Eat your way down the Great River Road
Missouri and Illinois have some beautiful roads for a motorcycle ride to remember. Today, we cover one of the top-rated motorcycle roads in the Midwest, specifically the ride from Saint Louis, Missouri, to Hardin, Illinois.
This ride has beautiful scenery, riverside scenery, rolling bluffs. Some of the best views included in this 2-3 hour ride are between Alton and Hardin. This ride will reward you with beautiful views of the famous Saint Louis Arch, Mississippi River, and bluffs.
Follow the route without stops. https://goo.gl/maps/pVkwmV3jHMNAnbvU6
Like all of our rides, we start at Gateway Harley Davidson, which can be found at 3600 Lemay Ferry Rd, St. Louis, MO 63125. Feel free to come in, check out some of the new bikes that are arriving, and shoot the wind with the staff. We love Harley-Davidson's as much as you do.
Start your ride by taking a right onto Lemay Ferry Rd. There is a QuickTrip just a few blocks up the road where you can fuel up and grab a snack before your ride.
Then continue on Lemay Ferry Rd until you reach Reavis Barracks Rd and take a left. Then after about 1.5 miles, take a right and merge onto I-55 N.
This route will take you right past the Saint Louis Gateway Arch.
Follow I-55 for about 10 miles, and turn left to continue on I-44, following signs for I-70 W/Kansas City. Continue onto I-70 W, and watch for exit 245B, where you can merge onto W Florissant.
Follow Florissant, and turn right onto Riverview Blvd. Then, go straight through the roundabout, taking the 3rd exit onto MO-367 N/Lewis and Clark Blvd.
Continue onto US-67 N and enter Illinois.
When you enter Alton, take a left to continue onto W Broadway and follow the road along the river riding the IL-100 (Otherwise known as the great river rd.) The next 36 miles are some of Illinois' most beautiful riding roads.
There are a couple of really great places to stop along this road. One of the best photo ops is the Piasa Bird, which has convenient parking to grab the shot. A sign tells of the Legend of the Piasa Bird, which we won't spoil so you can enjoy it when you get there, but here is a hint. "The Piasa" means a bird that devours men in Illini Indian.
Piasa Bird, Wise St, Alton, IL 62002
One of the great places to stop and cool off in the summer is the Raging Rivers Waterpark. 500-foot seamless waterslides for thrillseekers, lazy rivers, and the Runaway Rafts. Raging Rivers Water Park is a great place to stop along your route if you want something fun to do.
The city of Grafton along your route has lots of great stops. Here are some of our favorite highlights.
Grafton Grafton Fudge & Ice Cream.
Homemade Butter Fudge, and you can get a Free Taste just by stopping in. They've got lattes, Chocolate, Ice Cream and more.
321 E Main St, Grafton, IL 62037
The Whole Scoop. Hot Dogs, Pretzels, Nachos. https://www.thewholescoopil.com/
Historic Ruebal Hotel. Inside you'll find Abigail's Tap Room and the locally famous deli, Reubels. https://ruebelhotel.com/
Ready's Fish Market and O'jan's Hot Fish Sandwiches next to it. Want some fresh fish caught from the Mighty Mississippi 101 W Main St, Grafton, IL 62037
The Hawg Pit BBQ offers smokey delights and is a local favorite! http://thehawgpit.com/
Pere Marquette State Park is a great place to hop off the bike and enjoy some of Illinois's beautiful scenery. https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/About/Pages/PereMarquette.aspx
Finally, you'll turn around at the East Hardin Drawbridge, or if you want to continue, you can soak in some nature at the McCully Heritage Project just down the road. http://www.mccullyheritage.org/