There’s something incredibly appealing about hitting the road and alternating the paved stretches with dirt trail excursions. If you’re like me, however, an urbanite used to the tarmac, you probably don’t know where to start to take things off the beaten paths. Wonder no more! Meet the folks at Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR)—they’re going to tell you where to go. After the Mid-Atlantic trek, BDR is back east with a new course running through New England.
BDR is an organization that maps motorcycle adventure routes through the United States and shares them on their website for visitors to download into your GPS. The routes the team comes up with take you on an a wide variety of terrains—with a focus on backroads and trails—through different states including California, Utah, and Colorado. Each map details routes between 600 and 1,200 miles that should normally take a few days to complete with all the recommended stops along the way. Talk about an adventure!
For 2020, BDR is adding a new route to its roster with a 1,400-mile trail through seven New England states. The trek starts in Hancock, New York, all the way to Oquossoc, Maine, at the Canadian border. This is the longest route yet from BDR and the trip should take a little over a week one way.
All the detailed maps are available to download on a .gpx file that can be added to any GPS unit. In addition to mapping out the road, BDR also suggests lodging, restaurant, and fuel stop options along the way. It's like a sort of turn-key adventure planning service. The only thing you have to worry about at this point is what bike to take on the adventure and when you should leave.
In terms of the difficulty levels, BDR makes it clear that it's hard to provide an accurate ranking for the routes as it all depends on the riders' skills, the type of bike they use, the weight they carry, and they're overall fitness level.
The team does give a few pointers by ranking their routes from most challenging to easiest, which goes as follows: California, North East, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, Idaho, and Mid-Atlantic.
The best part is that all of the material is available for free! You are, of course, encouraged to make a donation to support BDR’s activities, as this is something we can all benefit from.
The team is also working on a route through Wyoming and should be released sometime in 2021. In the meantime, you have ten great locations to explore. If you are wondering where to go on your next motorcycle adventure, you should definitely check out Backcountry Discovery Routes. You can look at it as a bit of a travel advisor for motorcyclists. The site currently offers ten different rides in the U.S. with, as previously mentioned, the new North East trail coming soon. So, where will you go next?
Photography by Ely Woody for BDR