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Hi fellow GWOF Central Region members,

I thought maybe we could share road trip recommendations in our region, from Canada down to Texas.

One of my favorites in this region is in my backyard, more or less. It includes the St. Croix and northern Mississippi Rivers' valleys between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Beautiful, good roads, and plenty of nice places to stay along the way, from public and private campgrounds to resorts/hotels. Mid-late spring and autumn are fantastic.

Of course, the Black Hills, SD run is also great. I'm meeting family from WA in Sturgis next August. My first time, and as a Goldwing riding CMA member. Hoo-Yah!

So what's the coolest ride in your neighborhood?

Tatanka
 

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Tatanka if you look at the top of each regional forum you will see a sticky that was created to post maps along with sites as well as pictures of our Favorite rides. There is a tutorial posted to guide people with the creating of a map if they need it.
 

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Thanks fossil92! This is such a well designed site that I figured this feature must already exist, just didn't know where/how.
T
 

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Tatanka, Lots of good rides in that Central corridor.

I live in Central IL, and can say that from Galena down to the Illinois river, and then through Peoria, on to St. Louis is a pretty good ride.

SW Wisconsin is wonderful (actually almost all of WI looks fun, but the sW is what I have explored so far).

A great ride/area is the Starved Rock area near Joliet. Then follow the Illinois down river.

Southern IL has some good roads. Following the Mississippi from Dubuque all the way to St. Louis is always a great ride, going through some neat places like Clinton IA (be sure to swap back and forth from side to side on the river to sample all states!) Navoo, IL, Keokuk IA, Hannibal, MO, to Cape Girardeau and beyond.

Then you get into the Ozarks and Arkansas where there are a bunch of great rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks Dynodon,

I've lived in IL and know the areas you're talking about. Hope to visit them perhaps next year, enroute to NC.

T
 

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If you are looking for an alternative to the slab through South Dakota I like to ride Highway 44 from just west of Sioux Falls into Rapid City. The trip is mostly flat until you get to Platte, then you get into the Missouri River breaks and it gets better. This route takes you on the south side of the badlands. It adds about 2 hours to crossing the state.

Be smarter than they think you are.
 

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I hope that the lack of posts in the Central Region is because we're RIDING!:D

I don't know if it's still true, but I was told by a knowledgeable guy several years ago that Minnesota had the highest per capita motorcycle ownership of any state. While having one of the shortest riding seasons! Yeah, we're kinda hearty here and "get out in it", whether woods, water, or roads on a Wing.

Anyway, what I really want to do is take my long-suffering:eek: Bride of 30 years on a road trip to Mackinaw Island, Michigan, seeing parts of the shorelines of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan on the way there and back. The Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan is really nice, including the people.

Just thought I'd bump this thread to see if any of you Central Region folks get off your bikes long enough to check the internet and to find out what you've ridden/seen recently.

Kevin
 

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Next year I plan on a Casino run up the Mississippi from Vicksburg to Iowa. Ameristar Casinos are everywhere and I get free rooms.
 

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I have been able to get out quite a bit this summer. Took my dream western trip with friends for 4500 miles over 16 days. WHAT a TRIP! (little double meaning there, but it didn't involve drugs!) :) One club I ride with has been quite inactive this summer while the other has been all over the place. Priorities change in groups all the time.
 

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I'd like to make that ride, EFINREF, without the casinos. Just not my thing. As Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino/hotel magnate says: "There's only one way to make money in a casino, and that's to OWN it!"

But the history and beauty of the Mississippi River from Vicksburg up is very cool.:cool:

Glad to hear you got your western trip in, dynodon. 4,500 miles ought to air everything out pretty well!:)
 

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Kevin, You nailed it...I did "air out" myself! :)

Every time I do a longer trip, especially where there are more curves than in Illinois (many, many places, although I do find some great rides in IL!) I find that I come back a safer, more confident rider. I just did our local "Dragon" style loop and instead of my wife and I staying pretty much together, I found myself getting far ahead unless I slowed down. Miles = experience and experience = safety and fun.

I have a couple of rides planned for the wife and I yet this late summer/fall.
 

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Thanks for the tip, Buck! Never heard of it before. Glad to see you back here!
 

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A few years back, a buddy from MN and I and our wives circled Lake Superior and got the "Official Certificate". Absolutely beautiful; saw lots of moose and a coupe of black bears, which was exciting for us. We met a lady in a grocery store parking lot somewhere on the north side of the lake who started talking to us about riding motorcycles. My wife mentioned that we were excited to see the bears and boy, did she give us a lecture about how much trouble they have with bears and how the govn't protects them and on and on. We stood corrected.
 

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I hope I don't offend anybody with this but I do expect to get some dissagreement. This is what I was saying about sometmes we don't realize what we have in our own little area.

Here in North Texas we have several good roads and some great roads. But they tend to be short and far apart. FM4 is a good example. It consistently places on everybody's top ten list for the state. But that good riding is only 20 miles long and the closest comparable road is 30 miles away.

We have roads that stand out compared to the local norm, but to someone in the Smokie or Rocky Mountains, these same roads are going to be boring. If I'm limited to a day ride, I'll take what I can get locally.

That's what makes the Texas Hill Country a big deal for us. Many, many great roads by anyone's standards, spectacular compared to my local area. You could do three day rides with out a boring mile and still not ride them all.

East Texas has some special rides through the Piney Woods. In southwest Texas, there is a 300 mile loop from Alpine to Big Bend, than along the Rio Grande to Marfa back to Alpine. That 50 mile leg along the river is consistently on National Geographics best drives list. And the area along the Tx/NM border, I bet IBALEE would agree there is some good stuff, And in the Panhandle, a ride to the Palo Duro Canyon will have good roads.

And while I'm at it, southeastern Oklahoma in the Wichita Wildlife Management Area worth a trip. And you probably already know about the Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri.

DFW has some great riding compared to what we ride locally everyday. But if you're looking for the Texas Dragon, its west of San Antonio.
 
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