, and that does not appeal to me at all. Maybe someone here will have some hints or tips on how I can make better use of mapping tools to create a better route.

    Also, this will be the first major MC trip I have taken in decades. (Once rode from San Diego to Buffalo, NY and back.) Any motorcycle riders tips would be greatly appreciated, especially on the topic of longer rides or on the topic of rider friendly attractions and accommodations!!

    thanx for any feedback,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Your best planning tool is old-fashioned paper maps! Once you have the basics down, then you can plug waypoints into mapping programs to get details.

    How many days can you allow for the trip out? How do you want to handle the return trip?

    Here's a rough possibility - head out US-30 to Chambersburg, take I-81 south to Hagerstown then I-70 to Hancock. I-68 is the new Interstate that replaces US-40 (National Pike), but there are a lot of stretches of old road left. Some of the old road is also signed MD-144. You can wander and explore your way west through Cumberland. About 30 miles west of Cumberland, US-40 branches off to Washington PA, this is a great stretch of road for sightseeing, it goes through some old historic PA towns.

    When you get to Washington, you can take I-70 west, again, there is a lot of old US-40 left for diversions. Take it to Indy, then I-74 west to I-80 to IA-38 to get to Anamosa.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The route above.

    Hi Ron, only this week I drove some of the route outlined above, on the advice of the poster. Albeit in reverse... Washington PA to Delaware.

    You will love it. What I found particularly attractive was the locally owned shops - supermarkets, hardware stores, etc. No chains of any type around most of this... not in hotels/motels or camgrounds either. As well as that I came across a selection of produce available at the farm gate.

    Nicely undulating, the route runs through farm country - animal husbandry, crops and pastures.

    There are also some attractions to check out along the way. At the rest area between exits 74 and 77 is the Vietnam Memorial and Exhibit. (At this point, if I remember correctly, I-68 and US-40 are one and the same road.) A bit further east you come to a scenic overlook which has a wartime memorial and garden, (on the south side of the road).

    Just east of there, there is a sign to Lick Hollow Picnic Ground, also on the south side. Check that out. Such a nice area. If you are due for lunch, and bring it with you it is the nicest spot to relax and go for a walk.

    Enjoy the ride.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 08-25-2012 at 10:41 AM. Reason: correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Western Half

    I see where the advice you've gotten so far has been mostly about the eastern half of your trip, and I can't argues with the basic suggestions you've gotten. Certainly US-40 paralleling the Potomac River and then cutting across southwestern Pennsylvania would be my route of choice for a relaxed motorcycle journey. And glc's suggestion of US-30/I-81 as the way to get there is spot on. In fact US-40 will get you all the way to Wheelong WV in good order. From there, US-250 up to New Philadelphia will put you in great position to take OH-39 through Ohio Amish country to Mansfield where you're back on US-30. US-30/US-24 is then a very nice alternative to the Interstates through teh midwest. These are 4 lane divided highways for the most part, but are not controlled access. They offer you the choice of going through some of the smaller towns or taking the 'bypasses' should you choose. and US-24 stays well south of Chicago. At El Paso IL, you should leave US-24 and start heading for Anamosa. Unfortunately, in the midwest most of the roads follow a strictly north-south or east-west orientation making it a bit of a chore to go northwest, But you cah take I-39 (or IL-251, which follows th old US-51 right of way) up to Peru and then I-80 or US-6 to the Quad Cities before finishing up on US-61/IA-64.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    US-30 is now Interstate quality from Mansfield to the IN state line. From Fort Wayne west, it's divided with traffic lights and it leads you right into the belly of the Chicago beast, so the US-24 suggestion is good.

    In IL, just stay on US-24 into Peoria, and take I-74 to I-80, that is one of the few good roads that does go northwest.

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