Top Motorcycle Routes And Scenic Rides In And Around Garland
Garland, Texas, a city brimming with charm, offers motorcycle enthusiasts a unique blend of urban landscapes and natural beauty. With its proximity to varied terrains, Garland serves as a starting point for several captivating motorcycle routes. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these routes promise an exhilarating experience.
1. The Urban Exploration: Garland to Downtown Dallas
Starting in Garland, this route takes riders through the heart of Dallas. The journey begins by heading southwest on Highway 78, merging into I-30 towards Downtown Dallas. This urban ride offers a spectacular view of the Dallas skyline, especially enchanting during dusk. The route is relatively short, making it perfect for an evening ride. Once in Downtown Dallas, riders can explore the vibrant city life, with numerous cafes and spots to relax.
2. Lake Ray Hubbard Loop
For those who appreciate water views, the Lake Ray Hubbard loop is a must-try. The ride starts in Garland, heading east towards the lake via the President George Bush Turnpike. This route circles the lake, providing stunning waterfront views and a sense of tranquility. The loop is especially popular in the spring when wildflowers bloom along the roadside. There are several rest stops around the lake, ideal for picnics or simply enjoying the serene environment.
3. Garland to Terrell via Highway 80
This route takes riders east from Garland to Terrell, offering a blend of urban and rural scenery. Starting on Highway 80, the road stretches through Mesquite and Sunnyvale before reaching the more open and less congested roads near Terrell. This route is particularly enjoyable for those who like a smooth, straight ride with occasional gentle curves. Terrell’s historic downtown, with its quaint shops and eateries, is a great destination for a mid-ride break.
4. The Lavon Lake Escape
A scenic ride to Lavon Lake, north of Garland, is perfect for nature lovers. Taking the SH-78 North from Garland, the route passes through Sachse and Wylie before reaching the lake. Lavon Lake, known for its beautiful shoreline and recreational areas, offers a peaceful escape from the city. The roads around the lake are well-maintained, with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the view. In the fall, the changing leaves create a picturesque backdrop for the ride.
5. Garland to Athens: A Countryside Adventure
For a longer ride, head south to Athens, experiencing the diverse Texan countryside. The journey begins on I-30, transitioning onto TX-34 in Terrell, and continues through small towns and rural landscapes. This route is known for its rolling hills and open fields, offering a sense of freedom and escape. Athens, the final destination, is a charming town with a rich history, perfect for exploring on two wheels.
6. The Twisted Sisters: A Rider’s Dream
While not directly in Garland, the Twisted Sisters route is a Texas legend and a must for any serious motorcyclist. Located in the Texas Hill Country, this route is a few hours drive from Garland but offers some of the most challenging and scenic riding in the state. The route encompasses Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337, known for their sharp turns and elevation changes. It’s a thrilling ride, best suited for experienced riders.
7. The East Texas Piney Woods Route
For riders yearning for a serene, wooded landscape, the East Texas Piney Woods route is a scenic marvel. Heading east from Garland, this route traverses through lush forests and past tranquil lakes. The journey typically includes Highway 80 and then northwards into the heart of East Texas. This area is known for its dense pine forests, providing a cool, shaded ride, especially refreshing during Texas’ warmer months. The small towns along the way, like Mineola and Tyler, offer charming rest stops and local eateries.
8. The Red River Run: Garland to Denison
This northerly route takes riders towards the Texas-Oklahoma border, following the path of the majestic Red River. Starting on Highway 75 in Garland, the road leads to Denison, a historic town with a rich cultural heritage. The ride offers a mix of open highways and gentle curves, with scenic views of farms and fields. Denison, the endpoint, is a delightful town known for its antique shops and cozy cafes, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely break.
9. Garland to Glen Rose: Dinosaur Valley Adventure
For a unique destination, head southwest from Garland to Glen Rose, the home of Dinosaur Valley State Park. This route, which generally follows Highway 67, passes through varied landscapes including rural countryside and small Texas towns. Once in Glen Rose, riders can explore Dinosaur Valley State Park, known for its well-preserved dinosaur footprints. The park’s scenic beauty and historical significance make it a fascinating stop for any motorcycle tour.
10. The Enchanted Rock Ride
Another route worth the ride from Garland is towards Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, located west of Austin. This journey requires a longer ride, but it’s a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts for its captivating scenery and the unique granite dome formation of Enchanted Rock. The route involves several highway changes but is well worth the effort. The park offers hiking and stunning views, providing a great combination of riding and outdoor adventure.
Safety and Preparation
Before embarking on any motorcycle journey, safety should be your top priority. Ensure your motorcycle is in good condition, and always wear appropriate gear, including a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing. All of which can help prevent or mitigate the risks of getting involved in a motorcycle accident. Check the weather forecast and plan your route in advance. Remember, the journey is as important as the destination.
Garland’s location in Texas makes it a prime starting point for numerous motorcycle routes, each offering a distinct and memorable riding experience. From urban explorations to countryside adventures, these routes cater to all preferences and skill levels. Remember, the open road is not just a pathway; it’s a journey to new experiences and discoveries. So rev up your engines and prepare for an unforgettable adventure on the roads around Garland.