Are you looking for a good motorcycle ride for this upcoming three day weekend? Have you ever been to Iowa and thought, “This state doesn’t offer much in the way of fun and scenic motorcycle riding?” For the most part, you would be correct in that assumption, but have you considered the Loess Hills Scenic Byway Motorcycle Ride on the Western edge of Iowa? The Loess Hills is a geological formation that was formed during the last ice age as the glaciers moved across the Missouri Valley and span from Akron, Iowa into the Northern part of Missouri. This type of formation is found in Iowa and China, so it really brings some uniqueness to the state of Iowa that is under appreciated and not known very well throughout the motorcycle community in the Midwest. I’m no geologist, just a guy that likes good motorcycle rides, so follow this link to learn more about the actual Loess Hills and what they have to offer.
Riding the entire Loess Hills Scenic Byway can be done in a day, but unless you are local to the area it may get a little long as there isn’t a great way to get to it if you are coming the East or West. The Loess Hills Scenic Byway isn’t too far off of Interstate 29, so if you are coming from North or South you should be able to get there in decent time. Below is a map of a route from Smithland, Iowa to Glenwood, IA. This ride should take in the neighborhood of 3.5-4 hours, including a couple stops to take in the sights of some of the most beautiful farmland and rolling hills our state has to offer, and a stop in at the Twisted Tail Saloon for lunch. A 4 hour ride leaves plenty of time on each end for the day to make the 2.5 hour trek from central Iowa to the start and finish of the ride.
There are also quite a few “loops” off the main byway that are gravel or dirt, and these are supposed to be some of the best roads of the area, so if you make this trip on a dual sport, enduro, or adventure bike make sure you leave your self plenty of time to check some of the loops out. You could even pack all your gear and do some excellent motorcycle camping in this part of the state!