Pass through any restaurant or transportation center in, or near the state of Pennsylvania and you’ll find brochures for every type of tourist attraction imaginable: adventure parks, amusement parks, historical landmarks to wacky and wonderful private collections of stuff… American’s do that best I think. One brochure in particular is unique… as it’s for a road instead of a singular place, a route, Route 6 in particular, crossing the entire state. Making it an attraction unto itself.
Stitching together highlights and landmasses, it generally runs along the northern border with New York state.
In this shamrock tour, we’ll set up basecamp in the middle of the state and explore regions North, South, East and West. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Skiing to stargazing, lumber to simply laid back… but lets ride instead.
“Take the High Road” they suggest in the brochure… not only leading general travelers in the right direction, but specifically, motorcyclists. In the brochure, and the accompanying website, they suggest both landmarks and routes for riders to follow… making our job here at the magazine a tiny bit easier. Choosing which of 9 loops to ride returns the challenge right back to our court. Each one dotted with scenic vistas and heritage sites between the Pocono mountains in the East to Lake Erie 400 miles later in the West.
As one of “America’s most scenic drives,” according to National Geographic, U.S. Route 6 can be traced back all the way to 1807. In 1925, the Route was incorporated into the national highway system, becoming one of the country’s first transcontinental highways, and one of the longest beginning in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and terminating in Long Beach, California. It’s on my long-term bucket list too.
Crossing though many of the state’s counties, we’ll focus on two in the middle, Potter and Tioga, making 4 day loops out of Wellsboro, the county seat of Tioga, named for the wife of one of the original settlers in 1806, Mary Wells. From there we’ll go hunting for covered bridges, waterfalls and dark skies.