A New Jersey Backroads Bike Trip in Fall | Favourite Trip


New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride Pequannock Watershed
Rumbling by a kaleidoscope of woodland colours, a rider and his passenger on a New Jersey backroads bike trip benefit from the curves of Clinton Highway because it ambles by the Pequannock Watershed.

When the leaves tremble with their final days of shade and the north winds start to blow, I need to seize the day and take a trip earlier than the snowflakes fly. I prefer to expertise a wide range of roads and sights all throughout the restricted daylight of late fall. Northern New Jersey has nice roads that ramble by state forests, round reservoirs and farms, and into small cities, making for an excellent day trip.

I had plotted a route for this journey, however quickly after my trip started, I noticed a street signal that warned: APPLE SEASON HEAVY TRAFFIC. The very last thing I wished was to be caught in the midst of a site visitors jam surrounded by carloads of apple‑­selecting vacationers slowly swarming towards orchards, so I threw out my itinerary and determined to go wherever the street and my intestine instructed me.

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride

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Rolling up Abram S. Hewitt State Forest’s Bearfort Ridge on the serpentine Warwick Turnpike, I averted the congestion by taking the forest‑­enveloped Clinton Highway, which snakes by a big part of the 35,000‑­acre Pequannock Watershed. There are 4 reservoirs open for public recreation, and the world is crisscrossed by mountain trails and residential to all method of wildlife. 

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride Pequannock Watershed
A fisherman enjoys some peaceable solitude on one of many Pequannock Watershed reservoirs.

Clinton Highway and its surrounding wilderness have a considerably creepy popularity for ghost sightings, witch gatherings, bizarre animal hybrids, and at the very least one notorious serial killer. I used to be interested in this explicit stretch on my New Jersey backroads bike trip as a result of it was not too long ago repaved and weaves alongside the sun-kissed reservoirs and thru colourful forests, however the space’s notoriety added to its attract.

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride Kawasaki Vulcan
Among the many fall colours, the creator’s Vulcan stands able to proceed the cruise.

A number of boat launches and parking areas supplied alternatives to stretch my legs and drink within the surroundings. Some riders are tempted to white‑­knuckle it by the numerous twisties of Clinton Highway, however I don’t suggest it. In the course of the late fall rutting season, deer are hyperactive and as plentiful as flies on a cow patty. Moreover, a gradual cruise offers you time to understand the sweetness.

See all of Rider‘s Northeast U.S. tour stories here.

Nonetheless, as I turned off Clinton Highway and rode west on the principally rural State Route 23, I ramped up the tempo. The crisp, pure air caressing my face was invigorating. At Hamburg, I picked up State Route 94. Rumbling south, I noticed the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery and stopped to pay my respects. Strolling by the cemetery, you can’t assist however be overwhelmed with emotion and appreciation for individuals who served our nation and now relaxation on this hallowed floor. 

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Headstones at Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery honor fallen troopers.

Persevering with south, SR‑­94 passes by Newton, a bustling small city, after which into lush farmland, with New Jersey’s western mountains rising on the horizon like a fortress wall.

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride County Road 521
County Highway 521 rolls by picturesque New Jersey farmland.

In Blairstown, I ended for lunch on the Blairstown Diner, which has been household owned and operated for over 70 years and has tasty meals and genuine retro decor. The diner was featured within the unique Friday the thirteenth movie, and within the hills of close by Hardwick, Boy Scout Camp No‑­Be‑­Bo‑­Sco stood in for the movie’s main setting, Camp Crystal Lake.

From Blairstown, I wound my approach north on the rolling County Highway 521, stopping briefly on the scenic White Lake Pure Useful resource Space and the historic Vass Farmstead. Inbuilt 1812 and listed within the Nationwide Registry of Historic Locations, it’s value a cease.

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride Vass Farmstead White Lake Natural Resource Area
The restored nineteenth century Vass Farmstead, now co‑­owned by the Ridge and Valley Conservancy and the state of New Jersey, overlooks the White Lake Pure Useful resource Space.

At Stillwater, I turned left onto County Highway 617 after which adopted a sequence of different rural roads. My Vulcan dealt with these wavy and weaving routes by farmland and forests with cool confidence. By the point I reached SR‑­23 once more, the solar was hanging low within the western sky. Heading south, I cracked the whip on my Vulcan and loved its pulsating energy as we rode down the freeway.

New Jersey backroads motorcycle ride
Leaves on the bottom means driving season in New Jersey is drawing to an in depth.

As I exited onto the tree‑­lined County Highway 513, my journey neared its finish. Though my route was impromptu, the trip was good. Cruising on nice roads by the attractive countryside in the course of the fall jogged my memory what driving is supposed to be: unfettered by plans and going with the circulate. There undoubtedly shall be extra freewheeling rides in my future. As Peter Fonda’s sage previous biker character Damien Blade stated in Wild Hogs, “Lose the watches.”

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

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